A nun in Qara, Syria, claims she has "evidence" proving video footage of the deadly chemical attack in Syria was fabricated. Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, mother superior of St. James Monastery, told Russia Today that she plans to submit her findings to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Before we go any further, it must be noted that RT is widely considered to be the media mouthpiece of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime. Given the political differences in the Syria conflict between the U.S. and Russia, as well as the numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the chemical attack, it's hard to know what to discount and what to take seriously.
Yet, here we have an unlikely story that may get some attention in the news – but can anyone really trust Russia Today? Assuming the outlet didn't alter the nun's quotes in any way, let's start by examining exactly what she told RT.
Mother Agnes, a catholic nun who has lived in Syria for 20 years, says she has "carefully studied the footage" of the chemical attack in Syria and plans to "present a written analysis on it a bit later." She claims the "whole affair was a frame-up" and "prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator."
Here's what she considers to be "key evidence" in her research:
The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.
The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don’t see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children?
I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva.
Not exactly bombshell "evidence" -- though she claims there will be more facts included in her UN report.
Later in the interview, Mother Agnes praised Russia, China and India for standing against intervention in Syria. She also said "the international community and Syria's friends should join forces and say: Enough!"
"Everyone has spoken their mind, but the US prefers to turn a deaf ear," she added. "The world public opinion has turned against the US. It’s the first time in history that America is alone. They are claiming that they are backed by ten countries. But I insist they aren’t, because the people of these countries disagree with their governments. Even the American people disagree with their government."
FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, Syrian rebels attend a training session in Maaret Ikhwan near Idlib, Syria.Credit: AP
Responding to her critics who are trying to "discredit" her, the nun admitted there is a book "coming out soon in France that labels me as a criminal who kills people." It is an allegation that she denies.
Earlier on Friday, TheBlaze reported on claims that the Syrian government has dispatched reinforcements to a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus where rebels have clashed with regime troops this week.
In that report, a nun also spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity and discussed the persecution Christians are facing in the war-torn nation. It is perhaps noteworthy that some Christians apparently feel that life under the Assad regime is more favorable than a takeover by the Islamist rebels.