About that Wacky "Syrian Uterus Sniper" Story

The gunmen are mercenaries from China and Azerbaijan "winning packets of cigarettes for hitting the correct number of targets".

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Both sides in the Syrian Civil War are producing industrial strength amounts of propaganda, including fake photos, audio and videos. It's why I rarely post the usual atrocity stories from the war.

The latest one is about Syrian snipers targeting pregnant women. Apparently they're so good that they can hit the baby inside a pregnant woman in the head.

ITV News recently filmed Dr. David Nott, a British surgeon who is on a volunteer stint in the war-torn country. Nott, who has worked for two decades in war zones, reported seeing some unusual patterns emerge among the victims coming into his hospital.

"One day we'd have pregnant women being brought in with gunshot wounds to the uterus. Not just one or two, but seven or eight, which meant to me they (the snipers) must be targeting pregnant women," he told ITV.

Where were they getting all these pregnant women in a single day?

Now there are precedents for atrocities like these. The Japanese were targeting pregnant women in China. They were holding shooting contests for hitting women in general.

The combination of the two is another story considering that Dr. Nott, like the rest of his Doctors Without Borders colleagues, works in rebel-held territory.

So there are Syrian snipers entering rebel held territory at great risk just to shoot pregnant women. And apparently in great numbers.

Maybe it's true, but the story sounds a bit fishy to me. And Dr. Nott, who keeps being dubbed "The Indiana Jones of Surgery" and traveling to trouble spots and coming away with incredible stories, does have a certain undeniable gift for self-promotion.

Doctors Without Borders is operating in rebel held territory, which means that they are, for all intents and purposes, allied with the Sunni rebels. So it's not surprising that Dr. Nott isn't bringing out any stories about Syrian rebel atrocities. And as bad as Assad is, there clearly have been more individual atrocities on the "rebel" side.

DWB appears to have been treating rebel fighters and it's hard to view them as disinterested parties.  It's a political organization. And Dr. Nott is a medical celebrity and it's hard to dismiss the notion that at least some of that celebrity is self-created.

Maybe all this happened. Maybe it was staged by the Syrian rebels. Maybe none of it happened. But the story gets even wackier.

Mr Nott revealed he'd heard how snipers were "winning packets of cigarettes for hitting the correct number of targets".

He described how locals believe the gunmen are mercenaries from China and Azerbaijan, working for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

So Chinese mercenaries killing pregnant women for cigarettes. Apparently they don't have cigarettes in China.