Two years ago, over 1,000 people died in Syria after sarin gas was unleashed on civilian neighborhoods in Damascus. No one has ever been held accountable for ordering the attack, but among those who have followed the violence in Syria there is little doubt that all the evidence points to President Bashar al-Assad.
60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley’s “A Crime Against Humanity” aired on 60 Minutes yesterday evening alongside never-before-seen footage of the 2013 sarin gas massacre. The segment throws into full relief what words like “extermination” really mean in a modern context. Pelley spoke to a man named Kassem Eid, who was in Damascus when the rockets hit the ground:
Nobody knew what was going on. People were just praying for God to have mercy on them. Sir, I’ve seen things you only would dream about in your worst nightmares.
I felt like my chest was set on fire. My eyes were burning like hell. I wasn’t able even to scream, or to do anything, so I started to beat my chest really hard…trying to take a breath, just to be able to take a single breath. It was so painful. It felt like someone was tearing up my chest with a knife made of fire.
Here’s an extended cut:
After the segment aired, Pelley took to the interviewee’s chair to defend his reporting, and his decision to release the graphic footage:
In the extended cut at around the 10 minute mark, Pelley interviews a woman who managed to escape the attack. She tells him, “I lived, by God’s will…but I wish I had died.”
This is real. This is what we’re up against.
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