, 12 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Thread on why this report is problematic. theguardian.com/world/2019/may…
2/ 1st I laud the bravery of a western media crew entering an active warzone risking injury/death/capture to report. Even more when they’re embedded w Islamic extremists in Idlib, where many journos were kidnapped/killed. The Sky crew were doing their job & deserve respect. But…
3/ To claim they were “deliberately targeted by the Syrian government” is absurd. This is a regime that does not even have the ability to conduct targeted strikes and for the last 8 years has been condemned for indiscriminate targeting.
4/ There was supposed to be a Russian-Turkish ceasefire but HTS broke it when they attacked Kafranbudeh, and nothing is battle free.
5/ It’s self centered for western journalists to embed with a faction in a war and then insist that they themselves are the targets. It’s a war and 2 sides are trying to kill each other. The enemy of the side with which you are embedded will try to kill the side you’re on.
6/ It reminds me of Catch 22: “They're trying to kill me," Yossarian told him calmly.
“No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried.
“Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked.
“They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."
7/ As far as the Syrians or Russians would be concerned they were just more insurgents on the front line.
8/ This part is also worth commenting on: “the Sky team had “press” written on his flak jacket. Crawford said she was wearing a black abaya “to observe cultural sensitivities” during Ramadan.”

Who was going to read at that great distance what was written on flak jackets?
9/ This is journalistic narcissism. If Sky had been embedded w/ the Syrian army HTS would also NOT try to carefully discern who’s wearing a shirt that said “press”. Let me stop shooting at the enemy trying to kill me so I can make out the strange letters written on their clothes!
10/ As for her clothing (the abaya), good luck dressing like a western woman in HTS controlled Idlib, whether its Ramadan or Christmas!
11/ And to call Bilal Abdul Kareem a “civilian activist” and “a New Yorker who moved to Syria 3 years ago,” omits the fact that he is part of the HTS media operations.
12/ Bilal Abdul Kareem’s reports often have value because they shed light on Idlib and he’s definitely fun to watch (and surprisingly fit, is he going to the gym?) but let’s not pretend he is not a propagandist for jihadist extremists.
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