Thursday, October 09, 2008

Found on the Road to Allepo

News services in Lebanon are reporting that two American journalists, missing since October 1st when they embarked on a trip to Allepo, Syria, are being held in a Syrian prison on charges of "entering the country illegally". According to Lebanese news website, NOW Lebanon:
Newswires, including the satellite channel Al-Jazeera and the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) have reported that the two US nationals were arrested in Syria after trying to cross the border illegally.

The Syrian authorities arrested the two US citizens when they tried to enter Syrian territories with informal documents, which aroused the suspicions of border control, an informed source in Syria told NOW Lebanon.

Luck and Chmela were then taken for questioning on charges of identity usurpation, the source added.

The two gave testimonies that did not match, the source added, which aroused more suspicions that they could be members of espionage cells hostile to Syria, and possibly even Israeli cells.

The source said Chmela and Luck may be handed over to the US Embassy in Jordan.

Syrian authorities made “necessary calls” to inform the “concerned parties” of the US citizens’ detention, adding that the arrests did not have any motives other than investigating the false documents.

Yet LBC reported that the US Embassy in Damascus said it had received no information on such an arrest.
Whatever the case may be, and whatever the official Syrian line, it would appear that Luck and Chmela's disappearance was in fact of the Kronos variety, as we had speculated yesterday...

...consider it another case of the dictator's peace (and stability). Their effluent rhetoric (pretty to some) will hold promises of change, progress, and reform - at a pace consistent with their "unique status", of course - but at the end of the day their brutal behavior never changes.

Now how about those hundreds of Lebanese who "went missing" on that road to Allepo? When will we find them languishing in Syria's prisons and when will that regime allow them to return home?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Thanks for the updates and commentary, its very helpful to see this all in context.


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