“We just received a message from the spotters, just an hour ago, they detected messages from the regime radio that they will attack [Syrian Civil Defense] centers in northern Aleppo,” one of those sources jotted down during the meeting, quoting al-Saleh. “First with surface to surface to missiles and, if they miss, they will use spies on the ground to adjust coordinates and come back.”
Within 48 hours, that forecast proved all too true, as three out of four of the White Helmet’s installations—one of them a makeshift firehouse, two others ambulance depots—were pulverized in Syria’s most populous city in acts that Western officials have called the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilians and humanitarian workers.
Ratney did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment about whether or not he was forewarned of this atrocity or if he or the U.S. government took any measures to try and prevent it from happening.
One of those at the meeting described the discussion as “very fucking bizarre. … They were all basically saying ‘yes, this is awful, but we’re not going to do anything about it.’”