A particularly scurrilous op-ed appeared in the pages of the Washington Post accusing the Syrian government of detaining, torturing, then executing an American citizen, Layla Shweikani.
Considering US attempts to establish various pretexts to justify its ongoing military occupation of Syria and its attacks on Syrian forces – such an accusation could dangerously escalate the conflict if not checked and exposed.
Last month the U.S. government confirmed that an American citizen had died in Syrian captivity. Sources concluded that Layla Shweikani, a U.S. citizen with Syrian roots, had been tortured and then executed.
The article claims that the Syrian government’s civil registry recorded her death in late 2016. Claims that she died in Syrian government custody come from James Jeffery, the US special envoy for Syria Engagement, but the factual basis of this claim was not provided in the article, nor during recent testimony (video) provided by Jeffery to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. US Representative Adam Kinzinger – who during the hearing suggested the US military “target Assad” – would be quoted in the Washington Post’s op-ed, claiming:
I understand there are some classified details, but it is disappointing that Ambassador Jeffrey was unable to say more on behalf of the administration about what happened to Layla and what the repercussions will be when he testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee. … I’m still waiting on an answer.
The op-ed would end by claiming:
Unless we begin to demand answers for the detention and death of Americans around the world, I don’t see any incentive for Assad or other thugs to stop targeting our citizens.
It is clear that Jason Rezaian among the pages of the Washington Post is accusing the Syrian government of detaining, torturing, and executing Layla Shweikani – and demanding accountability.
Completely absent from Rezaian’s Washington Post op-ed – however – was any actual evidence the Syrian government did “torture then executed” Layla Shweikani.
Washington Post Columnist Admits There’s No Evidence
Josh Rogin – a Washington Post columnist and political analyst for CNN – would eagerly promote Rezaian’s op-ed on social media. When pressed for evidence that the Syrian government “tortured then executed” Shweikani,