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According to Turkish media a group of Turkish and foreign journalists has visited Hama, Syria today.

A series of 33 of the photographs taken during the visit can be seen here.

Originally posted to InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Eyes on Egypt and the Region.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:12:15 AM PDT

  •  That was one heck of a 'managed' delegation (6+ / 0-)

    of journalists. The official SANA narrative is depressing and (between the lines) a bit scary.

    [...]
    A press delegation including 72 journalists, reporters and photographers representing 37 mass media organizations including ones from France and the U.S. paid a visit to Hama to witness the reality of the situation there and the methodical vandalism and crimes committed by armed terrorist groups against civilians, law-enforcement, general establishments and police stations.

    The delegation toured Hama and documented the acts of sabotage and arson against private property, photographing the state departments and establishments that were vandalized, pillaged and burned along with police stations.

    Reporters conducted interviews with the locals, including those who returned to Hama after being chased out by the armed terrorist groups, listening to detailed explanations about the acts of assault, murder and bloodthirsty brutality committed against them.
    [...]

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:29:53 AM PDT

    •  The only thing I am sure about at this (8+ / 0-)

      time is that the Syrian army is taking some brutal measures and people are being killed - by the army and possibly by armed opposition groups.

      I get so much conflicting information that I really don't know what is happening.

      My Turkish friends who live near the border and go there quite often say everything is more or less calm and normal, but media and oppositon reports say there is widespread brutal oppression.

      We have talked about me going to Syria with them this month and I am trying to arrange it.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:43:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shelling? (4+ / 0-)

    I keep hearing the term "shelling" used to describe Syrian army attacks (though it's not clear whether that refers to tanks or artillery).  I didn't see anything in any of those photos that looks like a shell crater.  Absolutely nothing, which seems like just the sort of thing a journalist would want a picture of.  Any idea why?

    "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    by weasel on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 06:57:58 AM PDT

    •  Essentially all of the reports of (4+ / 0-)

      'shelling' come from the two largest and most vocal opposition groups.

      It's propbably because most people think 'if there are tanks there has to be shelling'. 'Shelling civilians' is also a phrase with a lot of emotional impact.

      Since I saw the Syrian opposition's meeting in Antalya I have been very hesitant to take what they say as being completely true.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 07:06:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The damage to the building(s) in pictures (2+ / 0-)

      2, 3, 23, 28, 31 and 32 might be from a shell but it also might be from a grenade or small bomb. There doesn't seem to have been a large explosion.

      Also did you notice the general lack of bullet holes in the walls of the buildings?

      I am also curious about the position of the vehicles in the photograph above. Did they end up like this as a result of the fighting or were they placed this way as a barrier by the people who were in the building? The vehicle on its side seems like it could have been placed there to block the entrance to the building.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 07:35:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or just from fire (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya

        I saw things that could have been from shells, but could just as easily have been from other things, including fire (which doesn't need a military weapon).  I noticed the lack of bullet holes, too.  

        "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

        by weasel on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 07:42:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah perhaps the Syrians really are being (5+ / 0-)

          nice guys and not doing any shelling or even firing weapons. I mean notice the lack of bullet holes in the photos shown.

          Here are some shots of the Syrians not firing guns or having their tanks fire (/snark)... Notice the BBQ'ing fires all around the city throwing up all that smoke - because you know the lack of military action there. (/snark)

          I mean a few SANA pictures should disprove anything... right? (/snark)

          From the Telegraph UK video - here are people not getting shot at, and having tons of BBQ's (at least from the smoke in the air) (/snark)

          DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

          by volleyboy1 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 09:52:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The video in your comment shows: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fire bad tree pretty

            A lot of people standing around in different locations with the sounds of gunfire in the background.

            A lot of smoke rising from several distant locations. There are no images which show what is burning, and no images which show how the fires started or who started them.

            Two Syrian armoured personnel carriers stopped at the side of a street are shown in one segment with three buses, one car and one truck passing them. No shots are being fired from the APCs.

            One wounded man being taken into a hospital is shown.

            In several scenes burning tires can be seen in the streets.

            There are no tanks in this video.

            There are no Syrian forces shooting at civilians in this video.

            At the beginning of the video The Telegraph notes:

            Amateur video claims to show residents in Hama, Syria attacked by government forces.

            Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

            by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 11:46:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are parsing way too much... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya, fizziks

              The RT video below shows the tanks firing.

              In the beginning people are ducking from what? Morning Calisthentics? The fires buring throughout the city are what? Campfires? I mean come on... Too many witnesses.

              Do I think that the Syrian resistance is not entirely truthful.. sure, however, to claim nothing is happening and that people are not being shot because there are no bullet holes in some buildings or shell craters in others is silly.

              DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

              by volleyboy1 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 12:14:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I never claimed that nothing is happening. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fire bad tree pretty

                I stated that I don't know what is happening because I see and hear too much contradictory information and that I am very hesitant about believing the opposition.

                I don't know why they are ducking. There is the sound of gunfire but no indication as to who is shooting, and no one is shown to have been shot in those segments.

                I also don't know what is burning but I do know that there are claims by the Syrian opposition that the fires were caused by Syrian military attacks and claims by the Syrian government that they were caused by armed opposition groups.

                I may be parsing too much, but at the same time you may be reading too much into the media reports and videos.

                As to witnesses, almost all of the media reports are attributed to something like 'a telephone interview with an unnamed person who claims to live in (name of city here)'.

                Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 12:34:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No.. the AP story clearly named names (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  InAntalya, fizziks

                  Be skeptical but there are simply too many reports coming about Syrian abuses to ignore. The amateur films seem to back that up.

                  Do you really take the world of the maniacal Assad regime? Really?

                  DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                  by volleyboy1 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 01:03:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The only people whose word I take right now (3+ / 0-)

                    are my Turkish friends who live along the Turkish-Syrian border - in four diferent places from the northwest corner of Syria to the northeast corner of Syria - and tell me what they see and hear when they go to Syria.

                    Everyone else right now I doubt - from the media, to the various governments, to the Syrian opposition.

                    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                    by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 01:10:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fair enough but your comments seem to imply (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      InAntalya

                      that Syria is merely acting in a "crowd control" manner rather than in a manner that has left thousands of it's own citizens dead.

                      At least that is the way they seem to me.

                      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                      by volleyboy1 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 01:17:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How something seems to a person (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        volleyboy1

                        is very personal and depends on each person's individual point of view.

                        Just to clarify, if anyone here has the impression, from what I have written, that I think that - or mean to imply that - the Syrian military is only doing 'crowd control', I'd like to state that this is not my opinion.

                        Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

                        by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 02:09:29 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  See below... (5+ / 0-)

      Just use Teh Google... type in Shelling of Hama 2011 Pictures

      You can see plenty of it and damage.

      Whether you trust the opposition or not there are a fair amount of eyewitnesses - probably not all of them are lying.

      BTW, I think when they talk about Shelling they are referring to tank fire (which is video taped - see below)

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 09:31:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Difficult images... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, Fire bad tree pretty

    to look at, but we must look at them.

    "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." — Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 08:11:19 AM PDT

  •  Interesting... the photos are of (4+ / 0-)

    a few barriers and some cars that were burned completely and a building that was obviously hit by something that penetrated and started a massive fire. From the AP (and we know that this is not necessarily totally accurate) we have this from named sources:

    Hama-based activist Omar Hamawi said tanks opened fire early Monday morning after a night of sporadic shooting. Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso confirmed Hama was being shelled. There was no immediate word on casualties.

    Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said there was also intense shooting in the eastern city of Deir el-Zour overnight.

    According to Haaretz btw, the photo above is from SANA.. and they had this to say:

    Syrian armored forces on an offensive to crush popular unrest stormed an important town on the main highway in a northern province near the border with Turkey on Thursday and at least 100 people were arrested, a resident and local activists said.

    "Around 14 tanks and armoured vehicles entered Saraqeb this morning, accompanied by 50 buses, pick-ups and security cars.

    On the Daily Beast there are videos of tank attacks... you can see them firing:

    Syria Crackdown: See Tweets, Photos and Videos from Hama

    DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

    by volleyboy1 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 09:10:13 AM PDT

    •  And the Turkish media and military (0+ / 0-)

      are stating that claims are being made by Syrian opposition groups that this morning Syrian armored forces entered Saraqeb - which is 40 km (25 miles) from the Turkish border.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 11:56:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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