Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Syrian news claims 5 kids killed by Israeli mine

From SANA, Syria's official "news" agency:

An Israeli mine blast on Tuesday killed 5 children from one family in al-Rafid village, southern al-Quneitra province.

Head of the General Association for Rehabilitating Mine-injured People, Dr. Omar al-Hibeh said the martyrs are all brothers, pointing out that the number of people killed because of leftover Israeli mines in al-Quneitra province increased to 225 and the number of wounded people is 720.

For his part, Governor of al-Quneitra province, Hussain Arnous, said the people of the occupied Syrian Arab Golan are suffering from a chronic problem which is the mine fields set up by the Israeli occupation army around the villages and farms.

Director of the Martyr Mahmoud Abaza Hospital in al-Quneitra, Dr. Ali Kanaan, said the hospital received 10 injured people because of mine and cluster bomb blasts this year.

The Israeli occupation forces set up more than one million mines and cluster bombs before they withdrew from al-Qenitera city.
There are definitely old landmines in the area, some of them Israeli, just as there are old Syrian minefields through the Golan Heights - but they haven't killed anywhere close to 225 people, and they didn't kill five kids yesterday.

The way to know that this story is bogus is simple: It doesn't even say the family name of the supposedly five dead brothers.

But that doesn't mean that Arabic media is skeptical when reporting it. Al Quds al Arabi even adds the poignant "fact" that the brothers were all between 3 and 6 years old.

However, there might be a grain of truth in the story.  Syria has been mining its own border with Lebanon to stop people from fleeing the country. Is it possible that some people were killed trying to flee Syria, forcing Syria to blame Israel?