Thursday, March 08, 2012

Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera Syria Tolls Differ by Hundreds

Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera Syria tolls differ by 100s

Thu Mar 8, 2012 3:23PM GMT

Syrians protested outside Al Jazeera offices in Damascus, accusing it if of lies and exaggeration in its coverage of the developments in Syria

Contrasting figures of the mortalities have raised doubts about the validity of news reports released by anti-Damascus media outlets about the developments in Syria.

The suspicions have grown as the total difference between the February death tolls announced by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV news channel and Qatari-owned Al Jazeera news network reached as high as 278.

The most remarkable divergence occurred in case of the deaths reported on February 3, when Al Arabiya put the toll at 330, compared with 95 deaths announced on Al Jazeera.

The differences oscillate throughout the month to reach a total of 2170 deaths recorded by Al Arabiya, while Al Jazeera’s count stops short at 1892.

The difference between the figures announced by the two news broadcasters raise questions on the potential difference between the alleged death tolls and the real number of casualties on the ground.

Suspicions shrouding the reports grow given the fact that neither of the pan-Arabist media sources enjoys correspondents in Syria.

The pro-Western media have also remained silent on the number of Shia citizens as well as security and police personnel killed in clashes with armed Salafi terrorists.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including many security forces.

The West -- which have voiced support for arming anti-government forces in Syria -- and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of President Bashar al-Assad of killing protesters.

Damascus, however, blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

The United States, Britain and France and countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have supported measures against Assad’s government.

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