I have a good friend named Maya Gebeily who works for Agence France Press out of Beirut and who’s been working out there for almost four years now. She’s been to bombings, she’s reported from Mosul, and now she and her colleagues and doing what they can to cover the most recent set of attacks in Syria. She’s got a newsletter, and it’s worth reading and every link in it’s worth clicking.
If you’re gonna care about anything, care about this:
|Good morning from Beirut,|
In August 2013, my colleagues at (now-closed) NOW Lebanon and I were hunched over our laptops, speechlessly watching people suffocate to death on YouTube after an alleged chemical attack near Damascus. Almost four years later, in a post-red line world, the AFP team watched a hauntingly similar scene play out again — this time, in Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province.
At least 72 people, including 20 children, have died since air strikes on the town released some kind of toxic substance. The World Health Organisation says some of the victims had symptoms consistent with exposure to nerve gases. Our team worked round-the-clock to document what happened here:
Hours after the strike, I received a breathless phone call from AFP’s correspondent, who had been inside a small clinic where dozens of people — many of them children — were being treated for gruesome symptoms. It had just been bombed.
“I just got out from under the rubble. The hospital is gone.”
I really encourage you to read his account, alongside another AFP photographer in the town — particularly amid accusations that “no reporters” were there or could verify what happened: https://correspondent.afp.
Fingers around the world quickly pointed at Syrian government forces, who in turn blamed rebel groups. I dive into some of this “whodunnit,” as well as the testimony from the ground, in a brief radio interview. Just click on the blue arrow to the right of the title.
It’s been a long 24 hours for AFP’s team in Beirut and in Syria, but an unimaginable six years for those living through the conflict. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions.
It might also behoove you to know this:
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 4, 2017