Christiane looks at why protesters are saying the World Cup only benefits outsiders.
By Lucky Gold
They really don’t believe what they saw on state television
Dutch journalist Sander van Hoorn was on the ground in Syria again on Thursday and provided an update on the confusing situation there.
Referring to Wednesday’s bombing that killed three of President Assad’s inner circle, van Hoorn said “much is still unclear and I’m afraid will stay that way.”
“I speak to a lot of people here that really don’t believe what they saw on state television.... They say it may all have been pre-recorded. So there’s a lot of doubts if the events that took place yesterday actually were really a suicide attack.”
Asked what might have taken place, van Hoorn said, “Basically, two things you hear might be true – that they (Assad’s ministers) died before and that they had to put something into motion to make it look like they were killed in a suicide blast. The other speculation is that something might have happened, right there, right then, but not a suicide. Maybe a murder by some elements of the regime against others.”
Given the uncertainty, he was asked if the regime is still in control: “Well, if you listen to the sounds they are,” said van Hoorn. “The biggest sounds are the thuds of the artillery fire. The president’s picture I guess in the suburbs they will tear it down…But here in the center of Damascus they (Assad’s pictures) are firmly in place.”
Going on with their lives as if nothing had happened
Without hard evidence, van Horn suggested that the truth about Wednesday’s events may remain elusive: “Speculations are always readily available in the Arab world. The problem is getting facts.”
He added, “You already have the problem that here in Syria facts are hard to come by. And now this is a civil war so both sides have an agenda; and that makes it harder to get at the truth.”
As for what did or didn’t happen to Assad’s high command, he concluded: “All I know is what I see. And what I saw yesterday was frankly a bizarre scene at the site of the blast…People were going on with their lives as if nothing had happened – buying stuff, chatting with each other, driving their cars, only streets away from where the blast was supposed to have happened.”