Channel 4 News's chief correspondent Alex Thomson says anti-Assad Syrian rebels plotted to kill him and his crew when they were in Syria.
He says that he and his crew were deliberately led by the rebels into an area where they would be killed.
He said: 'I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot ... Dead journos are bad for Damascus.'
'Suddenly four men in a black car beckon us to follow,' Thomson said: 'We move out behind.
'We are ...told by the Free Syrian Army to follow a road that was blocked off in the middle of no-man’s-land.
Alex in Syria.
'At that point there was the crack of a bullet and one of the slower three-point turns I’ve experienced. We screamed off into the nearest side-street for cover.
'Another dead-end. There was no option but to drive back out onto the sniping ground and floor it back to the road we’d been led in on...
'Predictably the black car was there which had led us to the trap. They roared off as soon as we re-appeared.'
He concluded his blog saying: 'In a war where they slit the throats of toddlers back to the spine, what’s the big deal in sending a van full of journalists into the killing zone?
Independent journalist Anhar Kochneva
Independent journalist Anhar Kochneva writes about Syria:
Anhar Kochneva writes:
1. I’ve been living permanently in Syria for the last seven months, and I saw only three ‘so-called demonstrations’. So-called, because there were very few people and they were clearly staged as a performance for journalists. “Protests” were shot on video for five or ten minutes before people quickly dispersed. In some cities, where bandits took control temporarily, they forced people to go to demonstrations.
2. Some weeks ago I was in Homs. I was in the sadly known Baba Amr district of Homs. Most of the residents have left their homes. My friends live 800 meters from Baba Amr. They told me that bandits fired at their houses. Not the Army. The Syrian army does not kill people. They only answer when the situation is extreme.
3. Most of the last months' casualties were soldiers of the Syrian Army. The so-called rebels fight in the streets, shoot videos and burn tires. If you see black smoke on a video “made by mobile phone”, it’s not the result of artillery fire by the army, it is smoke from burning tires.
Syria by zz77
4. A month ago I was in Zabadani in southwest Syria. The bandits kept the whole city in fear.
5. In Zabadani, my colleagues and I were captured by bandits. They showed us a rusty tank and said the tank fired at the town. But the two ruined houses were in the middle of the district. I do not think that the tank could shoot from the air or from behind the corner. They gathered a dozen people and organized a demonstration especially for us. At this moment I looked at the people's faces. I saw only fear and hatred on the faces. They were afraid of the bandits and hated them.
6. There are a lot of soldiers of fortune among the bandits. They are Chechens, Romanians, French, Libyans, and Afghans. Moreover, there was a very funny accident with Afghan soldiers. A few Afghans were caught and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ They replied, ‘We were told that we came to Israel, and at night we are shooting at Israeli buses. We are fighting with the enemy to liberate Palestine.’ It might be funny, but it is true. The guys were really surprised, ‘Are we in Syria? We thought we were in Israel!’
7. Tragically, Syria is an obstacle for the US to change the political balance in the Middle East. Read the book Where to Invade Next, edited by Stephen Elliott, and you will understand a lot about the Arab Spring.
8. In January, a mission of the League of Arab States gave a detailed report on the events in Damascus. They reported that police conduct in Homs was a reaction to the activities of the armed gangs. So far, the commission's report of LAS has not been published. I hope that the UN personnel are decent people who will objectively reflect the situation.