He spoke during the debate of being “shot at in Lebanon” but did not make clear that the shooting occurred in the 1980s while DeVore was a college student studying Arabic and other subjects in the Middle East. Nor did he note that while the shooting was in his vicinity, there was no indication he was a target or was in actual danger.
DeVore said in a later interview that he was a credentialed reporter for the Orange County Register when the shooting occurred. He said he had called the Israeli military requesting to see the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon — identifying himself as an American student studying in Egypt, a reporter and member of the U.S. Army Reserve — and was included in a media tour.
“The Syrians shot at us and kind of drove us off the hill, because they didn’t want press over there. It was like warning shots,” said DeVore, adding that he and the Israeli soldiers immediately took cover.
DeVore mentioned that former ABC News correspondent Bob Zelnick was among the journalists on the tour. Zelnick said the group climbed an observation tower in Israeli-occupied Lebanese territory, from which the Bekaa Valley could be seen. He recalls the Israeli troops taunting the Syrians, who fired shots in response. But Zelnick said they were out of range and that Israeli journalists present had publicly teased him for reacting to the gunshots. “Nothing I saw or experienced could reasonably be interpreted as our having been driven off the hill by Syrian fire,” he said.