Western media are jubilant over the defection of a Syrian TV channel reporter, Ghatan Sleiba, who had been unaccounted for since Wednesday, June 27, and reappeared on Monday, July 2, in Turkey. In an interview with The Guardian, he revealed he was a spy working for the "rebels" for 7 months. He claims to have provided them during that time with sensitive information on army movements.

The Western press has presented Ghatan Sleiba as a journalist for Ad-Dunya, adding that he also worked freelance for Al-Ikhbariya. He had been missing since June 27, that is to say, since the commando operation that raided the studios of the private television station, killing four guards during the assault, before murdering three TV anchors in cold blood and demolishing the premises.

According to the Western account, Ghatan Sleiba was apparently both a journalist and a spy, in defiance of international conventions. And his flight would have coincided with the murder of his colleagues. Under such circumstances, one cannot but be amazed to see The Guardian and France24 celebrating him as a hero: or is it that these media workers can recognize themselves in his behavior?

All the same, the The Guardian and France24 journalists have ridiculed themselves: Ghatan Sleiba worked in television only ten days more than a year ago. He has never been the spy he purports to be. He is just an imaginative young man who concocted a CV to find work with one of the channels created by the CIA for the consumption of the Syrian people.

Syrian regime TV reporter defects”, by Martin Chulov, The Guardian, 3 July 2012.