Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013/Witnesses

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Ammar, a nurse who was moving yesterday between Ein Tarma and Zamalka (in Ghouta near Damascus), did not have a camera to document the general scene of the Eastern Ghouta area, but he described the massacre since yesterday's dawn until yesterday's evening.
With great grief, he says, that we didn't know how to deal with Chemical weapon from the beginning. The shelling alerted people especially women and children to go down to shelters, which caused their death because the gas is heavy and it Precipitates towards the ground. Instead of running towards the roofs of buildings, people dashed towards shelters under ground where the gas was waiting to kill them. They were not used to deal with the chemical weapon because they already got used to normal shelling by rockets and jet fighters which usually forces them to find ground shelters. The weapon betrayed them by changing itself so they suffocated.
Nouri, who carried with a group of young people the task of transporting the injured to medical points in Zamalka, says that his experience was different; he transported many injured people and dead bodies before, and even cases of nervous disorder, and intense spasms caused by fear especially children. However, what was different this time is the noise children made. Children usually produce different noise by because of fear and pain, they cry and shout, which used to be heartbreaking. But this time, it was even more heartbreaking as they were unable to scream. Our shoulders did not carry injured people, we carried scared eyes looking fearfully, that don't understand any details and are not even able to ask or scream. The gas prevented them from any realistic expression. their expressions were surreal, strange and horrific.

Reuters Oct. 4

16-year-old Mohammed was living with a surviving cousin in Zamalka, staying active towards the regime's downfall, talking on walkie talkies like everyone since phones don't work. He only survived because "he was out working a hospital night shift." His father was a doctor, and died from Sarin exposure after rushing to help people and taking no precuations, I guess. Doctors can be like that. His mother, five brothers, and a sister all died in their house. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:05, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Mohammad, who was on duty at the hospital that night, said he heard an unusual-sounding rocket shortly before 2 a.m. It seemed to land without the blast of mortar or tank shells.
It was not long before the dispatcher on the walkie-talkie started saying there had been a chemical attack, and ordered volunteers and medics to the scene to help.
Then came chaos. As people started to move bodies and take survivors to the field hospital, another rocket carrying sarin hit the crowd, killing four medics and many volunteers.
Survivors still suffer from insomnia, severe headaches and the mental fog that they say began after their exposure to sarin gas. Everyone around Zamalka speaks of a night of horror that they liken to Armageddon.

It seems that "dispatcher on the walkie-talkies" and PA systems in mosques were central in setting up the scene and "informing" the people of "sarin". Again, this story does not explain how the rescue workers fond all the targeted people and bodies in their homes at the middle of the night in a city with no electricity – unless of course, the victims had been wise enough to all assemble in a well-lit cellar before the attack. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:28, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

I note the story doesn't even have an author. --CE (talk) 15:26, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
Hm... The story claims to be written in Zamalka. I doubt any fully paid Reuters journalist is in Zamalka writing this. Most likely it is written by some local "activist". In that case, how do we, or Reuters for that matter, know where it is really written.
I have often wondered who really controls the YouTube accounts of "Local Coordination Committees"? A LCC is most likely nothing more than an "activist" with an US State Department sponsored satellite router. Do these people access thier YouTube accounts directly, or do the videos first go to some StateDept / CIA controlled communication center that upload them to YouTube? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:31, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Byworth's Refugees

Justin Byworth met with refugees in tents in Lebanon, who explained why they fled Ghouta. The chemical attack was only part of it - beatings, starvation, soldiers using bags of bread instead of sandbags at their roadblocks just to taunt the starving people as they stomped on their loaves, and constant bombing before and after, and the husband's death (couldn't admit he was bombed, said it was a car crash) all forced the decision. Byworth says "I will tell their story. And World Vision, the charity of which I am Chief Executive, will help them and others like them."

“Death. That night I saw death” were the first devastating words eight-year-old Tasnim said to me.
Before hello?
(she) explains she wants me to hear her “one million per cent true” story of surviving the massacre at Ghouta.
Can't refute that math, pretty damn true. Her mother Rawa seems to be saying the rest:
“That night there were planes dropping bombs as usual. At 1am we heard bombs but the sound was strange. The second time at 3am we heard them again and then we heard cars driving around and people calling for help. Many people started getting out of their homes and finding places to hide – like the tunnels and underground shelters we often used. But the chemical weapons are heavy and they fall down to the lowest places, so those in the tunnels and shelters were not safe.”
“At 4am we noticed people starting to have saliva coming out of their mouths and many were dying. Some who helped others during attacks took microphones and drove around telling people, ‘It’s chemical weapons – watch out.’ There are a few nurses or doctors in Ghouta who know something about chemical weapons, they had told us ‘if one drop explodes in the air it can kill 500 people’.”
“There are four main neighbourhoods in Ghouta where many people died. Some didn’t wake up and died while they were sleeping, others died in the shelters and tunnels. My brother was a first aider, he and his son were helping in Zamalka neighbourhood where many people died. They knew it was chemical weapons, so they took some clothes, poured coca cola on them and put charcoal between the layers. The Free Syrian Army had given us instructions on what to do if there was a chemical attack. We heard people telling others to watch out over their walkie-talkies.”
“Our home was in an area where less people died. We covered our faces and stayed in the upper levels of our house. We were affected but our lives were safe. We were dizzy, had headaches, tears in our eyes, vomiting and the nerves in our arms and legs felt loose.  Everything was blurry. We couldn’t eat for two days.”
... Rawa gestures her hands in the air. “How many people do you think died?” she asks me. I shake my head as she says: “I can tell you it is many more than you and the world know. The international inspectors were allowed free entry to some areas and they were able to do a good investigation. In other neighbourhoods the regime prevented the inspection, they didn’t really know everything that happened.--Caustic Logic (talk) 01:05, 6 October 2013 (UTC)