Syrian Secret TV Broadcast Operation Risk Reporting on Syrian Rebellion
At 8:30 p.m. in a makeshift newsroom on the top floor of a nondescript building, Syrian news anchor Qutaiba Al-Khatib tapped away on his laptop, writing a script for a newscast. The lead story: the killing in Houla of 108 civilians, including dozens of children, allegedly by supporters of the regime.
Within hours, this secret broadcast operation had beamed news and videos on the massacre to Syrians and points throughout the Arab world. Worldwide, the story dominates headlines.
Thursday, Syria blamed rebel fighters for the massacre that Syria alShaab has been covering for days. Qassem Jamal Suleiman, investigating the massacre for the regime, said the aim was to frame the government. Those tuning in to the station can see the horrifying images for themselves and hear from people who survived it.
Syria alShaab television has become a prime mover of news on the Syrian rebellion, quickly moving video from amateurs inside a war zone journalists are largely unable to cover. Al-Khatib, 28, was a successful news presenter in the United Arab Emirates when he was asked to leave his well-paying job for the good of the cause.
“I didn’t think twice, I just came here,” he said.
“Here” is an Arab capital that al-Khatib and his colleagues requested not be named because they worry about the long arm of the Syrian secret service. The channel has become one of the most organized networks covering the revolution.