UK Journalist Says Rebels Led Him into Syrian Army Death Trap
A British journalist is accusing opposition forces of deliberately leading him into a death trap set by Syrian Army troops.
Alex Thomson, chief correspondent for Channel 4 News, told fellow journalists that he and two other journalists, along with a translator, were being driven by a member of the rebel forces in the town of Qusair, 30 minutes from Homs.
He had directed the driver last Monday to take them to government-held lines -- but things didn't work out that way.
"Suddenly four men in a black car beckon us to follow. We move out behind,” he was quoted in a blogged account posted on Channel 4's website, and quoted by The Telegraph.
The vehicle was led down a dead-end street, “straight into a free-fire zone... Told by the Free Syrian Army to follow a road that was blocked off in the middle of no-man's land.”
The crack of a bullet and a race toward a side street with another dead-end sent the car backing out into the firing zone once more, where they driver finally “floored it back to the road we'd been led in on.”
Thomson insisted the incident had been no mistake. “I'm quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army... Dead journos are bad for Damascus.”
He and his colleagues eventually made it back to the government lines. Thomson is no longer in Syria, currently rated by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists as “the most dangerous place for journalists in the world.”