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Yahya Ababneh exposed. Syria "rebel chemicals" story may have come from Russian source

New questions have arisen about Yahya Ababneh, the alleged author of an article claiming that the chemical deaths in Damascus last month were caused by rebel fighters mishandling weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia. 

The story, originally published by an American website, Mint Press News, has since been cited by Russian officials (and others) to cast doubt on the findings of the UN weapons inspectors in Syria.

Mint Press named the journalists who wrote the story as Dale Gavlak - an established freelance based in Jordan who has worked regularly for the Associated Press - and Yahya Ababneh, a Jordanian.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 22nd, 2013 at 08:53:22 AM EST
If Yahya Ababneh and Yan Barakat are indeed the same person, the question arises as to why Mint Press called him Ababneh rather than Barakat (which is the name he appears to have used for his other writing). If there were fears for his safety it would have been far better to be up-front about it and declare the use of a pseudonym.

With hindsight, this may also explain why Mint Press was so insistent on including Dale Gavlak's name in the joint by-line.

As far as the most crucial part of the article is concerned, we are also left wondering what to make of Barakat's statement that he was alerted to the "rebel weapons" tale by a Russian who befriended him in Damascus.

I had caught a reference in twitter yesterday to the fact that "Barakat" used the "Ababneh" name only on Mint Press.

But there is more:It appears that

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 22nd, 2013 at 10:18:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Following Benjamin Doherty's link.

Yovav Kalifon | His finger on the pain, Jordanian tells Israelis how it is

Yahya (Yan) Barakat Ababneh is a freelance journalist, Arabic tutor, tourist guide and stage actor. He covered events in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Libya. His stories appeared on Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News and elsewhere.

Yovav Kalifon | His finger on the pain, Jordanian tells Israelis how it is

Lets take some inspiration from Yan. Here is a man who was not afraid to report from Syria, and got beaten up both by Assad supporters and by rebels, each side accusing him of supporting the other camp.

By coming to Israel to talk to Israelis Yan was again taking risks. His career in journalism, theater connections, respect from family and friends, even his personal safety may be at risk after publishing his reports.

Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News are all in arabic. Anyone skilled in arabic might want to go check what he has written before.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 22nd, 2013 at 04:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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