Talk:Unseen Snipers in the Syrian Conflict

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Unseen snipers, presumed to be "regime," have had an immense impact on events in almost every violence-plagued Syrian city over the last 31 months. From the first alleged snipers to open fire on protesters (and police and soldiers) in Deraa to the daily downing of citizens in Aleppo's "crossing of death" Karaj al-Hajez, these murky killers have helped manifest the opposition's narrative of a randomly brutal government that must be overthrown. The select incidents and patterns we're able to look at will be discussed here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Killing Protesters in Deraa

Forthcoming. See: Talk:Events of March 2011

In March and April 2011, repeatedly peaceful protesters, police guardiung them, and also soldiers, were gunned down by alleged-regime snipers. These people hated soldiers, police, and those who would remain peaceful at a time like this. Those who urged fighting to bring down the government, even though protest-lobbying to get foreign bombing was supposed to work, took the upper hand from this and militarizations began just after - or just before - those snipers worked their magic. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:12, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Provocateur Sniper Precedents

Syria 2011, Ukraine 2014...

In that crucial context: (moved from Talk:Events of March 2011) --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:12, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

I compiled some kind of list here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sniper#Unknown_mystery_snipers.3F
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:00, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes you did and I forgot. Good add here. The Bosnia unity conference disrupted by "Serb snipers" needs to be added here and there. No links handy ATM, but you know the story, I presume. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:14, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Nikolai Starikov translated on this video: SNIPERS IN CAIRO MAKE HISTORY – maestroclub, Mar 7, 2011

Some more info here: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:51, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

HERE!

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:03, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

This too is interesting: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:06, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Romania 1989

Vilnius 1991

The Wikipedia article on UNA-UNSO says that "on January 11, 1991 squads of UNS headed by Yuriy Tyma guarded the Seimas Palace during the January Events in Lithuania."

Bosnia 1992

(many examples, forthcoming)

  • The sniper(s) at the pro-unity rally
  • all the snipers of sniper's row who picked off so many people
  • including ABC news reporter David Kaplan - UN decided the shot was from within the rebel-held area
  • The ICTY Tribunal in Hague: The grenades at Sarajevo Markale market (1994.) were shelled by Muslim Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina , by order of Alija Izetbegovic - Grey Carter, There Must be Justice, February 17, 2014 (mirror)
    Demurenko as well said that even the UNPROFOR often had and immense impression that the Muslims in Sarajevo target their own citizens with snipers, but that was extremely difficult to prove due to the order of the Command, that those situations are BANNED from any further investigation
    Are these statements only an exaggeration of the zealous Russian, who is likely to release the Serbs from guilt? But even the London’s The Independent on 22. August 1992. reported that ’the UN officials as well as Western high military officers believe that some of the worst recent murders , including the massacre of at least 16 person from the queue in front of the bakery, were carried out by Muslim defendants of the city – and not by the Serbs who besiege it – as propaganda (manipulation) trickerly suggests in order to gain World’s sympathy and, consequently, military intervention in their behalf’.

Moscow 1993

Even though both Boroday and Kulygina discuss and remember the events of 1993 in great detail, (Boroday in several TV programs), they never mention anything about the unidentified snipers shooting at both sides of the conflict in October 1993. This is strange, given the number of deaths caused by sniper shots and the huge public debate about failure to investigate the shooters in the 90’s in Russia.
Twenty years ago Boris Yeltsin’s army and elected Russian parliamentarians clashed in Moscow, resulting in hundreds, even thousands, of casualties. Investigations now suggest the bloodbath was sparked by snipers, some of who were perched on the roof of the American embassy.
  • Events here may have some common themes, but were quite different from Maidan and color revolutions. The origins of the conflict were internal, the standoff between pro-reform, and popular at the time, President Yeltsin; and pro-Soviet Supreme Soviet (Parliament). The latter was viewed reactionary at the time, but with much more sympathy recently on the overall patriotic wave of Putin era. Back in 1993, Parliament was disbanded by Yeltsin, but deputies did not obey, and voted to remove Yeltsin in return. Most radical among them attempted to seize TV center, to broadcast their line to the rest of the country, and led protest meetings which turned violent. Firearms were erratically used on both sides, mostly Kalashnikovs, and some protesters and police were killed. Yeltsin (who overall had broader support) introduced emergency rule, and called for military (from a famous tank division) and Alpha elite spetznaz to clear the Parliament building. Those orders were not received enthusiastically, at best. Alpha was ordered to advance towards the building; at this point, one of their officers was killed by either very professional or else extremely 'lucky' sniper shot. In Yetsin memoirs, a change of attitude of Alpha was attributed to this; but Alpha veterans disagree. Subsequently, Alpha did not storm the building, but negotiated deputies' surrender, and led them safely out of the building. So there were snipers, but they did not cause or play a game-changing role in the events. Tanks did. Subsequently, the events were not investigated-an amnesty was eventually granted to participants. In his book "Hawks of peace" Rogozin (who was on Yeltsin impeachment committee in late 90's) repeats a claim, made by an ex-assistant commander of Russian paratrooper forces Sorokin, the events participant, in his answers at September 1998 Duma hearing, that there were sniper shots from the American embassy. But Sorokin does not know who was firing, and this was not established by a proper investigation (and in any case would not have a major impact). According to anti-Yeltsin leader Rutskoi, the shot which killed Alpha officer was made from Kapranov factory building, located near Parliament and US Embassy, and used by the special services to observe the embassy.
An era-defining anecdote goes: gunmen storm parliament building full of people. 'Where is Yeltsin ???' they shout. Everybody in the room turns and points a finger at Yeltsin. Gunmen: 'and now, you stay low, Boris Nikolaevich!' [i.e Yeltsin]
--Resup (talk) 19:34, 9 October 2015 (UTC)

Thailand, 2010

Tony Cartalucci, Land Destroyer, has, injected into a speculative article on the Houla massacre, a fascinating analysis of a regime sniper incident from Thailand, 2010. A prominent propaganda image used by the NY-backed Toxin (Thaksin, transliterations vary) Shinawatra in his bid for return to power via western-sponsored "color revolution" was a man with Thaksin's trademark red flag, his head half-removed by the brutal troops nearby. I didn't double-check, but it seems the incident coincided with open fighting between black-clad Shinawatra men and Thai national troops, ignored at the time, to remove the militants and their guns from the picture (but later acknowledged, even by HRW). And apparently the video - distributed widely by the Shinawatra red network - always demonstrated how the anti-government people filming the murder maneuvered the man with the big red flag into place, near the troops and possibly within range of a provocateur sniper as well. Hand signals between activists and a "shadower," the signaling in of the photographer to snap the proof within moments, all suggest just what common sense does. The same shadow forces killed this kid and a Reuters photographer, and were engaged by troops of the saner forces of the state that night. Targeted regimes don't always deliver these convenient atrocities without a hell of a lot of assistance. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:45, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

2013

Israelis in Iraq?

  • Israeli Snipers Killing U.S. Troops in Iraq - Synagogue Baphomet, November 14, 2012 (video)
    This is about CNN video, October 18, 2006, which I guess is available here. There is a sniping video, including eg a shot to kill from 300 meters from a getaway car (as assessed by US military interviewed). There is zero evidence it has anything do with Israelis rather than with an Islamic group which provided the video (an Israeli gun, if any, is no more establishing their involvement than using a Kalashnikov implies Russians. Sniper rifles use more powerful ammunition, of course there will be a recoil, no matter whether it body mounted, gun mounted, or dashboard; and one cannot really tell and make a supported conclusion). The video above is nothing more than an anti-Semitic bullshit , tons out there --Resup (talk) 20:41, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
    Islamic Army in Iraq: a study ; wikipedia
    Baphomet-wikipedia

Libya 2011

Possible precedent: Libya, Al Baida, Feb. 17, 2011. Two people are shot in a funeral procession, shown on three videos. The crowds scatter for a moment each time as people dive for cover, but then realizing they weren't the one, the rest continue, re-enraged. One shot has a bizarre edit suggesting the rooftop cameraman is next to the rooftop sniper. The edit comes as the body-recovery truck pulls up just shy of the shooting site. As Felix said, a very clinical operation - provocateur work. Incidentally, someone claiming to be one of the cameramen recently gave me his e-mail address (see comments there). I Would not be the slightest surprised if it happened like that in Dara'a and elsewhere as well. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:42, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

On May 24, 2014, the former Chairman of the post-Gaddafi "National Transitional Council" Mustafa Abdul Jalil admitted in an interview with Libyan "Channel One" that foreign mercenary snipers have been involved in provocation events and the order of the Libyan government was not to use force against the protesters. He and some of his co-conspirators had been briefed about the snipers and deemed those methods necessary to get rid of the Gaddafi "regime". Video snippet of the Interview (Arabic), Report in La Republica (Spanish). This apparently went unnoticed even in circles that have an eye on the topic, and I just stumbled upon it as a sidenote in a German blog post. --CE (talk) 14:08, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Egypt 2011

Egypt 2013

“I saw that the Army retreated about ten metres and began to fire tear-gas cannisters, about ten or fifteen of them,” he said. “I couldn’t see if the other side [the protesters] was shooting, but I heard people through megaphones encouraging jihad. Then I saw four to six motorcycles coming from the direction of the Rabaa intersection to the Republican Guard barracks. Some people were still praying, some were not, because the dawn prayer had finished by then. The men on the motorcycles were all masked, and it was hard to see them through the dark and the tear-gas smoke, but they seemed to be shooting, they were coming from behind the protesters, so they were shooting toward the protesters and the Army. Then the Army started firing. And the protestors were firing. I saw firing from both sides.”
--CE (talk) 18:56, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
The killing of more than 50 people at a demonstration in support of ousted Egyptian President Morsi in Cairo on July 8 has justifiably horrified many in Egypt and internationally. The pro-Morsi elements have placed the blame on the military forces, while the military claims it was attacked with live ammunition. While accusations are hurled back and forth, a new aspect to this story is emerging – the presence of a third force, namely snipers stationed on rooftops firing at both sides of the conflict. This revelation raises serious questions about the true nature of the conflict in Egypt and the disturbing similarities between this incident and similar ones in Syria, Thailand, and elsewhere.
nsnbc international has spoken with several eyewitnesses who were at the scene of the events who reported, that snipers were firing into the peaceful protesters, stirring up violence. The eyewitnesses stressed, that unless journalists were aware of where the armed radicals were shooting from, and where snipers were located, it was understandable that journalists at the scene would get the impression that the protesters were being targeted by the police and military. One eyewitness added “After all, most of the protesters who were leaving also thought that the police was firing on them”.
--CE (talk) 19:58, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Ukraine 2014

Moved to Talk:Ukraine 2014

Venezuela 2014

Each time, the movement begins with a demonstration during which peaceful opponents are killed, and where both sides accuse each other of violence. In fact U.S. or NATO special forces placed on rooftops shoot at both the crowd and the police. This was the case in Daraa (Syria) in 2011, Kiev (Ukraine) and Caracas (Venezuela) this week. Alas for bad luck: autopsies in Venezuela show that two victims, one opponent and one pro-government, were killed by the same weapon.
I have not heard this autopsy story and I'm following the events daily via venezuelanalysis. I say typical Meyssan allegation. Most deaths so far are accidents at the barricades. No sniper incidents with mass casualties (unlike 2002). Some mercenaries were apparently arrested, though. Two articles here and there. --CE (talk) 11:22, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Iran 2017

See Iran protests
Pro-government protesters carrying placards praising Khamenei and cursing Israel

Strategy of Tension

The general concept is known as Strategy of Tension.

In its essence, the strategy of tension targets the emotions of human beings and aims to spread maximum fear among the target group. “Tension” refers to emotional distress and psychological fear, whereas “strategy” refers to the technique of bringing about such distress and fear. A terrorist attack in a public place, such as a railway station, a market place, or a school bus, is the typical technique through which the strategy of tension is implemented. After the attack—and this is a crucial element—the secret agents who carried out the crime blame it on a political opponent by removing and planting evidence.
It must be noted that the targets of the strategy of tension are not the dead and the wounded of the terrorist attacks, as many might assume. The targets are the political opponents, who are discredited through the attack, and those who remain unharmed but learn of the attack, thereby coming to fear for their lives and those of their loved ones. Since the aims of the strategy are to discredit opponents and to create fear, the real targets are not the people who were killed, whether they number in the dozens or even thousands, but the millions of people who survive physically unharmed but emotionally distressed.

US Army

WikiLeaks ‏@wikileaks on Twitter:

US Army crowd control doctrine [active as of April 2014] advocates assassinating protest leaders with snipers

The Victims

Considering the Libya and Thailand examples, younger people are usually the chosen targets. In Libya, I think both victims were boys, although that would mean the incident was apparently on the 16th, not the 17th of February. Anywyay, I've reflected a bit on who is chosen by provocateur snipers, and decided these are the possible criteria. The more that are met, the more likely it is that a false flag sniping has occurred. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:59, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

  1. The target is young, and shows the most promise cut short, by the regime of course.
  2. He might not make good fighter - pudgy, lazy, too young, too old, etc.
  3. Killing the young, weak, and harmless, if it's blamed on the regime, makes the regime look worse, more insane, etc.
  4. The target is a suspect infiltrator or etc. This we will probably have no clue about, if so.
  5. The target is not dressed right for the sniper's tastes, or too much to his taste - in a t-shirt with too perfect a message to not be in photos of a killed protester, etc.

Fake Sniper Precedents

All this makes me nostalgic for the early days of April, 2011 when I was exposing completely fake sniper evidence then concocted to justify air war against Libya. In best form, the targets were little kids. Someone made one clearly fake x-ray and used it as proof for all of them (at least for the two I found any visual evidence for).

I don't suppose we just can go back to that kind of harmless (to the kids, sort of) tomfoolery, not until these Islamo-nihilists and their grim realism are stomped out. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:36, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Update, Oct. 22: We did get back to that, as a side-issue of note, not in replacement of the brutal and murky reality. See below for claims out of (Aleppo?) of likely real and horrific sniper activity, that is also supposed to be supported by the third image below, posted Oct. 19 by Syria Support, just as I was writing the above, give or take. Before that, the image(s) I referred to above. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:07, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

X-ray kid.jpg

The proof the x-ray is fake: inherent, more or less.

X-ray girl boy comp.jpg

The proof that the same x-ray was used to prove two different alleged sniped tykes of Misrata

Fetus with Misrata magic bullet - full.png

The supposed x-ray proof from (Aleppo?), Syria, recently.

Brutal "Games" In Syria

Aug 24, 2013: Dead before being alive. #Aleppo, yesterday. 8-month pregnant lady get shot #Syria

ITV News spoke to Dr. David "Nott Mi6" Nott, a British surgeon with MSF/Doctors without Borders, who taught Libyan rebels in Misrata "Trauma Surgery Management During Wartime" just before their final brutal offensive in the summer of 2011 (don't forget the skill these Misratans showed in Tripoli's Abu Salim trauma hospital a few weeks later!) One other time, in Congo Nott carried out "life-saving emergency amputation on a boy who had been either bitten by a hippopotamus or caught in some rebel crossfire," and now he's volunteering in Syria on the anti-government side and is an expert on rebel crossfire/snipers vs. regime/hippo sniper games. There's no location given for this, aside from "a hospital at the heart of Syria's conflict." My guess in somewhere in the Islamist-plagued north, either Aleppo at or near that famous sniper alley taken this turn, or other places even darker. He would probably come in through Turkey and not go too far in. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

One day we'd have pregnant women being brought in with gunshot wounds to the uterus. Not just one or two, but seven or eight, which meant to me they (the snipers) must be targeting pregnant women.
And the following day, we would get people coming in with chest wounds to the right side of the chest. The next day it would be the left side and no other injuries. Then it would be groin wounds; everybody would come in with a groin wound.
So it seemed to me that there was a death game going on with the snipers

ITV's Bill Neely adds:

If it's true, it's a heartless, filthy game being played in the middle of a hopeless war.

I suspect it is true that snipers in Syria are doing shit like this. I don't think he'd make that up or would need to. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:04, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

A second interview the UK Times, passed on here by the Telegraph, has Dr. Nott adding a little to the game aspect.

"...It was a game. We heard the snipers were winning packets of cigarettes for hitting the correct number of targets.”

Oh he heard that, did he? Well, that might very well be so. A lot of different possible things can in fact be said. Whoever did it and why for the good-natured high-influence foreigner to observe with horror, they really wanted to prove it wasn't random. He said six pregnant women were hit in the belly in a single day, and two on another day. "They survived but their unborn babies died, one suffering a bullet to the brain," the Telegraph summarized. As for location within Syria, still strangely unclear.

David Nott, who has spent five weeks volunteering in a Syrian hospital, said each day snipers would chose to aim at different parts of the civilians' bodies as they ran from one part of the city to another to buy food and supplies.
My best guess is still Aleppo, but there are cities reduced to this kind of shit existence since the freedom project was approved. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:40, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Separately, the Times ran, or was supposed to run (?) an image provided by the Syria Relief group on the 19th, proving fetuses were shot in the brain. Of course it doesn't. It almost exactly replicates the Misrata fakes, just as I was yearning, above, for the kind of comic relief. (see also the talk page here for the image I hope all the laughing off of cheap propaganda doesn't distract people from what actually may be a serious crime spree that should be investigated as if it mattered. I still don't think Nott is making this up. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:40, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Syria Support Relief: from the main page scanned, raises money to provide financial air directly to certain Syrians. Seem to arrange flour and milk deliveries to liberated areas only, reef Aleppo but not likely to the rebel-sanctioned starvation zones. And they call for more of Syria to be liberated, so that more Syrians can again eat and stuff. They, with these funds maybe, (claim to be) the ones who arranged for Dr. Nott's visit to be in the way of the snipers' trail of carnage. October 19 press release:

A number of leading UK and international newspapers appearing today have carried a heart-breaking picture of an x-ray of an unborn baby, killed by a sniper bullet shown lodged in the skull of the foetus.
This haunting image is but one of many equally heart-breaking photos and videos that the Syria Relief Media Team have captured.
Recently, Syria Relief facilitated a visit by a prominent British Surgeon, Mr David Nott, to some of the hospitals serving civilians caught in the conflict. His first-hand eyewitness account was the subject of a highly praised news item on ITV News on Wednesday, 16th October 2013 (http://www.itv.com/news/2013-10-16/this-is-what-deadlocked-war-leads-to-syrias-sniper-game/).
Syria Relief, once again, calls upon the International Community, Western Government, and international relief organisations to do their utmost to establish safe humanitarian corridors to ensure that humanitarian aid, food, clean water, and medical supplies can be delivered to millions of civilians in besieged Syrian cities, towns and villages.

Updates:

  • I thought one source specifies the mother of this fetus died, and maybe so, I didn't re-locate it easily. Everything else suggest she probably allegedly survived. This is all alleged. So any points I made above based on presuming she's supposed to have died are probably baseless. The other woman CDV lists is an unrelated second victim of the day, with perhaps only the two that day.
  • The Telegraph also ran a piece exclusively about the x-ray evidence, but I won't even bother getting the link again, as it's just a short re-assembly of the relevant parts of the other article, with a bit of redundant context about Nott's stuff. And it has the same video, or a different one maybe.
  • I started a discussion thread on this at the Randi forum I've been away from forever. Both CE and technically Petri are members there, so it seemed worth mentioning. I've felt super-busy, but really I'm not sure what to do, could use a change of scenery, a few more views, etc. and hopefully some useful thought, research, previews of counter-arguments, etc. Then a better overall plan for what to do. I might continue having time and kicking ass like lately. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:23, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

In Homs

The central city of Homs, one of Syria's largest and near the Lebanese border, was always seen as crucial. Opposition people said the city had risen up against the government and was punished with shelling, abduction-murders, and of course unseen snipers, staring in mid-2011, worsening after the pressured government pull-out, until the re-conquest of rebel-held districts in February, 2012. There are many reported instances of apparently random firing on the public, but one victim of one of those incidents received extra study and gives potential insights into the broader patterns. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:12, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Sari Saoud

Main article: The Killing of Sari Saoud
Georgina with Sari's body, and activists, just before meeting the ambulance, finally
November 26, 2011, al-Bayada Homs. 9-year-old Sari was holding his mother's hand and eating a biscuit when a low-level bullet tore clear through his chest, armpit-to-armpit, killing him instantly. His mother Georgina, a Christian who was wearing a crucifix at the time, screamed for help, and some local activists (no sniper rifle visible) rushed right in to save him. They wouldn't take her, even as she tried to climb in the truck; they drove off with her son's body while she followed the trail of blood until it ended. Apart from her, they filmed his body, blaming army snipers, and demanding a foreign bombing campaign. Georgina was eventually fetched and filmed falling on her son's body, right before she demanded he finally be taken to a hospital before he died. Of course he was dead, and once she had confirmation, at the national hospital, she spoke to Addounia TV, blaming the same rebels for the killing and propaganda use of her son, lamenting that if the army had been there, her son would not have been killed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:12, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Odd Targets

Sometimes, the unseen presumed regime snipers decide to kill people known as government loyalists. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:12, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Maya Nasser, Syrian reporter with Iran's Press TV:

Killed September 26 in Damascus while reporting from the scene of a terrorist car bombing. No one much has tried to blame "the regime" for Nasser's death - the killers are either rebels or "unknown." Amnesty International (PDF) noted it was "apparently by an opposition sniper," that "He had received threatening calls in the weeks prior to his killing," and "while no armed opposition group publicly claimed responsibility for his killing, Facebook groups and pages aligned to the Syrian opposition and the FSA posted news celebrating the “squashing of the media shabih Maya Nasser”." Moon of Alabama article, Wikipedia.

Odd note: Sari and Maya are both usually girl's names, and both male sniper victims with those names were from a Christian background. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:12, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

In the Siege of Aleppo

(basic section for now)

As Islamist rebels and their "Sharia courts" impose a near-total life embargo (food, medicine, fuel, not to mention weapons or anything) on the areas of Aleppo still government-held, allegedly-regime snipers routinely pick off the pathetic few who try passing through to rebel turf to have a bite to eat. Actually, I'm hazy on the details, and this part still needs looked at. It's said they shoot children especially. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:12, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

On Facebook: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:59, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Aleppo: Father and daughter were killed 2 months ago, nobody dares to take the bodies away because of snipers.
Jesus, I say for effect as an Atheist. It's already like Tripoli in August 2011. They really intend to and may have won by now and would secure a divided Syria with a terrorist-militia-run wasteland just south of NATO/Turkey's who-gives-a-fuck super border. Poor all these people. :( :( :( --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:32, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

13-Year-Old Rebel Sniper

On YouTube:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:43, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Interesting. Almost deserves its own section except that this kid obviously doesn't count as unseen/allegedly regime. But he does help show the other side has snipers and shoddy morals, so ... I'll promote it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)