Qatar’s Questionable Syrian Torture Allegations

what's left

By Stephen Gowans

A report sponsored by one of the Syrian insurgency’s major weapons suppliers claims to provide “new visual corroboration that Mr. Assad’s government is guilty of mass war crimes against its own citizens.” Based on photos of dead detainees said to be taken by a defector from the Syrian military, the report alleges that Syrian forces engaged in widespread torture.

While the allegations may be true, there is considerable room for skepticism.

First, and foremost, the photographs on which the report is based have not been independently verified.

Second, the driving force behind the report is Qatar, which has been energetically engaged in efforts to bring down the Syrian government. Part of that effort has been to supply Syrian and foreign jihadists– themselves the target of torture accusations–with arms.

Third, there are three reasons the Qatari emirate might have an interest in traducing the Syrian government with phony…

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