Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Locations/Kafr Batna

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Dr. Sakhr's "Clinic"

A doctor from the town of Kafr Batna said he rushed to his clinic soon after the attack and found 100 patients.
The "SunMorgue" (see below) has at least 86, or "about 100" dead minimum, to reports of 150 (exactly?) dead in Kafr Batna. Is this makeshift "clinic" / gas chambers complex / morgue this guy's "clinic?" --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:34, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
One doctor from the town of Kafr Batna likened the scene to a horror movie, with cars bringing in entire families — fathers, mothers and children — all of them dead.

“We had men, women and children, all of them choking and having trouble breathing,” said the doctor, Sakhr. “Some of them had foam coming out of their mouths and nostrils and many had lost consciousness.”

One came back to life, but the "clinic" staff cut his throat! Not mentioned here! --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:34, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
By the end of that day, Dr. Sakhr of Kafr Batna said, 16 of the 160 bodies collected at his clinic had not been claimed. Volunteers took the bodies to a nearby graveyard, photographed their faces one by one, and buried them in a mass grave.
He says 160 gathered - maybe the 150 and the 160 are different roundings of a number between them? It could be the real total, mainly as we see at this one "clinic." He implies that about 140 of these were identified and claimed. VDC lists exactly 16 victims "from" Kafr Batna. Odd that the number of the most likely to be identified is the same as those not identified. They also list 17 with the place mentioned in notes. Otherwise, it's hard to match their records with anything like 100 victims. None of the 33 entries has a photo or video attached. If they're listed at all, odds are it's among the masses of alleged Zamalka victims, but so far I've found no use anywhere of the images from Kafr Batna, to identify anyone. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:34, 18 May 2014 (UTC)
Sakhr appears in a report dated 22 August (PDF dated 23 August) by the VDC "field team" (https://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/reports//chemicaldamascussuburbs#.U3khP3KVveQ)

The paramedic "Abu Sakhr" says: "At two o'clock after midnight, the regime's forces shelled the area with mortars, specifically the first parts of Qusour neighborhood in the Ein Tarma behind the cemetery. During this time, a gas with a rotten smell spread quickly resulting in symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath and difficulty in vision that turned into a complete lack of vision. Some people fainted, became fully paralyzed and suffered a severe head ache. We hurried to help them; I helped nearly 370 person-to-several medical points including Hamourieh, Irbeen, Sakba and Kafarbatna and Douma. "

So if this is the same person, he was described as a paramedic, not a doctor, and helped people to several medical points rather than rushed to his clinic. I hadn't seen the VDC field team report before - it looks as if other media may have used it as a source. There is other interesting material in this report such as the story (with link to video) of the girl who did not recognize her mother and insisted that her mother was someone else. The VDC field team was led by Razan Zaytouneh (reported to have been abducted in December 2013) --Pmr9 (talk) 23:41, 18 May 2014 (UTC)

Interesting comparison there. I suppose this could be two people. He mentions Kafr Batna, but half the other places too, and that's a way different story to change without changing names. I've seen sloppiness that bad before, though ("See-through Salem" in Libya, for one). FWIW I looked for a cemetery in Ain Tarma. this spot looks kind of like one, but maybe I missed a better match. It's about 2 km W-NW of the likely SunMorgue "clinic" --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:12, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
The cemetery of Ain Terma is here. Incidentally, a nine months old comment says "Tunnel Entrances to bunkers and secret chemical weapons facilities." --CE (talk) 01:48, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Huh. It says Irbin, but it's in Ain TArma, and it's the same spot I picked. Cool. And someone says it's where there's a tunnel entrance to someone's secret CW facility, huh? Veeeedddy interesting. --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:04, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not the spot you linked - at least it's not where I land after descending on the planet, but somewhere NW of Duma... ;o) --CE (talk) 09:14, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
You're right. That's not the spot I was seeing when I copied the link, amd it was only zoomed out to about level 2. Maybe a smiliar glitch is why the KB morgue link came out weird in MITSM. Anyway, the spot I meant to link to is the same one you found, so I win but just can't prove it. :) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:53, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
Pah! ;oP One of the good things about wikimapia is the crosshair - and that the url changes automatically, so that kind of stuff doesn't happen even if you don't link to an object. btw, did you check Kiew with wikimapia? Awesome. Literally every house in the center has a description. Even the Metro stations are there. Noticed that this ("our") Metro station is the 313th object on wikimapia and checked the first one - a shopping mall in Moscow. About says wikimapia is the work of two Russians. Well done. --CE (talk) 10:14, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
The PDF of the VDC report might contain some useful metadata on the embedded images if these weren't just downloaded but supplied directly to VDC. I can see that the file was created on 23 August by someone with username laguna, but I don't have any tools for extracting metadata on the embedded JPEGS. Pmr9 (talk)
I have Unix tool for extracting the image files from a PDF file. Can you provide a link to the PDF? Found it! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I could not find any metadata in the images. Many are useful, I will try to upload them tomorrow. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:39, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Location

Main article: Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Locations#Kafr Batna

The field hospital is operating in the cellar of the Kafr Batna municipal building or town hall right in the center of Kafr Batna. See analysis here. It is likely the Kafr Batna Coordinating Committee functions in the same building.

Google Maps

Challenging "town hall" call: The placement is sound, been tested, it's 99% certain to be the place Petri identified. The August 23 VDC report shows a photo of the children's corner of the SunMorgue there, captioned "Pictures of martyrs in tuberculosis hospital in Kafr Batna." 17 VDC martyr entries include the note "The name Came From al-Sel hospital in Kafr Batna." I wondered if that was this place, or a second KB medical center. Finally checked and the Arabic version of that note somehow google translates "Word of the name in the TB hospital in kafar batna." Yandex translate gives a short word when rendering tuberculosis, and pronounces it like al-Sawil.

And also, we were wondering if Dr. Sakhr's clinic (if not paramedic Sakhr's clinic) was the same. That was looking likely by the numbers. Now that everything else is pointing to every place here being the one and same place, I'd bet yes, all one and the self-same. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:40, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

So 17 of the victims we should see here have been named, maybe accurately, but with no photos, as follows (all civilian, killed 2013-08-21 by "Chemical and toxic gases") (AF=Adult Female, etc.):

Wedad al-Halabi AF, Kafr Batna - Abeer Ajaj AF Kafr Batna - Rafqa Naqeshbandi AF, Kafr Batna - Maha Ghazi AF, Kafr Batna - Mustafa Ghazi CM, Kafr Batna - Ahmad Murshed AM, Kafr Batna - Shadi Bekdash AM, Kafr Batna - Omar Abu Ahmad AM, Kafr Batna - Mohammad al-Wawi CM, Kafr Batna - Abdullah Qabalan AM, Kafr Batna - Nabel al-Munajed AM, Kafr Batna - Talal Sahraji AM, Kafr Batna - Razan Saed AF, Kafr Batna - Heba Qasem AF, Kafr Batna - Hanan Yosef Sulaiman Ghazi AF, Zamalka notes: it came from another source that she is from Kafr Batna, She is of Palestinian origins" - Suad Omar Mous AF, Kafr Batna - Hend al-Ghoush AF, Kafr Batna

These have entry numbers ranging from 92157 to 92173 (all at once, no breaks)The Ghazis are noted as Palestinians, FWIW. The Kafr Batna location was wrong fro the one Ghazi, probably for all 3 of them here, and likely for most or all of the rest. Names Naqeshbandi, Ghoush, Ahmad, Ajaj at least seem to link to victims of the same names from Zamalka, Jobar, Moadamiyeh, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:29, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Nighttime hospital scene

First video starts from the outside, moves inside. Note the green water bottles used for pouring water on victims. These could help identify later inside footage. The first four videos are unlabeled: (1, 2, 3, 4) A strap is hanging from the camera, helping to identify the cameraman. Starting from video 5 the uploads get a Coordinating Committee style logo, but are from the same set of footage: (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) One more unlabeled video (11) seems to be from the same place, this one shows fighting age men in and around an operating room. One has a needle stuck to his neck, I suppose for injection of atropine. (See Nerve agent antidotes) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:31, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Dead girls in morgue

Das Verbrechen des syrischen Regimes hat ein neues Kaliber erreicht!

This unlabeled video, (number 4 in the above nighttime series) show the beginning of the pileup in the morgue. Note the distinctive blanket that is shown at the end of the video. It is also shown in the debunk video discussed below with more young girls piled up on top of it. The scene is a windowless underground room.

Same blanket, or same design, seen in Damascus suburbs. Possible clue, not strong. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:05, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

The same girls, and the corner of the blanket are later shown at daytime, in a large well-lit room with some one hundred other bodies lined up. The video is also uploaded by Kafr Batna Coordinating Committee, this time with their Kafar Batna City logo:

"More than a hundred martyrs by chemical bombardment August 21, only from those who were rescued to Kafr Batna" Jokkmokks goran (talk) 19:33, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:13, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
If not a verb but a place, probably Deir al-Asafir, which is nearby. Interesting video. Note how at around 0:20-25 you see at least two men bleeding from the head executed from this chemical bombing. I do suspect prominent use of chemicals, but I think there's a little more mixing of methods here than they're letting on. The beefier ones who pull through, wake up and start choking you as you drag them to the truck -shoot that one, mix him in anyway.And the children... man. Looking at them, it seems they tend to be open-mouthed, heads back, trying to breathe. No slime/foam or discoloration. Could have been suffocated in an airtight chamber somewhere then brought here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:05, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

This comment video on Facebook notes that many bodies in the morgue scene have syringes placed on them. The hospital staff seem to be injecting them with something, most like atropine. It may be that all the bodies are not dead yet.

Qatar-provided experimental serum to cure Muslims of Shi'ism? Sorry, couldn't help it popping to mind. I would not be totally shocked, but I guess that would only work on the living - which they almost must be, right? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:05, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Or, perhaps they're drawing blood, to be tested? --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:13, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

In the first video in the Kafar Batna set the victims are brought in into the same room that is later used as the morgue in the daylight scene. (Note the bombed-out windows.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:45, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Witnesses

The latest video from Kafar Batna is an interview of a very young boy: Child injured with poison gas and killed his father and lost his mother tells what happened on August 21. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:08, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Denis O'Brien "Sun Morgue" Investigation

Analysis

CL mentioned it but we have no link yet. Our fellow wiki member Denis O'Brien just came up with an extensive report dealing with the video evidence of the victims in Kafr Batna. Skimmed Part A so far and it's very interesting. Petri gets a plug for geolocating the "SunMorgue", which Denis says is the ground-floor of a building in whose underground floor a couple of other victim videos have been filmed. He stays with his earlier conviction that no Sarin was used to kill these people and says his case is bullet-proof from a professional PoV. He sticks it to Kerry and the other liars in his trademark style so I think it is best placed here. The other parts of the report contain the detailed analysis. For us I think we could mostly check his work on locations as none of us has the expertise to deal with the biological/chemical stuff. Will take a second look next week. --CE (talk) 12:58, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, CE. I was meaning to start something (new title okay?). I--Caustic Logic (talk) 07:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
Funny, I thought he didn't have the morgue placed, and came here to see what Petri had said and how it matches, and let Denis know. Instead, I'll just do the first two. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
In part D he puts together a couple of clues we noticed much better to illustrate that victim M-015 (as dubbed) was killed by a sliced or stabbed throat, likely right there in the morgue after waking up. What I thought was a bloody chunk of human tissue is instead the wadded blanket that soaked up most of his blood. Lots of it. A beefy man, he's aa good candidate for underdose of whatever poison they used, requiring a second execution. Excellent work. Another possible throat slice victim, not at all so sure, but maybe. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)


Comments on the medical arguments in Denis's report.

1. One of Denis's key arguments is that as sarin victims should be cyanosed because sarin kills by paralysing the respiratory muscles, yet at least some victims have bright red lips or red livor mortis. This is more consistent with cyanide poisoning. as cyanide kills by blocking oxygen use by cells. Specifically brick-red livor mortis is a textbook feature of fatal cyanide poisoning Images of the Halabja victims (see http://www.nonproliferation.eu/documents/kickoff2/zanders.pdf) show profound cyanosis of lips and under fingernails. However the Halabja victims hadn't received any resuscitation. If sarin-exposed victims had received oxygen and respiratory support in KB before death, they might not be cyanosed. But as Denis points out, the victims in the basement are receiving only desultory attempts at respiratory support. He comments, as I did in an earlier ACLOS thread, that there is no medical equipment present apart from gas cylinders lying on the floor (he counts seven 44 litre cylinders).

2. Denis shows clearly that phlebotomists are moving from one body to the next to take blood samples by a femoral stab, but then leaving the syringe, containing blood or plasma, on each victim's abdomen. He finds this hard to explain, and so do I. If this was a genuine effort to collect post-mortem samples from victims of a military gas attack, why weren't the samples transferred to blood storage bottles, labelled and given to the UN team? If the KB scene was a false flag massacre of captives, why collect blood samples that won't show sarin exposure. Maybe they wanted to document that blood samples had been taken from the victims, but not necessarily to use the samples from these victims.

3. Denis notes that the gas cylinders (blue or green) in the basement aren't connected to any medical equipment or to flow meters, and have no handles on the valves. He shows that one of the blue cylinders has been moved repeatedly, and draws the obvious conclusion about its likely use. We might make progress on this if we can find out what colour coding is used for medical gas cylinders in Syria.

Conclusion: the most compelling evidence that the whole KB complex is a managed massacre site rather than an emergency medical centre is the story that Denis has pieced together of the man bleeding from a cut throat. The lack of cyanosis could just about be explained by the use of respiratory support with oxygen, though there's no evidence that this was administered effectively to anyone. In fact there's not much evidence that any useful medical treatment was administered at KB. The death rate should have been low among those who survived a sarin attack long enough to reach hospital conscious and breathing without assistance, yet we don't get to see any survivors of the KB basement.

-- Pmr9 (talk)

Yes, sarin usually kills in under 15 minutes. Most victims should be dead long before they reach the hospital. Those that do, should have a high survival rate. Yet it seem that everyone that comes to the hospitals ends up dead. In Zamalka or somewhere we see several living children being treated, yet they are all later shown dead or in the morgue. A slow but unavoidable death is a symptom of chlorine gas poisoning. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:33, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The building is evidently the Kafr Batna town hall or some other central administrative building. As we have seen in Ukraine, revolutionaries take possession of administrative buildings. I have been wondering why the rebels would run a field hospital in the crowded cellar. It is equally possible that the cellar was used as a prison. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:40, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Promotion

I'm consulting with Denis on this. We agree it needs a summary version and/or a promo article. One way or another, I think there'll be something further relatively soon. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:20, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm opening this up for general input here. Denis' report as it stands is like the novel, and I think we need two more levels - s quick reference "for dummies" sort of version, maybe a bit like the MIT Ghouta report, with easy headings, short paragraphs, bullet lists, graphics, short-attention span. An AP reporter could dig out the key facts and quote it in just a few minutes. There are different options (like a Q and A format), and considerations, I'm not sure I'm giving a fair shake to, so I want to put a couple more minds on it. Then above that, a widely-read promo article (I suggested Gliobal Research - other thoughts?) that points to the readable summary and the full project page. Having seen the report, suggestions on what it should all do/look like, what should go in, get emphasized, and any volunteers for co-writing or something, even who's best to write it isn't sure. And it needs to move kind of quick, so don't wait forever to drop your thoughts here. Thx. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Denis provided kind of a summary already with Part A but of course that is still soaked in his personal style (which I love). The whole thing will be difficult to sell anyway because the "fact" that Sarin was used is kind of a given among those who still care. I think a promotional article at GR should focus on where in the discussion and state of general research Denis chimes in with his report and try to get other professionals to look at it (I forgot Pmr9 in my earlier assessment that "we" don't have the expertise, sorry for that). If that happens and they are interested, they will be able to make it through the unusual presentation. So I think Denis should try to condense the already condensed arguments for "no sarin" for the author of that promo article. My 2cents. --CE (talk) 20:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
A promo article doesn't need to argue that no sarin was used in Ghouta. Clearly the people examined in Zamalka whose samples tested positive had been exposed to sarin somehow. Denis has built a strong case that the KB complex was not a real emergency medical centre but a managed massacre site, where captives were gassed in the basement and either brought upstairs dead to be photographed, or photographed while still alive, then shot. For the reasons he gives, sarin would not be the preferred agent for gassing people in a confined space. It's of course entirely possible that the other emergency medical centres were genuine, and that at least some of the patients they were treating had been exposed to sarin from the rockets. It's plausible that the rockets were not meant to cause mass casualties; these were to be provided by gassed captives. Instead of seeing the sarin-filled rockets and the massacre of captives as two alternative explanations, we should evaluate how they complement each other. Pmr9 (talk)
A nitpick and a bump. I'm not sure if some tested positive for Sarin outright, but that would be odd. Rather, after time, metabolites would be detected, and these can't prove Sarin exposure, from what I've read. Inhaling harmless, white powdered IMPA (IIRC) can yield the same results, as well as other methods. Just like spritzing a weeks-old rocket with Sarin or the proper by-product at the right time can yield the same results as if it released Sarin back then. Especially to the susceptible. So it's not proven and, while it's not disproven either, we need to keep our thinking caps on and encourage others to put on their own. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:46, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Based on the first UN report which gave no details of what tests were used, I speculated that a test for IMPA-albumin adduct could easily have been faked by administering IMPA. However the second UN report makes clear that the test for sarin-BChE adduct ("fluoride ion regeneration test") was used. This is almost impossible to fake because you would need unfeasibly large quantities of human BChE to prepare the adduct before injecting it. There were at least three other incidents from which people tested positive for sarin - Khan-al-Assal 19 March, Saraqeb 29 April, Jobar 24 April. Two of these were attacks on the SAA, and the other (Saraqeb) appears to have been set up to get victims to Turkey for blood sampling (in time for Erdogan's meeting with Obama in May). So not only is the lab evidence unequivocal, there's also a pattern of sarin use by insurgents.
Re-reading the first UN report, I think it's starting to make sense. 11 individuals were interviewed for "environmental/impact site" information but the final table only describes seven of these interviews. All seven reported that they had been in Zamalka, and two reported that a rocket had fallen 20 metres from their residence (distance from impact site not given for anyone else). So we have no information to indicate that any exposed individuals were outside Zamalka, and there were survivors even among those living on ground floor or first floor 20 metres from a rocket impact site. This suggests that the rockets didn't contain much sarin, and that it didn't spread very far. All this supports Denis's arguments that the events in the KB complex were part of a managed massacre of captives: if there were survivors 20 metres from the impact site, it's unlikely that there would be mass fatalities 2 km away.
A possible explanation fitting all the evidence would be something like this. The attack had two components: firing of sarin-filled rockets into Zamalka to point the finger at the regime, and a massacre of captives to generate photo-ops and outrage. The rockets containing impure low-grade sarin caused fatalities among residents in the immediate vicinity, and bad smells leading to panic over a wider area. Some captives were used to generate photo-ops in the KB complex, while others were delivered dead to hospitals. There are no video recordings of people being rescued from their homes near the rocket impact sites because this was left to genuine first responders: insurgent cameramen stayed away from this area until it was safe, and concentrated instead on recording the KB and the other (possibly genuine) emergency medical centres. Pmr9 (talk)
I remember now you're the one I read at least some of that from. :) So fakery is less likely and real Sarin is most likely. Still skeptical on the full links to that night and any rockets, but also too behind to make an issue of it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:17, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Okay... CE, excellent - assess the field, what's been said, how little Sarin has really been questioned, and how this bucks the trend that maybe shouldn't exist. Fresh thinking time. It's an event and it's news. I suggested experts, he's tried. I'm no better at badgering like that. Any thoughts to help, cool. Otherwise, it gets skipped. Pmr9, thanks for appearing again. If you'd be willing to be in touch as an adviser and to add second opinions, contact me Caustic_Logic@yahoo.com on the how. On Sarin in Ghouta, it wouldn't be right to argue past what's shown - I suggest by refreshing the overall no-Sarin-signs analysis, if needed. The later tests show what they do, as shown earlier all the video is pretty damn slim on supports. Ergo, maybe no Sarin, maybe a new type with different symptoms, or almost all victims kept of the videos of hundreds, can't be answered now (but the best guess is clear) ... then, in this KB study, we have a clearer and detailed assessment as a more solid case study, which it is. Most of the good photos and lots of videos are all from here, probably the best case to study anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:31, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Kafr Batna school video

A youtube video from September 2013, appearing to show some kind of play-acting of a chemical attack in a school in Kafr Batna, has been found by Maram Susli and has been the basis for a blog post by Bernhard on Moon of Alabama

In the comments on that post, Peter AU has noted that the flooring and skirting of the rooms in the school match the Kafr Batna building that we identified as the old tuberculosis hospital. There is a team dressed in purple who appear to be running the show. Peter AU suggests that the woman in the school videos may be identifiable in the 21 August videos. He has also found a facebook page that includes stills of the videos and identifies the scene as 19 August 2013.

I'm not sure how all this fits together, and I haven't checked anything, but it looks as if at the very least it will help to put the 21 August videos in context. Pmr9 (talk) 19:27, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

No, it's Sept. 19 uploaded, and August 19 only comes up wrt FSA guys crossing from Jordan. They have pictures of the Ghouta victims displayed. It's not the SunMorgue room (seems to have a different layout, different lights, etc.), so could be anywhere in Kafr Batna, though the same complex is likely. Must be a roughly one-month mark video. The ISIS flag people talk about is the Nusra flag. People might well be recognizable between videos, but I might never check that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:42, 4 September 2017 (UTC)