Nir Rosen: Assad’s man in Baba Amr
In the first message, sent to Assad on 13/11/2011, we see Hadeel al-Ali introducing renowned international journalist Nir Rosen to Assad, having apparently met him about “a month ago” from the time of writing. She gives Assad a summary of Rosen’s background, highlighting the fact that he’s “mentioning the armed groups” and “trying to represent the Alawites in a good way”. Apparently, Rosen has also “got his cover” from “Khaled and his people” and has been itching to meet Assad personally for quite a while.
Indeed, it does seem that Rosen’s writings about Syria carry a strange theme which seems to fit the above description – I remember reading his two-part series on the Alawite community in Syria some 5 months ago and questioning some of the notions put forward by it. From the beginning, Rosen’s articles have always offered a skewed image of the Syrian uprising – he paints an image of an enlightened, educated and liberal Alawite elite fighting against an uneducated, oppressive and ignorant Sunni radicals instead of the prevalent image of a popular uprising, and attempts to portray it as a conflict between equal sides. Also, bearing in mind that Syria is a repressive police state, it raises the question – how was Rosen as a journalist, able to travel freely between “loyalist” and “opposition” villages and communities without raising any suspicion or drawing the ire of the security forces?
This question may be answered by examining another message sent from “Khaled al-Ahmad” to Assad , where Nir Rosen reappears in a more interesting and sinister context – in this message, Khaled tells Assad that “Nir Rosen was able to get into Baba Amr” and “he has told me that many western media delegations have entered the area by crossing the Lebanese borders illegally, one of them was a French and a German media delegation.”
From this correspondence, it seems evident that Nir Rosen has informed on western journalists in Homs to his Syrian intelligence handler, Khaled al-Ahmad. Then again, perhaps this was his mission from the start? In the end, Nir Rosen wasn’t just a journalist when it came to Syria. He was also Assad’s man in Baba Amr.