Syria Daily: Surrender Agreement Northeast of Damascus

Russian and Assad regime forces oversee forced removal of rebels and families from Dumayr, Syria, April 19, 2018

Pro-Assad forces trying to remove last opposition area near Syrian capital Damascus



Fog of Trolls: Pro-Assad Misinformation Over Douma Chemical Attacks
Syria’s Disinformation Activists

The Assad regime, Russia, and their allies have forced another surrender agreement northeast of Damascus, less than two weeks after the capture of East Ghouta near Syria’s capital.

Forced removals of fighters and their families began in the desert town of Dumayr, days after the first reports that rebels had finally capitulated. Regime police and security forces then entered.

About 5,000 people, including 1,500 rebels, are expected to be transferred to north Syria under the Russian-brokered deal.

Dumayr had been covered by an informal ceasefire for years, but — as with the case of Damascus suburbs reoccupied by pro-Assad forces since 2016 — the regime returned to siege and military action as it removes any opposition presence in the area around the capital.

The town’s capture also enables regime forces to control the Damascus-Baghdad highway, a key route for weapons to Assad’s military.

Said Seif, a senior official with the Ahmad Abdo Martyrs factions, said rebels had no choice but to capitulate: “We hope the Russians keep their promises, even though we have no trust in them.”

In a nearby opposition enclave in Eastern Qalamoun, several towns and an area of hills — previously covered by an informal ceasefire — rebels said they are negotiating with Russia for capitulation.

Russia Accidentally Confirms Interrogation of Douma Medics Amid Chemical Attack Denial

Russia has unwittingly admitted to the interrogation of medical staff from Douma, amid efforts to deny the April 7 chemical attacks on the Damascus suburb.

Local sources said that, soon after the attacks, doctors and other personnel were taken by Russian forces for questioning and threatened with arrest and possible harm to their families if they did not carry out the denials.

Sputnik subsequently featured two medical staff saying there had been no assault, and UK journalist Robert Fisk found another doctor — who was not present at the hospital treating victims — declaring that at least 85 dead and hundreds injured were due to dust from shelling.

See UK Journalist Given Access to Douma to Deny Chemical Attacks

State outlet RT gives away the Russian tactics in this passage:

Doctors and medical workers questioned by the Russian Center for Reconciliation confirmed that there had been no reports of patients suffering from chemical poisoning in Douma during the timeframe of the alleged gas attack.

At the time of the attacks, doctors testified to victims with symptoms not only from chlorine but also exposure to organophosphates. Medical staff who have left Douma continue to speak of two chemical attacks, refuting the Russian and Assad line.

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    • The crediable threat of a chemical attack was apparently enough in this case. Everyone is now sure the regime is playing by “Hama rules” …

  1. No chemical wafare was not required, starvation, no medical facilties, constant bombing and shelling would be adequate!

  2. 10 Questions from A Medical Point of View on Douma Incident:

    “Following the recent incident in Douma on 7 April 2018, western news and media outlets released information before any scientific inspection had taken place. The USA, France and the UK justified their recent attacks on Syria based on these unconfirmed reports. Taking into account the vast experiences gained from dealing with and treating chemical victims, including Sarin, during the Iran Iraq war, the following points regarding the Douma incident seem unclear and must be explained by experts.”

    • The “questions” from Fars — the outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards — are riddled with errors of basic medical fact and a distortion of the accounts of the chemical accounts.

      But interesting to see the Guards’ propaganda line.

  3. Hassan Diab, boy in the WH video, denies he was the victim of a chemical attack:

    James Tour, a chemist at Rice university, has described the alleged chemical weapons allegation as a farce. He relates that a nerve agent like sarin would have killed anyone who came into contact with it (hundreds if not thousands should be dead), and chlorine at most would have killed only those in a small room where it was dispersed.

    • Yeah, James Tour is a favorite of RT’s — he’s also a denialist on the Skripal attack.

      Since no one is saying that the stronger agent is sarin — or even that the 2nd attack was with an organophosphate alone — his latest is irrelevant at this point.

  4. Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, claims that red tape, not Russia, holding up the OPCW:

    “I don’t accept what (Treasury Secretary Liz Truss) says about the Russians stopping it. My understanding is that it’s a United Nations problem with their red tape and their safety and with getting their stuff through. That is what’s I am told.”

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