conflict zones, latest

Why have over 600,000 Syrian refugees returned to an evil dictator who only wants to kill them?


A girl is seen at a damaged site in Aleppo’s Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, Syria. © Omar Sanadiki / Reuters


Caitlin Johnstone in Medium, via SottNet:

Al Jazeera, not often known to rock the establishment boat when it comes to the official narrative about Syria, has published an interesting new report on some recent findings of the International Organization for Migration. According to IOM, nearly 603,000 Syrian refugees returned to their homes in Syria between January and July of 2017.

And, naturally, those hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians who are returning home are all returning to areas that are securely protected from the bloodthirsty tyrant Bashar al-Assad by the Freedom Fighters and Moderate Rebels who oppose him, right? They’d never willfully return to an area ruled by a sadistic dictator who routinely drops barrel bombs on his own people for no reason and kills children with poison gas, would they?

Well yes, if you believe the things that the western mass media have been saying about Assad, they would. IOM reports that of those displaced Syrians returning home this year, about 400,000 of them were coming home to their city of Aleppo, which was fully recaptured by pro-Assad forces in December.

You remember Aleppo, don’t you? I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t; corporate media outlets hardly ever talk about it anymore. It’s almost like they want us to forget the horror stories they told us about how the city that had been occupied by good, noble freedom fighters was about to be taken by an army of depraved psychopaths who wanted to rape women, burn children alive, and shoot civilians in their homes. Back at the tail end of 2016, though, it was all you ever heard. If the west didn’t intervene to stop Damascus and Moscow from retaking East Aleppo from the good-hearted rebels, everyone there would be raped, tortured, and butchered by the army of the Syrian government.

But oh my my, it sure is odd and peculiar and funny and interesting that hundreds of thousands of Syrians can’t wait to get back there. This same bloodthirsty government which wanted nothing more than to slaughter, rape and destroy them still controls the region, but people have been running back to rebuild their city anyway.

What’s up with that? Could we really have been misinformed about what’s been happening in Syria on such a massive scale? Could the near-unanimous perspective of pundits and politicians everywhere, the perspective that Bashar al-Assad is a sadistic tyrant who enjoys slaughtering civilians, be so dead wrong that the behavior of Syria’s own people seem to contradict it so directly?



  1. The situation in Syria is getting so complex… I’m worried it will never end. It’s a situation that bends people’s believes of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. I wish people would be more supportive of (Syrian) refugees rather than xenophobic. If you’re interested, I wrote about my experiences at border control today.

  2. icepickem says

    The Syrians are returning because they found that the totalitarianism of the West was worst than the totalitarianism of the East. And since 95-97% of humanity knuckles under to tyranny, you might as well relish the homegrown version vs the other!

  3. Does this mean little Bana will be able to return home? And the White Helmets can return to their proper jobs?

    • Tutiisicecream
      Little Bana would have to thumb her nose at her saviour Erdogan(she might well have to anyway if her dad is with her) and as for the White Helmets – they’ve been mysteriously dying en masse, in groups of ten, with bullets in their heads – I don’t think they’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

      • Manda says

        I have been wondering if some sort of ‘mopping up’ op is happening with regard to the white helmet killings, perhaps even they have developed splits within the ranks or perhaps it reflects individual associations with particular terrorist factions and their power struggles?

  4. rehmat1 says

    Russian president Vladimir Putin answered the question in 2015, by saying: “Syrians are not running away from president Assad – they’re running away from western funded ISIS terrorists.”

    In September 2015, the Social Democrat Mayor of Jena, Albrecht Schroter, accused Israel of responsible for the Syrian refugee crisis and called on country’s foreign minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier to show “less restrain toward Israel”…

  5. Alan says

    But what have they returned to? Israeli, NATO, US and Gulf states have done their very best to destroy everything. Years of rebuilding at what cost, vassalage to Russia? Irrespective the Syrian people continue to suffer with little freedom in sight.

    • Tom says

      Vassalage? Russia is the only thing that has prevented their total destruction and control by Isis as a proxy of the US. Russia has saved them.

      • rehmat1 says

        Putin waited for 3 -1/2 years before helping Syrian army – only to prevent Iranian and Iranian fighters reaching Syrian Golan Heights occupied by the Jewish army since 1967. Since 2015, Netanyahu has met Putin three times in Moscow pleading to save Syria totally falling under Iranian influence like Iraq. Early this year, Israeli media claimed that Assad has allowed Iran to establish a military base in Syria.

        On April 27, 2017, Chicago-born writer, author, and blogger Christopher Jon Bjerknes, who claims his Jewish family roots, posted an article, entitled, “The Many Faces of the Putin Snake,” in which he claims that Putin’s support for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Iran and Taliban is a smokescreen to cover his love for the Zionist entity. In order to prove his point, Bjerknes claims that Putin helped an anti-Muslim Donald Trump to occupy the White House.

        “While positioning himself as the guardian of Muslim nations Syria and Iran, he put rabid Zionist and Muslim basher, Syria and Iran enemy Donald Trump in power in the USA and is worked to elect none other than Muslim-hater Marine Le Pen in France. While hosting parades in Russia to celebrate the bolshevik defeat of “fascism”, he sponsors neo-fascism in Europe and America and is seen as their hero, by design,” he said.

        • Roger says

          Your comment is so convoluted one wonders if you are able to understand yourself. Anyway, anything written by a jew is not worth the paper it’s written on. Go wash your head in cold water.

    • I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Yes the US, Israel and the KSA/GCC have worked hard to destroy Syria and the lives of its people but life in the squalor of refugee camps and in strange foreign countries cut off from family friends and the familiar is not a desirable way of life for most people.

      It’s long been known that Syrians of all sects overwhelmingly prefer their secular country to a Taliban or ISIS style theocracy. run by zealots who execute even members of their own sect for not being “pure” enough.

      The Western media has been spinning falsehoods and distortions that have effectively brainwashed the Western public. The return of over half a million Syrians to a war torn country under the control of a government lead by a guy who has been portrayed as literally worse than Hitler speaks for itself. If the “Guardian narrative” is correct they should all be embracing the “rebels”. Instead they are rejecting them categorically.

      As for Syria being, or becoming, a Russian vassal state that is ludicrous. Russia is acting out of self-defence and would not even be in Syria were it not for the actions of the powers supporting the destruction of that country for their own twisted purposes.

      Your lament that Syrians “continue to suffer with little freedom in sight” is very ambiguous. Do you think life in Syria before war was imposed on it was defined by “suffering”? If this was the case why are so many people returning home? Are they all masochists? Freedom to live in peace without the constant threat of violent death and deprivation is probably something Syrians cherish. Would you agree?

      (An aside: the Canadian aunt of Alan Kurdi, the little Syrian boy who drowned in 2015 while escaping the war with his family, has publicly spoken out against the lopsided and inaccurate media coverage of the war. She used very careful and diplomatic language but even that was too “radical” for the Canadian media to handle and the story was barely reported. Alan’s father Mohammed was so grief-stricken and disillusioned with Western “humanitarianism” that he returned to Syria while his wife and remaining children sought refuge in Canada…this too was barely mentioned. Syrians are fodder for Western countries shameless and self-serving propaganda narratives but they are never portrayed as complex three-dimensional people. That privilege is reserved for Westerners. The reason why so many people fled Syria in the first place, Western-sponsored war, is of course left out of the “discussion” altogether.)

      • Peter says

        There seems to be some sort of error in your narrative, Eric. I am pretty sure Alan Kurdi’s mother and another of her and her husband’s children also drowned in the same incident as Alan. They never got to Canada.

    • You really need to get out more. The Syrians had better lives under an evolving democracy than many ethnics have in the US. You do know that Black Lives Matter in the US as well?

    • Manda says

      ” Years of rebuilding at what cost, vassalage to Russia?”

      I expect and hope for more of an equal, mutually beneficial and respectful partnership than seen in the vassalage to US/west/allies inflicted on so many countries. China is also to be involved in re building I believe. Let’s face it, Syria alone cannot fend off US banking/corporate led empire and its military enforcers and funded and armed extremist proxies, it needs the protection of and alliances with major power and regional allies.
      Without Russia’s intervention in Sept 2015 Syrian citizens would be in a dire situation with no hope of peace, economic revival and security in sight.

  6. archie1954 says

    You asked a question that answers itself. The proof is in the pudding so to speak. The Syrian people have voted with their feet, anxious to return to their homes and their government.

Comments are closed.