WAR STORY

OR Books: Massacre Account Was Our Error

After The Daily Beast published an article pointing out apparent discrepancies in British war correspondent Patrick Cockburn's account of an alleged massacre in Syria, his publisher has claimed responsibility for the inconsistency.

At issue were two different accounts of an alleged massacre in Adra by jihadists. In a January 2014 column for The Independent, Cockburn had noted that a Syrian soldier told him about the massacre. Later, in his book The Jihadi's Return, a sentence seemed to place Cockburn in an eyewitness roll: “In Adra on the northern outskirts of Damascus in early 2014, I witnessed JAN forces storm a housing complex by advancing through a drainage pipe which came out behind government lines, where they proceeded to kill Alawites and Christians.”

Now, Colin Robinson, the co-publisher of OR Books, has clarified that he had misunderstood earlier statements by Cockburn while editing the book and did not mean to suggest an eyewitness impression. Robinson also noted the discrepancy has been corrected in subsequent printings of the book.