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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saving the Khaled Family

Idlib Chemical Massacre
Saving the Khaled Family
September 24, 2017
(rough, incomplete) 
last edits 9/26

A Troubling Story in Three Images
Three particular photos, examined in chronological order, paint a picture that raises yet more question over the alleged sarin attack in Khan Sheikhoun back in April. These include perhaps our earliest view of the first victims brought in to Al-Rahma cave "hospital," a base for Idlib Civil Defense (aka White Helmets). The rudimentary hospital was recently-built, dug-in to the limestone hillside (to protect against alleged airstrikes). There are reasonably-equipped medical spaces inside, but the place is apparently not even connected to the city's water and electrical supply. It's remote, but not terribly far, from the alleged attack site.

Here, victims are laid in the dirt lot, as a sort of triage area, you'd think. But the whole scene lacks medical equipment, even more than it lacks protective gear against the deadly sarin nerve agent they claim. Just hoses with water are seen, and the immobilized victims are relentlessly hosed down in the mud. There's little point to this if they're dead - presumably these are paralyzed people being washed for safety before they're taken inside the hospital for treatment. But it's not clear if any of these people was ever taken inside and treated, and as we'll see, this batch of victims definitely wasn't.

First noted in a rough graphic
thanks to Qoppa999 noticing the turck's odd 77W markings, spurring me to look closer.
Times are by solar angle, estimated, with current estimates fair but inexact. I hope to get more exact readings added soon. Times cited in that first graphic are not all correct.

Image 1 (ACLOS): Around 7:20-7:30 am (This is the hardest of the three to time by the good method I used - I've earlier declared 7:10, but that was apparently off by a bit - see below)

Here about 35-50 minutes after the alleged sarin drop (at app.6:37 am), we get this early view of men in the foreground, women and children mixed into the larger group further off. You should think they had been recently unloaded from those two white trucks - Hyundai super-Porter H-100, sides lowered for unloading.

We don't get to see what kind of protection was used when unloading them, let alone when first loading them. Nor do we see where that loading happen. We don't see that anywhere, possibly because they were all loaded from a few centralized gas chambers.We were told these folks were asleep in bed when the attack happened, and then they managed to get dressed in street clothes but mostly with no shoes, as we see, before rescuers found them. But clearly, that may not be true. (Or did the rescuers take the time to remove everyone's shoes first thing, as super-contaminated? Did they bother wearing gloves?)

Image 2 (ACLOS): about 5-7 minutes later (7:25-7:35?)

Here the group with women and children is seen better from closer-up. Little has changed, but it's only been a few minutes. Note the four children in the middle in distinct colors, perhaps two more older children to the right and left.

One strange thing here is the purple color in the insides of the woman's legs nearest to us, with other unusual colors on the skin. This could be bruising and some other abuse one would probably call torture, or some strange coincidences I'm not imagining yet. Legs might be swollen, misshapen. If that's damage, it was probably done prior to these socks being put on her.
Clothes can be strange like this (see comments). Possible deformation could be from the same pixel distortion.

Image 3 (ACLOS): Around 7:55-8:05?

Here we see the same victims being put back onto what's probably the same nearest truck - after laying there around 40 minutes, they're going to be taken somewhere else, apparently - to save them? Bodies are loaded with bare hands, but that may not matter after so much hosing, some 80 minutes after alleged sarin release. But this might be implausible, especially as they're still in those street clothes. I for one can't say for sure. Just for good measure, the White Helmets guy is hosing them down again, to make them safer-yet for the next handlers ...

The truck's sides are now raised, and we can see its interesting markings - 77W in gold or silver (reflective - color might be the mud) - red outline - the small overwriting  between that looks like a dash (that usually seems to say Daio - meaning unclear) is also reflective and outlined in red.  This scheme is otherwise unseen in dozens of identified W77/77W trucks - white, immaculately clean by usual standards, small cab with no cargo space behind the seat, no rear side window - unusual mirror decals - Allah written big across the windshield, wings added to the big H. - it seems special - why was it out gathering the earliest victims, who got such helpful treatment? (Another White Porter here has sides down but never seen up, is also extra clean, but has less distinguishing features)

To be clear these are the same victims - the four children at least are rather distinct. Below, details from second and third images above, and a later appearance of the same people in the same truck.

Seeing the same people on the truck then off, one would think this was the unloading - but with the sequence visually set, it's clear how strange this is. (below: the oldest girl in blue has been loaded, the other kids remain). That should likely be their mother they're laying on top of.
It should be noted that in this and all views, it's not really clear if these people are dead, unconscious, or just deeply paralyzed. What is clear is that no one at this place seems to know or care, or do anything much to help them.

Another view is after 2 more of these have been loaded, just the girl in red still left off, one sidewall on the truck bed raised) Dealing with deadly sarin that most often kills instantly or within minutes - they hose the people off for 40+ minutes, then take them ... where? 

The Victims: Anas Al-Khaled Family 
Qoppa999 on Twitter, as usual, is pretty on the ball in this case. tweet: "The man on the truck is probably their father Anas al-Khaled."

tweet: I wasn't sure as he has no distinctive look - but I think the synopsis allows to make a call. (Plus, he's seen in company of his daughters.)

Al-Khaled family of 6: A VDC query includes these among others: Anas Mostafa al-Khaled, three girls, one boy (those with Anas as middle name).  Not included there: wife  Fatima Mohammad al-Sousi (see notes)

A report by JFL/STJ (Justice for Life Obsevatory in Deir Ezzour, Syrians for Truth and Justice) identifies them with matches to the later images (as gone over below), linkable to the earlier images.
(JFL download page: http://jfl.ngo/?p=4484) This  It lists the family as:
1-Anas Mostafa al-Khalid, 40, the father, an Arabic language teacher.
2-Fatema Mohamed as-Sousi, 35, the mother, an Arabic language teacher, too.
And children Shahad (14), Abdulrahman (2), Alaa (6), Khadija (8) These photos are credited to Osama al-Khalid, an alleged surviving family member.

Then they show "Mostafa Anas Mostafa al-Khalid, 13, in elementary school, eighth grade. He is the only surviving member of his family."
left: from JFL/STJ report, right: from a Facebook post
It is standard to name an oldest son, usually, after your dad (Anas' middle name) But still, these sole survivors who speak for everyone are always suspect of being inserted into the family for that reason. He's given interviews supporting the discredited story... and he doesn't seem to have been treated alongside the rest of his family, appearing clearly in none of the images of the *frantic effort* to save them. If he's really part of that family, one wonder how he got the special, unseen treatment avenue that made all the difference?

Sequence of appearance:
1) at Al-Rahma, app. 7:25, as we started. mud scenes, running about 40 minutes, then the  the re-loading of just the Khaled family, then...

Qoppa999 tweet: "I agree with the sequence.
But the next stop, as far as we know, is somewhere in town (yet unlocated), dead kid parade, bloody (AssiPress)."

2) ... then this scene (via Qoppa999 tweet):
... sun is fairly steep, probably 9am or later - location unclear. Family of 6 evident, no Mustafa.

3) Just the children are next seen mixed with others, in a different arrangement from that seen around 8am and above.  Maybe same truck with more added, or loaded into a different truck. This is an iconic dead children video, first published around 9am. It's never been timed, aside from prior to posting. (so the above should be earlier yet). Seems early, with no sun breaking on any of the kids, but it might somewhere parked in a shadow.

So Abdlurahman is the kid who tellingly has his head snapped around by an Islamist cameraman in a manner that says "face the camera, you piece of shit." (0:13) And Shahed is the one who seems to have her left eye slowly open after the cameraman brushes her chin. (0:16) That seemed to me like a sign of fakery, but maybe not. Otherwise, she seems dead and is among the dead. The JFL report's photo looks like the same girl dead. But in between ... see below.

Alternately, it's possible this is before the Al-Rahma scene, perhaps the same Porter they get slid off of into the mud. This would be interesting if so...

Three apparently later scenes, as found on Petri Krohn's valuable playlist
4) The Khaleds were somehow gotten into a White Helmets ambulance, unloaded from it in this video at a hospital in Maarat al-Numan, quite a ways to the north (the video title says it's there, and Andrew, I think, has geolocated it there). This hospital was reportedly bombed a couple days earlier (no damage is visible), and started out April 4 shut down. But due to the regime sarin attack, they opened their doors to accept patients and help verify the story.

This is around noon by the sun (my ROUGH readings tend to say ~65 to 70 degrees elevation, but noon was 12:38, 60.4 degrees at the highest, so it must be around then and my readings are more off than usual). They're rushed inside to save them here about five hours after they were first shown seeming to be dead - Also note Al-Rahma was allegedly being bombed at about this time.
top: Ana, Fatema's or Shahed's feet. Bottom: Fatema or Shahed carried away
The mother, or oldest daughter Shahed, but dressed different - a thin woman in lighter green and black - is unloaded with the same man, and likely same kids, but less clear without the clothes. If that's Fatema, Shahed is missing here. If that's Shahed, then she's had clothes changed, and hardly anyone lets us see Fatema clearly. That should be her leg above, I suppose, not that thin. (killed adult women are more often covered or somehow no shown at all)

5 Another video shows them taken back out of that hospital. Alaa/Alae (girl in yellow hair ties) carried by sad Islamist. Was all this frantic effort in vain? It didn't take long once here to get a death pronouncement. It's still around noon as he carries her down those steps. They start putting her back in the ambulance, then lay her with Shahed/Fatema and the other 2 kids.

6) later yet?
In this video, they're seen again in a different, decorated W77-style white Porter - window floral decals, extra "Hyundai" and flames. This one's bed is full of junk, and now these people. Anas is seen on the near side in a different view. The female in green - has her neck covered up? Same in the ambulance, but apparently not in the layout scene. So ...there is no neck wound to explain why her eyes don't pop open now, and why she needed a new shirt? Or what?

A photo (ACLOS) from this arrangement shows little Abdulrahman has had a catheter inserted into his right hand somewhere along the line. We can see it's there as he's carried out of the ambulance, but not any earlier that we see. The kid spent probably 45+ minutes dead in the mud, was trucked around in displays of the dead, then... had this medical procedure carried out? Would they do that? Sure, why not? We already see them rushing these same people into that hospital as if there were some emergency, suddenly, around noon.

Time Estimate in more detail
(rough, workspace, as needed)
was 7:10, 7:25, 8:00.
Better reading - 7:28 - higher angle, sees less ceiling , 7:34 lower angle, 8:08. 40 minute span.

But this is not quite it either. Graphics below (shown small - new window for larger view) - using NOAA solar calculator,
pin set to Khan Sheikhoun, date April 4, time zone +2, DST on. The green angles ... adjust?

added variable: azimuth - should make sun lower than it seems, increasing over time. The estimates above (no good if taken literally) are IF the sun was shining straight into this structure along its south wall (runs 84 on the compass?). Actual slopes will be shallower, running along the right line for their time. Some things beyond my immediate skill-sets. Asking for help, may try harder, and will come back to this.


  1. Not bruising, that is the pattern on her clothing


    This was my take on their story http://onemorninginsyria.blogspot.co.uk/p/al-khaled-family.html

    I think 7:10-20 am is about right for the early photo and from shadows they definitely spend some time in the final hospital, it isn't straight in and out

    1. Oh wow, that came out looking different. Well good, that was too weird, and we have enough of it to deal with. Will note.

  2. CL

    I'm not sure if I've understood your question correctly. It's late at night and my geometry is a bit rusty, but I'm pretty sure that you don't need to correct the height of the shadow on the back wall for the solar azimuth. The plane that separates the shadowed space from the sunlit space must contain the line formed by the lower front edge of the roof. The angle between this plane and the horizontal plane is the solar azimuth. One way to visualize this is to imagine these two planes continued into space to the point where a line drawn to the sun is perpendicular to the line of intersection of these two planes.

    1. I was confused but sketched it out. Considered 3-D, a corner or a little snag at the edge to its shadow is the right ray angle to consider - if goes left or right besides back, it's a longer line to that spot, shallower angle, lower sun than if you measured straight in. The difference is slight here: about 1 degree or 6 min. for the middle image. About the same for the first, and bigger difference for the 8:08 one.

      Updates coming, but first the squareness of the building is challenged and under review.

  3. Searching twitter (so maybe you have already solved) but just happened to be looking at this scene yesterday (Anas al-Khaled related)


    This is actually pretty early on, 8am ish? But not in Khan Sheikhoun, this is outside the "7Up" hospital in Ma'art al-Numan


    See store with yellow signs at start of the next video (and look at the pattern of the sidewalk), then jump to


    and look at the White Helmet with a blue coat and boy in blue striped top.

    In this other blurry washing scene, blue coat and striped top also appear, the pattern of the sidewalk also seems to match


    Trees on the right side of the north-west road also seem to match the not-great satellite photos so pretty certain this is the right location now

  4. MSF report on the hospital they were taken to ('Maarat al-Numan hospital' in April confirmed here to be 'Owdai' in Saraqeb)



    "Owdai hospital has now been closed indefinitely" just after it was announced on social media that Saraqeb would be Tiger Force's next target. So I suppose the government forces won't find a working hospital when they get there...

    Unless MSF have a different definition of 'waiting room', I'm not sure how an air strike has hit it, front entrance and hospital building look untouched to me. But people can decide for themselves -

    Hospital in April

    1. The hospital with a 7Up machine outside (that was easy to find as it was marked on Google maps as "Salam hospital") that Anas al-Khaled was taken to was also supposedly bombed


      There was extensive footage of the inside of that hospital so maybe interesting to compare what was there in April.

  5. Interview with Mustafa al-Khaled, shows where the graves are. For an interview just days after losing his whole family he seems to be coping well


    The family are seen being 'rearranged' on the CBS footage between the Smart photo where the children are piled up and the photo where they are on the back of the truck.


    I looked at Micha Kobs model and put it roughly at 7:40 - which fits with/confirms the EXIF data times given by Smart News.

    Family supposedly found at 7am by the uncle (Anas) with 2 children alive so they seem to have been left lying in the mud for a time.

    1. Typo: Anas + family found by uncle Osama.

    2. Very roughly, graves are here


      So they did at least end up back at Khan Sheikhoun


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