Syrian troops take to the hills of Jisr Ashoughour not to pursue armed gangs, but to prevent a stream of refugees from crossing the border into Turkey.
Current official figures regarding the campaign in Jisr Ashoughour give the lie to earlier official reports about the size of the alleged mutiny-cum-rebellion-cum-insurrection-salafist take over. Let assume all these reports are true (take a sack-full of salt to make it happen): there was a mass grave containing 16 bodies belonging to security officers, “many” of rebels were captured, “2” were killed, 1 “confessed” his crimes on Syrian TV, 1 soldier died and 4 others were wounded during the operation. Contrast these figures with earlier reports of 40, no 80, no 120 security officers killed (official figures kept jumping upward from one hour to the next until they settled on 120). Now tell me you don’t feel stupid for relying on official reports, if you were one of those who did!
It’s not only a question where gang members went, because we know there never were any armed gangs, and it’s not question of who killed the 120 security officers, because the numbers are simply fictitious. The truth is simple: there were some defections, and there was a brief clash between the few defectors and the army of loyalists, one that proved more deadly to the defectors than to the loyalists. But the scale of what happened was nowhere near a mutiny, nor was it a battle against defectors or gangs, but a terror campaign against an unarmed civilian population whose basic demands for freedom and justice remain an anathema to the Assads and their loyalists.
But don’t take my word for it. Take it straight from the horse’s mouth: the leader of the “insurrection” himself whose statements were so exaggerated by some experts and journalists as to make them honorary members of the Assadist media.
For a true picture of what actually happened and is happening in Jisr Ashoughour, please read as well the following two reports by brave Time’s correspondent Rania Abouzeid – she’s been there!
Although, Rania still accepts the figure of 120 dead security officers without questioning, the whole affair becomes insignificant once you begin reading eyewitness accounts of what took place, and then go through her interview with Colonel Harmoush himself, “The Soldier Who Gave Up on Assad to Protect Syria's People”: