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Guardian accused of passing off terrorist “hell cannon” as “barrel bombs”

The caption of this image on the Guardian currently reads:  “An unverified photo of an unexploded barrel bomb alleged to contain napalm gel.”

The caption of this image on the Guardian currently reads: “An unverified photo of an unexploded barrel bomb alleged to contain napalm gel.”

Robert Stuart, the indefatigable challenger of the media narrative through his analysis of the BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children” program, is now taking on the Guardian. Below we publish his recent letter to the Graun’s complaints department regarding its use of a photo it claimed was a Syrian “barrel bomb”, but which is apparently no such thing, but is in fact a projectile from a so-called, “hell cannon”, as shown in this video, and allegedly used by the “rebels” fighting the Assad regime.

Please share this as widely as possible and feel free to write your own emails or letters to the Guardian if you feel it is appropriate.

From: Robert Stuart
Sent: 07 October 2015 16:07:44
To: guardian.readers@theguardian.com

Syrian civil defence group accuses Assad of napalm attack near Damascus – The Guardian, 12 August 2015

Dear Mr Elliott,

I wish to complain that the above print and web article breaches the Guardian News & Media’s Editorial Code, which states (p8):

The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

I. An image in the article is captioned “An unverified photo of an unexploded barrel bomb alleged to contain napalm gel.”

As several comments below the online version of the article note [1] the image in fact quite clearly shows an opposition “Hell Cannon” mortar device. Numerous images [2] and videos [3] of these munitions, which are fashioned from domestic cooking gas canisters, in the hands of opposition fighters in Syria can readily be found online.

II. A correction to the web article states:

This article was amended to [sic] 13 August 2015 to remove a description of the Syrian Civil Defence as “aligned to the opposition”. The SCD argue that they are a neutral organisation and not aligned to any political group.

Rick Sterling, co-founder of Syria Solidarity Movement, observes [4]:

White Helmets is the newly minted name for “Syrian Civil Defence”. Despite the name, Syria Civil Defence was not created by Syrians nor does it serve Syria. Rather it was created by the UK and USA in 2013. Civilians from rebel controlled territory were paid to go to Turkey to receive some training in rescue operations. The program was managed by James Le Mesurier, a former British soldier and private contractor whose company is based in Dubai.

Sterling adds:

The trainees are said to be ‘nonpartisan’ but only work in rebel-controlled areas of Idlib (now controlled by Nusra/Al Queda) and Aleppo.

The White Helmets work primarily with the rebel group Jabat al Nusra (Al Queda in Syria). Video of the recent alleged chlorine gas attacks starts with the White Helmet logo and continues with the logo of Nusra. In reality, White Helmets is a small rescue team for Nusra/Al Queda.

But White Helmets primary function is propaganda. White Helmets demonizes the Assad government and encourages direct foreign intervention.

Numerous images and videos posted online make shockingly and abundantly plain the partisan and non-peaceful character of the Syrian Civil Defence/White Helmets. [5]

I suggest therefore that the amendment of the original, accurate, description of the Syrian Civil Defence as “aligned to the opposition” also breaches the Guardian Editors’ Code in respect of accuracy.

Yours sincerely

Robert Stuart

















http://m.liveleak.com/view?i=fd8_1430900709 – “Syria – So-called “White Helmets” facilitate an al Nusra execution”

https://youtu.be/d-gfgqi45pI?t=15m54s – “White Helmets” carrying weapons (15:55 and 17:05, still images here http://on.fb.me/1hrYO59 and here http://on.fb.me/1X6gHrd)

https://youtu.be/DE6yIIzxaBE?t=10m22s – Haj Abu Ahmad of the Civil Defence Force is translated as follows:

(From 10:23) “Glad tidings have reached us in Jisr al-Shghor on the hands of our mujahedeen brothers, may Allah strengthen them and make them steadfast on the correct way, and soon Insha’Allah the strongholds of the Assad regime in Latakya and Damascus will be liberated”. (Still images here http://on.fb.me/1EtnlBF and here http://on.fb.me/1X6iQTL).

(From 11:11) “Now we secure the families and transfer them to a safe place, outside of Jisr al-Shughor and we also search for injured civilians, as for the dead bodies, we put them in bodybags after identifying them so we can send [news of them] to their families. Finally we collect the bodies of the Shabiha (Assad regime militia) and throw them in the trash.” (Still image here: http://on.fb.me/1FcDMNw).

https://youtu.be/cs75QuGSaGg?t=6m3s – “White Helmet” gives victory sign over corpses of presumed Syrian government forces members (6:07, still image here http://on.fb.me/1O3SRWI).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkGszvFrf-8 – “White Helmet” jubilantly waving black flag of Jabat al Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) (35 seconds, still image here http://bit.ly/1OY8BOE).


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  10. Mick McNulty says

    An “IED” laid by a soldier in the field as a weapon of war has more legitimacy than a “conventional” bomb made for profit by an arms dealer thousands of miles from war. And IEDs are typically made from munitions made for profit by an arms dealer thousands of miles from war.


  11. Yesterday they published a piece, in CiF, by their idiot (his own characterization) senior sports writer Barney Ronay, stating that “Donbass Arena was being bombed by Russian separatists”.

    Unless “Russian separatists” is his description of the Kiev regime, this is a blatant lie.

    So, here we are. Apparently this is their policy: you can admit being an idiot and write any lie you want – and they’ll publish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The Guardian has now responded:

    Dear Mr Stuart

    That caption has been clarified to state that the picture is “An unverified photo of an unexploded gas cylinder alleged to contain napalm gel”.​ As I understand it, the Syrian army is also known to have used gas cylinders in its barrel bombs –



    As for the earlier change, while the line saying the Syrian Civil Defence is “aligned to the opposition” was removed from the body of the article, it remains in the footnote along a line saying the SCD argues that it is not. It is clearly a matter of dispute, and I think that is made clear by the wording of the footnote.

    Rory Foster​

    Guardian Readers’ editor’s office

    Researcher and forensic analyst Charles Wood comments:

    The only gas cylinder I’ve ever seen in a Syrian helicopter was a single instance of a standard industrial gas cylinder, not a domestic propane cylinder.

    And the industrial cylinder was in the very early stages of the bombing where I believe disarmed insurgent IEDs were given impromptu fuses and ‘returned to sender’. You can see the standard IED designs in various videos and images.

    Actual made-for-purpose helicopter bombs came along later and were fabricated to useful dimensions significantly larger than a household propane cylinder.

    I won’t even go into the link to the Bellingcat site where it’s pretty clear neither Foster nor Bellingcat have any real idea about the weapons. Sort of blind leading blind.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Stand strong, OffGuardian! The Irgun of Zionist Israel were the inventors of the barrel bomb, and it was first used against the British in Palestine in 1947. Now it is spoken of as if it were a Syrian development in terror weapons. Assad knows very well that the civilian population is not his enemy, and it is ridiculous the way he continues to be accused of attacking them as if he had nothing better to do. The more he tries to b e reasonable, the louder the Anglophonic press shrieks “He’s lying!!!” as if the west had no record of lying.

    The strongest weapon against history being rewritten is a conflicting narrative which can be substantiated. OffGuardian is in the front lines.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Walter Millsap says

    I couldn’t agree more with the comments on this page, the slander and out right lies are a moral disgrace to the whole world’s intelligence. We see you and your ways of spinning the truth of the matter, to keep alive the monsters of this planet, Guardian…..


  15. Pingback: Guardian accused of passing off terrorist “hell cannon” as “barrel bombs” | MasterAdrian's Weblog

  16. Martin Chulov

    Shaun Walker

    Alex Luhn


    HRW SorosTorture still routine in Chinese jails, Human Rights Watch report …

    Avaaz Soros Inside Avaaz – can online activism really change the- The Guardian

    White Helmets Soros ……..’I couldn’t sit and do nothing’: the women saving lives … – The Guardian

    NED Soros The Guardian’s Laughable Coverage of Russia Blacklisting National …

    Open Society Soros George Soros | The Guardian

    The Guardian are stormfront by any other name Soros is not left wing, he is a mass murdering lowlife, death and destruction on an industrial scale from Chechnya to Sri Lanka follow this parasite

    Liked by 1 person


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