All posts filed under: Syria

images such as this gave persuaded many that the BBC documentary "Saving Syria's Children" does not represent real events or real injured people

Saving Syria’s Children – The Worst Case Of Fake News?

SEE ALSO How far will they go to propagandise for war? (14 August 2016) Hand in Hand for propaganda? (9 August 2016) VIDEO: Robert Stuart’s presentation on BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children” (8 March 2016) More puzzles about BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children” documentary (28 October 2015) In the age of media manipulation how much can we afford to take on trust? (22 September 2015) We’ve talked about this topic many times on OffG, but at a time when “fakenews” is a hashtag, it’s worth returning to this most egregious and worrying example of – at best – sloppy reporting, or – at worst – wholesale deception. What happened at the Urm al-Kubra school on August 26 2013? Was it a chemical attack, a napalm attack or some sort of drill/rehearsal that was passed off as a real event? If the latter then where did the deception originate? Were the BBC Panorama crew, present at the Atareb hospital to film the aftermath of the alleged atrocity heroes, dupes or wilful advocates for a lie? Was the fact …

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Ukraine: the Fake News before the Storm

The situation in Ukraine is bad and many seasoned observers see serious conflict imminent, one which may draw Russia onto a direct confrontation with NATO and therefore the US. A civil war at the centre of Europe which has been simmering for almost 3 years is about to erupt again dragging in the two opposing blocks, Russia and the largely US funded NATO into a potential confrontation. Meanwhile the WMSM happy to be the harbinger of double speak, does nothing other than fan the flames of geopolitical discontent with disinformation, distraction and lies.

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Just Back From Syria, Rep. Gabbard Brings Message: ‘There Are No Moderate Rebels’

by Susan Jones from cnsnews.com Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) meets with Syrian religious leaders in Aleppo, led by Archbishop Denys Antoine Chahda of the Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo, and joined by Archbishop Joseph Tabji of Maronite Church of Aleppo, Rev. Ibrahim Nseir of the Arab Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Aleppo, and others. Each called for peace, and an end to foreign support of terrorists who are trying to rid Syria of its secular, pluralistic, free society. (Photo from Gabbard’s website, courtesy of Abraham Williams) (CNSNews.com) – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, says she made a secret, four-day trip to Syria — meeting with ordinary people and even President Bashar al-Assad — because the suffering of the Syrian people “has been weighing heavily on my heart.” “I wanted to see if there was in some small way, a way that I could express the love and the aloha and the care that the American people have for the people of Syria, and to see firsthand what was happening there, to see that situation there,” …

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Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict

by John Leslie A new format of negotiations to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on January 23 is set to take into account the interests of all actors of the Syrian conflict. At the same time, we should understand that it is impossible to save Syria in the way it was. The system is to be changed. Nevertheless, now it is difficult to say which of the negotiating sides can get more benefits. It can be seen by the results of the meeting. However, Syrian people are to win at any case. They are tired of poverty, misery and deaths. It is time to say stop and make real moves to save people’s lives. Negotiations in Astana is a first step to regulate military actions and to put an end to the clash between Syrian troops and Syrian opposition. Bashar Assad told he is open for any dialog with opposition that represents the interests of Syria and Syrian people, but not Saudi Arabia, France and Britain. On January 8, the Syrian government announced the …

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Liberation of Aleppo is the most serious setback for the US in 15 years

by Tim Anderson, via Khamenei In late 2016, at the cost of many young lives, Syrian forces took back the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, occupied by NATO and Saudi backed terrorists for more than four years. The liberation of Aleppo, Syria’s second city and an ancient marvel, represents the most serious setback for the 15-year long Washington-led aggression on the entire region. An effective re-colonization of the region has stretched from Afghanistan to Libya, under a range of false pretexts. Invasions and proxy wars have been backed by economic sanctions and wild propaganda. But this great war of aggression – called the creation of ‘New Middle East’ by former US President George W. Bush – has hit a rock in Syria.  The massive proxy armies bought and equipped by Washington and its regional allies the Saudis, Turkey, Qatar and Israel, have been beaten back by a powerful regional alliance which supports the Syrian nation. The endgame in Aleppo involves a handful of foreign agents – US, Saudi, Israeli and others – said …

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British Govt-Funded Outlet Offered Journalist $17,000 a Month to Produce Propaganda for Syrian Rebels

by Rania Khalek, via AlterNet Emails reveal that a popular source for mainstream Western media is a U.K.-backed propaganda outlet. The Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, a major Syrian opposition media outfit and frequent source of information for Western media, is funded by the British government and is managed by Westerners operating out of Turkey, according to emails provided to AlterNet by a Middle East reporter RFS tried to recruit. The outlet stirred controversy this November when it released a video at the height of the Mannequin Challenge, a pop culture craze in which people compete for how long they can freeze in place on video.  The RFS video depicted a staged rescue by the White Helmets, the Western-funded rescue group that operates exclusively in rebel-held territory.  RFS quickly removed the video and issued an apology out of apparent concern that the staged rescue could raise questions about the authenticity of other videos by the White Helmets. Over the summer, the Middle East reporter, who asked not to be named, was contacted by an American acquaintance …

Syrian Army soldier holds up Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) flag in the Umayyed Mosque, Old City, after government troops liberated terrorist-occupied East Aleppo this week (Image: Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire)

At Least 14 US Coalition Military Officers Allegedly Captured by Syrian forces in East Aleppo Bunker

According to two reports coming out of Aleppo, at least 14 US Coalition military officers were captured in an East Aleppo bunker by Syrian Special Forces. This story was quietly leaked by Voltaire.net, who announced, “The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.”

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Eva Bartlett on Syria: Responding to Buzzfeed

by Eva Bartlett Last Friday, December 9, just as the liberation of East Aleppo was taking place on the ground, the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations held a press conference at which Eva Bartlett, Canadian journalist well known for her first-hand reporting about the proxy war in Syria, presented an outstanding analysis of the deliberate disinformation and propaganda campaign the Western mainstream media have carried out since 2011, part of their countries’ regime-change agenda in Syria.  Following her appearance at the UN, widely publicized across social media, Bartlett was contacted for an email interview by Buzzfeed’s Ishmael N. Daro.  We are posting here the full text of Eva Bartlett’s response, followed by the full text of Daro’s email to her. Hello.  You have a number of facts wrong.  I will spell them out. — [The] Press Conference was only meant to be a report back by myself and the others on the panel.  Yes, Ambassador al-Ja’afari was originally going to be present but solely to introduce me.  Due to …

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A Tale of Two Aleppos

by Bill Purkayastha Going on CNN and other free and truth-telling Western media, you discover a horrifying Aleppo apocalypse, where the evil tyrant Assad is massacring untold thousands of civilians, with the help of even more evil Russian air strikes, which invariably hit hospitals, schools, and bakeries. You discover a city where people would rather die than give themselves up to the tender mercies of this regime, with its torture camps and jails, and where a tiny handful of brave rebels and White Helmets stand between them and annihilation. Going on the Russian paid fake news sites, like for example 21st Century Wire, The Duran, Al Masdar News or Moon of Alabama, strangely enough, you discover a different Aleppo altogether – one in which the “White Helmets” are fake propaganda, the rebels are actually headhunting jihadi terrorists who have been holding tens of thousands of civilians hostage, and where the legitimate government of Syria is liberating them with Russian military aid. You find an Aleppo where the people are grateful to the government forces for …

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“Moderate Opposition” Turned Aleppo’s National Hospital Into Military HQ & Weapons Depot

by South Front A fresh video from the Youtube channel entitled “Syria Future Agency” (سورية المستقبل) shows the recently liberated area of the National Hospital in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Syrian government forces took control of the area on December 4 and the video appeared on December 5. The video confirms that before its liberation the hospital had been used by the so-called “moderate opposition” as a military headquarters, a weapons depot and even a prison. The area with ammunition: The Syrian army also founds lots of various flags that suggest which militant factions controlled in the area and the level of their “moderatism”. A well known flag of the “moderate opposition”: Jaysh al-Islam is a coalition of Islamist and Salafist units.  It has well-known ties with Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda): Four Liwa al-Tawhid battalions in Aleppo joined child beheaders from Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki in October 2016: Variations of the Shahada flag are commonly used by various Jabhat al-Nusra-linked factions in Aleppo: The Levant Front is a coalition of various Salafi and Islamic factions allied with Jabhat al-Nusra: …

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Syrian opposition’s response to the offensive in Aleppo

by Sophie Mangal According to The Washington Post, the ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition is considering the possibility of closer cooperation with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.  Bashar al-Assad’s opponents are now afraid to remain without the US support as the CIA began secretly shipping lethal aid to the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad three years ago. It is worth mentioning that the new president-elect of the USA has stressed he adheres to a completely opposite position on Syria.  Moreover, Trump has also noted that it is necessary to stop the supply of weapons to the Syrian opposition because the US has no understanding of what they (the opposition) really are. Realizing the complexity of the situation and the fact that Syrian opposition’s war crimes would never be forgotten and forgiven, its leaders are beginning to look for alternatives. First of all, the rebels’ agenda is to strike a close alliance with the better armed Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.  A massive outflow of the fighters from the ‘moderate’ opposition to groups such as Jabhat …

Aleppo: the moment of truth for the United Nations

by Anna Jaunger On December 2, the official representative of the UN Secretary General Stefan Dyuzharrik said that during the operation of government forces to liberate Aleppo districts of militants there were released more than 30,000 peoples, including 14,000 children among them. Thus, today the ability to begin providing large-scale humanitarian aid to the Syrian population in the liberated areas in the eastern part of Aleppo will be the moment of truth for the United Nations. It should be mentioned that the question of the humanitarian disaster in militant-controlled eastern Aleppo has been repeatedly raised by the US State Department, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, the Foreign Ministries of Great Britain and France. There have also been lots of loud statements about the need to help ordinary Syrians. Recently, the representatives of these countries and organizations, in particular, UN Humanitarian Official Jan Egeland, insistently demanded to permit humanitarian convoys to get into the eastern districts of Aleppo. In addition, on December 2, British Prime Minister Theresa May, in an interview to local …

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Media Silent as Lame-Duck House Passes Resolution for Syrian No-Fly Zone — Provoking War with Russia

by Justin Gardner, via Free Thought Project Hillary Clinton’s loss was a shock to the purveyors of U.S. military hegemony, who saw in her an easier path to keep the Syria conflict going. Secretary of State Clinton was instrumental in the early days of Syria intervention, in 2010 making a series of demands for Syria to get in line behind the U.S. vision for the Middle East. When Bashar al-Assad refused to roll over, regime change became the talking point of Washington think tanks and mainstream media echo chambers. Clinton promised during her campaign to ramp up action in Syria, to the delight of the same neocons who brought the Iraq invasion. She acknowledged that many civilians would die if the U.S. set up a no-fly zone. Establishment of a no-fly zone is the next crucial step toward full-scale war. It would mean Syrian planes could not fly in their own airspace and would bring the disturbing prospect of U.S. planes shooting down Russian planes — which are operating there on invitation from Syria to help …

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Western weapons falls into the hands of terrorists

by Sophie Mangal British organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR) has examined the ways arms have been supplied to the areas of military conflict around the world and has published a new investigation on Syria (link: http://www.conflictarm.com/publications/). CAR experts have found that weapons supplied by Western countries not only get into the hands of the Syrian opposition fighters but also into the hands of IS terrorists. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the Syrian conflict IS militants used mainly weapons captured during the fighting with the Syrian and Iraqi government troops.  But after 2012 the terrorists gained new sources such as illegal supplies of weapons from the Western countries, buy and capture arms shipments destined to the Syrian opposition, as well as its own domestic arms industry. According to CAR’s James Bevan, the first evidence of illegal weapons turnover showed up as his staff found a box of ammunition with serial numbers not far from Mosul. It turned out that the ammunition had been manufactured in the factories of Eastern Europe, but it was …

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The West Ignores Terrorist Crimes in Aleppo

by Anna Jaunger Speaking at a UN Security Council session held to discuss the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, Syria’s permanent representative to the UN Bashar Al-Jaafari said that no one in the world is more committed than the Syrian government to protect the Syrians’ lives which suffer from the terrorism of armed organizations. He added, that terrorist attacks on civilians in Aleppo thrice coincided with the announcement of humanitarian pauses which were aimed at civilian’s lives saving. However, the West stubbornly ignores the significant efforts made by the Syrian authorities to rescue civilians including the introduction of humanitarian pauses, organization of humanitarian corridors, and delivery of humanitarian assistance. In addition, Al-Jaafari pointed out that all who commit crimes should be declared terrorists, no matter which group they belong to. Anyone who raises a weapon against civilians can’t belong to the “moderate” opposition. A striking example of the relevance of his words is a rocket attack on a primary school in Aleppo in the Al-Furqan on Sunday, November 20. It resulted in death of ten people, …

A damaged classroom is pictured after shelling in the rebel held town of Hass, south of Idlib province, Syria October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

HRW conducted a biased investigation for the school “bombing” in Idlib?

by Mehmet Ersoy On November 6, Human Rights Watch published a report in which the Syrian government and its allies were accused of carrying out an airstrike on a school in Idlib province in late October, 2016. According to the report, on October 26, the school was hit by two Su-24 jets used by the Syrian and Russian AFs. Citing some witnesses, the organization claims the jets dropped from 7 to 9 parachute bombs on the school and nearby road. It says no military facilities were in school or by it and all the casualties were among civilians. It should be noted that, basing on HRW’s report, the Western media went off blaming Assad and his allies for murdering civilians. The artificial information hysteria even forced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon make a hasty loud statement on military crimes in Idlib. In its turn, the next day only the Russian side could provide sound evidence of the fact that the Syrian aviation and its allies had nothing to do with the attack on the school in …

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Military Escalation in the Wake of the U.S. Presidential Elections? Stopping Hillary’s Coming War on Syria

by Shamus Cooke, via Global Research With Hillary Clinton’s victory in the bag, there’s a growing fear that her presidency will begin with a bang: regime change in Syria. Clinton has said as much. Last year Reuters reported that “removing President Assad” would be Clinton’s “top priority.” This regime change sentiment was echoed more recently by her foreign policy adviser, Jeremy Bash, who said that Clinton would “…work to get Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, “out of there.” More spectacularly has been Clinton’s repeated insistence during debates that a “no fly zone” should be implemented in Syria, which, as the Libyan experiment proved, is a euphemism for regime change and war. The fact that such blatant warmongering can go unchallenged is itself a major PR victory for the establishment. The anti-war movement seems speechless, immobile in the face of yet another war. This paralysis is due, in part, to the Left’s splintering over Syria, where vicious infighting over a consistent anti-war perspective has spoiled debate. Instead of focusing on stopping the next war, the Left …

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Is Nick Cohen “standing up” for Syria?

by Keith Egerton Edited and revised 10/28/16 One of the most remarkable phenomenon in current liberal leaning comment in the liberal leaning Guardian group’s publications, are the often bilious attacks on the ‘left wing’ in British society, and on the current Labour Party in particular. One such article in the Observer (16th October, 2016), titled ‘Who, on the left or right, will stand up for Syria?’, began with the statement, The far left’s ideology is not “left wing” in any sense that a socialist from the 19th or 20th centuries would have understood. Really? Now, I am not formally qualified to objectively examine this statement in detail. My reading list on the history of socialism includes only general histories of the reform movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries. But to anyone with even a little knowledge of the history of socialism, the author’s assertion seems counter-intuitive. Such a general statement surely needs to be challenged and debated, not least because it is presented as an absolute truth. Following on from this opening gambit, …

Mass demonstration in support of Syria’s secular Arab nationalist government, 2011.

The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t

Apparently, the US Left has yet to figure out that Washington doesn’t try to overthrow neoliberals. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were a devotee of the Washington Consensus–as Counterpunch’s Eric Draitser seems to believe–the United States government wouldn’t have been calling since 2003 for Assad to step down. Nor would it be overseeing the Islamist guerilla war against his government; it would be protecting him

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Western Hypocrisy, and Why It Makes the World a Dangerous Place

by Michael Jabara Carley, October 16, 2016, via Strategic Culture The West has always been a great trembling hive of hypocrisy, portraying itself as liberal, progressive, civilised and democratic. You know the descriptors; the list is very long. Take the United States, for example, it is the «shining house upon the hill»: just, altruistic, democratic, with a «mission to extend individual liberties throughout the world». “Our cause has been the cause of all mankind”, Lyndon Johnson declared during the 1964 presidential election campaign. To reinforce his argument Johnson cited President Woodrow Wilson, who had similar things to say about American virtue. Nothing has changed: listen to Barack Obama talk about the altruism of the United States. “We are the «exceptional nation»,” he often says. These western and especially US virtues are mobilised to justify policies, wars, covert activities which are not virtuous at all. Let’s start with Wilson. He is best known for the «Fourteen Points», national self-determination, “democracy”, open agreements, and so on. “Do as I say, not as I do,” Wilson might have …