Sept. 9, 2013
NewsRescue– A Belgian teacher who was kidnapped by rebels in Syria said he overheard the militants acknowledging that President Bashar Al-Assad was not responsible for last month’s deadly chemical weapons attack.
Speaking French, Piccinin tells RTL that he overheard rebels acknowledging that Assad was not behind the chemical weapons attack.
Pierre Piccinin da Prata was kidnapped along with Italian war journalist Domenico Quirico back in April near Damascus. According to Quirico, the two were subjected to torture, humiliation and mock executions by the western-backed rebels. They were freed yesterday and flown to Rome after the Italian Foreign Ministry managed to secure their release.
According to Quirico, the rebels who held him and Piccinin as prisoners set about on a “terrifying odyssey across Syria.”
“We were moved around a lot…it was not always the same group that held us, there were very violent groups, very anti-West and some anti-Christian,” he told AFP, adding that when the two escaped they were tracked down by rebels within 48 hours and “seriously punished.”
Piccinin told Italy’s RTL radio that he heard a conversation during which members of the Abu Ammar rebel brigade admitted that Assad was not behind the attack in Ghouta that the Obama administration has cited in building a case for military intervention.
“It is a moral duty to say this. The government of Bashar al-Assad did not use Sarin gas or other types of gas in the outskirts of Damascus,” said Piccinin.
While the Obama administration has insisted that “common sense” and not “irrefutable evidence” is enough to prove that Assad was behind the attack, others have begged to differ.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the attack was a “provocation” carried out by rebels in order to create a pretext for US military intervention.
Phone calls intercepted by Germany’s BND intelligence also indicate that Assad was not behind last month’s attack nor any other alleged chemical weapons incident.
Last week, Russia announced that it had compiled a 100 page report proving opposition rebels “were behind a deadly sarin gas attack in an Aleppo suburb earlier this year,” the same attack that Carla Del Ponte, the leading member of the UN inquiry into the incident, blamed on rebels.
As we previously highlighted, Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta admitted to a reporter that they were responsible for last month’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.
Despite the fact that the report was written by credible Associated Press and BBC correspondent Dale Gavlak, it has received virtually zero mainstream attention.
In addition, leaked phone conversations that emerged earlier this year between two members of the Free Syrian Army contain details of a plan to carry out a chemical weapons attack capable of impacting an area the size of one kilometer. Footage was also leaked showing opposition militants testing what appeared to be nerve agents on laboratory rabbits.
On Thursday we featured a video of an FSA militant apparently confessing to using chemical weapons in order to follow Osama Bin Laden’s mantra of killing women and children.