Saudi forces deliberately used poisonous gas during the Mecca stampede, says a Saudi expert
Mr. Hani al-Shoukri , an astute Middle-East expert and exiled political opponent in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat ,the pan-Arab daily claimed that there is irrefutable evidence indicating the Saudi security forces indeed used poisonous gas deliberately during the annual Hajj rituals in Mecca.
Reading that article, the "irrefutable evidence" in the claim seem to be:
- "no deadly fractures"
- victims are "at the peak of [their] strength" in terms of age (25-40)
And this is 'backed up' with statements like:
- the "simmering power struggle between ... rival clans"
- "particular political currents within Saudi security apparatus seek to outmaneuver their adversaries and expel them from the executive system by creating these sorts of bloody mishaps".
What I found so far:
- AWD News seems to be a 'news' aggregation site, but their 'About Us' link is dead
- I'm unable to identify Hani al-Shoukri
The claim seems pure nonsense to me.
Do the claimed points make any sense? Especially the "creating these sorts of bloody mishaps" statement should be traceable, if 'currents within the Saudi security apparatus' have ever created these.
[Edited to add]
This Italian article mentions an article by Al-Shoukri in the newspaper Asharq al Awsat:
Il dottor Hani al Shoukri, oppositore in esilio della dittatura saudita, arriva ad ipotizzare l’uso di gas velenosi da parte dei sauditi. In un’intervista al giornale al Sharq al Awsat ha dichiarato “che c’e’ una forte evidenza che indica l ‘uso intenzionale di gas velenoso da parte delle forze saudite durante i rituali annuali del Hajj nella Mecca.
Dr. Hani al Shoukry, exiled opponent of the Saudi dictatorship, assumes the use of poison gas by the Saudis. In an interview with the newspaper al Sharq al Awsat he said "that there is strong evidence for the intentional use of poisonous gas by the Saudi forces during the annual ritual of the Hajj in Mecca".
I was unable to find the article or any mention of Al Shoukri in The English version of Asharq al Awsat