TODAY’S MESOP TOP STORY : SECRET CLINICS & EVIDENCE OF GASSING BY ASSAD / Wall Street Journal
On Sept. 10, Dr. Ismail left with hair and blood samples, traveling through the deserts of Deir el-Zour in the east and then north to the border with Turkey. He and two travel companions were hosted by tribal families for most of the 10-day trip.
Dr. Ismail crossed the border in a truck smuggling fuel & generators. He said he was held by Turkish authorities for two days over a misunderstanding over who should get the samples, and whether his companions—who didn’t carry passports—could cross into Turkey.
Turkish intelligence eventually took the samples, he said, which were destined for the French Embassy in Ankara. One French official said national intelligence agencies coordinated efforts to get survivors and witnesses of the sarin-gas attack out of Syria, and the details were largely kept secret. A spokesman for Turkey’s foreign ministry didn’t return a request for comment.