HOW WE WERE MISLED ABOUT SYRIA: CHANNEL 4 NEWS

Reblogged from Prof. Tim Hayward. Also strongly recommend his:

Amnesty International on Syria – at it again!

Writing recently about how we were misled by Amnesty International’s reports on Syria, I was criticised – for using the past tense.

This week Amnesty International has published a ‘new’ report – Syria: The Human Slaughterhouse – that presents no new evidence of the deaths it purports to be documenting. Even the BBC’s take on it makes clear: ‘it does not have evidence of executions taking place since December 2015’. The publication repeats previous claims about the years 2011-2015, and extrapolates.[1]

Such grave allegations need to be taken very seriously, but that starts with being scrupulous about their basis.

Previously I showed how Amnesty International did not follow its own prescribed research guidelines for earlier reports; it did not do so this time either.[2]

Those guidelines were those set out by Secretary General, Salil Shetty, and I think he could give a clearer steer on the need to observe them. In an interview, it was put to Shetty that accusations of bias are sometimes levelled at Amnesty International. His reply was that, since the organisation is criticised from all sides, ‘it must be doing something right’. This facile reply is fallacious. I can think of one controversial Amnesty representative, for instance, who has been accused of making unjustified claims against the governments of both Israel and Syria. I suspect many people who check will think he is wrong in one of those cases, although not necessarily the same one, without thereby assuming either he must be right in the other. I myself would simply regard him as simply insufficiently reliable.

Even if it is in fact true that the organisation is doing ‘something’ right, I do not think Amnesty should be content that this is good enough. I would want to insist that Amnesty needs to be tenacious in ensuring not to get it wrong. Its practice in Syria of extrapolating on the basis of conjectures made following conversations with representatives of the opposition is not guaranteed to ensure that.

What I think the grassroots supporters of Amnesty International need above all to be concerned about is what the organisation is trying to achieve with this new publication. With more constructive possibilities of international involvement following the end of the siege of Aleppo, what is the reason for reviving attempts to demonise the Syrian government?

Whatever excesses any parties need eventually to be held to account for, the concern of Amnesty International is supposed to be with human beings, and their interest lies overwhelmingly in achieving peace – not in stoking the embers of the war.

[1] A critical discussion of this is available at http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/02/amnesty-report-hearsay.html

[2] For the 2012 report, which covers the first year of the five referred to in the new publication, I showed, point by point, that the report admits failing to fulfil some of the research criteria and fails to show it has met any of them. Substantially the same verdict applies to what is said here for 2012-2015; regarding the period 2015-2016, which many readers will understandably, but mistakenly, assume the ‘new’ evidence relates to, no evidence at all is even claimed to be presented.

 

How We Were Misled About Syria: Amnesty International

 

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What’s Happening in Syria? The Media “Kills the Truth”, “Terrorism” is Described as “Moderate Opposition”: Eva Bartlett

By Eva Bartlett
February 05, 2017
Eva Bartlett

Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett is the object of a smear campaign by Canada’s mainstream media.

Listen to what she has to say and then decide who is telling the truth.

The mainstream media denies the existence of terrorists linked to Al Qaeda.

According to mainstream sources, there were no terrorists in Aleppo. 

Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are supported by US-NATO, Saudi Arabia and Israel. They are the state-sponsors of terrorism. We are dealing with a war of aggression. Eva Bartlett provides detailed evidence of  war crimes. (M.Ch, GR Editor)

Montreal Event, January 28, 2017

THOSE WHO TRANSMIT SYRIAN VOICES ARE RUSSIAN PROPAGANDISTS? MONITORS OF ‘FAKE NEWS’ NEGATE SYRIAN SUFFERING

In Gaza

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*In the old city of Homs, June 2014, speaking with Zeinat and Aymen al-Akhras who endured years of hell under the rule of militant factions. In May 2014, an agreement saw the reportedly 1,200 militants bussed out of Homs (as recently happened in Aleppo), bringing peace to the neighbourhoods they’d occupied and terrorized. Excerpt from my article on this visit and interviewing residents of the old city of Homs: “I dropped to 34 kilos. Aymen told me to weigh myself. I got on the scale and said, ‘What’s 34 kilos?’. A ten-year-old weighs more than that! And Aymen was 43 kilos. For a man, 43 kilos…”


“We were twelve siblings with eight houses in the area, and the family house. We all had stores of food.”


“Thirty-eight times they came to steal our food. The first couple of times, they knocked on the door, after that they just entered with guns. The last things they took were our dried peas, our cracked wheat, our olives, finally our za’atar (wild thyme). We started to eat grass and whatever greens we could find in February, 2014, and that’s all we had till Homs was liberated,”–Zeinat al-Akhras. Read: Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of “Revolution”

Russian Propagandists?

Since it is a theme that those who report differently than the MSM war propaganda on Syria must therefore work for either/both Syria or Russia, I’ll address that in this brief post, drawing on some interviews and related material, since I continue to be incredibly busy.

Some excerpts from: ‘If I write in line with Russian media, it’s because we both tell the truth’ – Eva Bartlett to RT, 17 Dec, 2016, RT

Some people have taken issue with the things I said because I was basically criticizing much of the corporate media reporting on Syria, and instead of actually digesting what I said and criticizing the details of what I said, people have gone to the usual tactic of trying to smear who I am and imply that I am an agent of either or both Syria and Russia,” Bartlett said, adding that it’s been openly implied she is on the payroll of the Syrian and Russian governments. The fact that she is an active contributor to RT’s op-edge section has also been jumped all over.

The fact that I do contribute to the RT op-edge section apparently, in some people’s eyes, makes me compromised. I began contributing to the RT op-edge section when I lived in Gaza, and this was not an issue for people who then appreciated my writing,” she stated.

What I am writing, and what I’m reporting, and who I am citing are Syrian civilians whom I’ve encountered in Syria.

“If people do not wish to hear the voices of Syrian civilians and if they want to maintain their narrative which is in line with the NATO narrative – which is in line with destabilizing Syria and vilifying the government of Syria and ignoring the overwhelming wishes of the people of Syria – then they do this by accusing me of spreading propaganda,” the journalist stressed.

The fact that my writing is in line with the Syrian people… in some respect aligns with Russian media reports, does not mean that I’m reporting Russian propaganda, and it does not mean that what Russian media is reporting is propaganda. It happened to be that I report the truth as I see it on the ground, and some Russian media happen to report the truth as they see it on the ground.

“Why do we not see these accusations when a BBC journalist goes to Syria and reports what I often believe to be not the full story? Why are they not accused of working for the State of England? Why are Al Jazeera journalists not accused of working for Qatar?”

My Related Comments:

 

*Please note, I do not have ‘my own blog’ on RT, as written in the RT overview of an interview I gave to the site (and as also alleged by a factually-challenged ‘fact check’ by Channel 4 News, the debunking of which will be out soon). In fact, the RT disclaimer at the bottom of Op-Edge contributions is clear: “The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.” How did the fact checkers at Channel 4 miss that?

Since April 2013, I have contributed total of 8 opinion pieces to RT’s Op-Edge section (3 of which were from or on Gaza, Occupied Palestine), an RT section which contains writings from over 70 authors.

8 articles in a period of nearly 4 years, that’s not exactly “active” writing dedicated to RT. Take a look at some of the other authors who are indeed very active.  In fact, to the claims that any of my writing is opportunism, wouldn’t one expect me to thus direct most of my articles to RT and get paid something (nothing compared to BBC, NYTimes or other fake news journalists), rather than instead directing my articles to a variety of lesser or not at all paying sources? I have no qualms about my scant contribution of opinion pieces to RT, but to paint me as ‘working’ for RT is a fact-checking error, one which I believe to be intentional.

Further, Dr. Helen Caldicott and William Engdahl also contribute to RT Op-Edge. Will Channel 4 and other smear sites now claim they are working for Russia?

Thus, I am not ’employed by’ RT, I contribute sporadically to RT, as well as more regularly to a host of independent media (21st Century Wire, SOTT.net, MintPressNews, Dissident Voice, and formerly: Al Akhbar English, American Herald Tribune, Zero Anthropology, and others).

If not already glaringly clear, the intention of such ‘fact-check’ pieces is solely to discredit myself and others like me. And even though I strongly disagree with the lexicon of ‘civil war’ and ‘rebels’ frequently used in RT reports and commentaries,  RT has been one of the few English-language media outlets to consistently have journalists on the ground, risking their lives to report the realities MSM would not report. I would encourage people to follow RT’s reports on Syria.

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*From June 2014, old city of Homs, interviewing Nazim Kanawati, who knew and was a friend of Father Frans van der Lugt and who arrived moments after the 75-year-old priest had been shot in the back of the head. From my article on this visit: “Father Frans was a peace-maker and played an important role in arranging the evacuation of civilians from the Old City during the siege. He was trusted by both sides, and didn’t distinguish between Christians and Muslims. He was concerned with humanity.” Like Father Frans, Kanawati refused to leave Homs while others fled. “I didn’t want to leave, I’m a Syrian, I had the right to be there.”

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*Entering Damascus neighbourhood by shared taxi from Beirut, Oct 2016.

On Funding:

 

Addressing the smear-tactic accusations that I’m funded by either or both the Syrian and/or Russian governments, for the sake of time I’ll share excerpts from a social media post I wrote not long ago:

Writing truth doesn’t pay. Independent sites which are courageous enough to host the truth usually cannot afford to pay more than $50/article, or often nothing at all. But for those who have principles and are not writing about Syria and related issues for profit, this is irrelevant.

So the obvious question that hacks have assumed they know the answer to: how do people like myself and colleagues manage to exist, if not being paid ridiculously-well per article as some in corporate media, often writing lies, are.

In order to go to Syria many times, I have either saved money slowly and when able traveled to the country, or I have publicly fundraised. I travel the cheapest means, always with long layovers and inconvenient routes, but ensuring airfare that is far cheaper than those in corporate media traveling to Syria. Then again, that’s me making an assumption: perhaps they also flew economy from North America to Dubai (much further east than destination Beirut), slept on the airport floor, traveled back west to Beirut, stayed in the cheapest closet-sized rooms in the city or outside where it is cheaper, and took a shared taxi to Damascus.

I’m aware of many colleagues like myself who live on the edge, sometimes down to the last dollars in their pockets until a meagre payment comes in for an article many hours/days worked on. Many I know have had to borrow money, as have I, in order to travel to Syria, or fundraise, or wait until we accumulate enough through writings and also the kind donations to our work by people who value it.

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*Castello road, shelled on Nov 4, 2016 by militants 7 times on humanitarian corridor day, twice while I was there.

Independents Only Go To Safe Areas of Syria?

 

This is another charge levied at independent journalists and others who go in solidarity to Syria to speak directly with Syrian people instead of getting the story from the one man UK-based ‘observatory’, the SOHR, or from lying corporate media whose propaganda has been debunked and–with the case of the BBC–which portrayed a photo from Iraq alleging that the photo was in Houla, Syria.

Government-secured areas of Syria are not free of danger: many have been or continue to be subject to terrorism, whether in the form of car bombings (as with the many times terror-attacked district of al-Zahra’a, Homs, which I visited some days after a major series of car and suicide bombings in December 2015 or as with the Akrama school in Homs, Oct 2014, killing at least 41 children, to cite 2 of endless examples. Some more examples here), rocket and mortar attacks, and snipings.

On 6 visits to Syria, when back  in Damascus I’ve stayed in the Old City and was in the midst of mortar attacks which in 2014 and 2015 were near-daily and quite heavy. In 2016, there were still mortar attacks but less than prior. That said, a dear friend lost her sister and that woman’s infant son to such a mortar attack in July 2016. The “moderate” “rebels”‘ idea of “revolution” is to indiscriminately shell civilian areas. These maimed children were a sampling of the injured (some critically so) when I visited Damascus’ University Hospital in February 2015. These children were injured in April 2014, when militants mortared their school in Old Damascus.

Prior to its liberation, to enter Aleppo the sole route (with the exception of the August securing of Castello road) was via Ramouseh road, known for snipings and shelling from militant factions. I traveled that road 6 times (3 visits), in times when snipings had recently occurred. Traveling the Castello road even posed a danger, as I and colleague Vanessa Beeley learned in August 2016 when leaving Aleppo. The road was being mortared by militant factions and our simple taxi, while trying to speed along, was boxed in by other trucks also leaving.

While in Taaouna this summer, taking the testimonies of Syrians from the village of Aqrab where there was a massacre perpetrated by the ‘moderates’ of the Free Syrian Army, there was great risk of shelling or sniping by the terrorists still occupying Aqrab. Of that visit, I wrote:

“Yesterday, via a winding road through the Masyaf region hills, descending to the village of Ta’aouna, I met with residents of neighbouring Aqrab, which in December 2012 was attacked by the so-called “Free Syrian Army” who massacred between 120-150 Aqrab residents (more on their testimonies soon).

Standing on the roof of the home to which three Aqrab survivors had come to give their testimonies, the village of Aqrab, roughly 500 metres away, was distinctly visible—as are any people in Ta’aouna who go rooftop (for laundry, water or other reasons) to terrorist snipers in the hills near Aqrab. The home owner pointed out holes from such snipers’ bullets prior.

Two hundred metres down a lane, some fifteen houses remain inhabited by local Ta’aouna families (including children), in homes 300 metres from where terrorists and their snipers lie.

When terrorists massacred villagers in Aqrab in December 2012, they were then known as “Free Syrian Army” terrorists.

Now, occupied villages in the region comprise terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and Da’esh (ISIS). As most Syrians I’ve met say, they are the same, with different names and financial backers, but commit the same heinous beheadings, assassinations, kidnappings and other western-sanctioned crimes in Syria.

Rooftop the home closest to the dirt embankment beyond (this particular house uninhabited, although only 5 metres from the next inhabited one), Abu Abdo, a local defense volunteer explains how he and others in the village take night shifts to watch for attempted terrorist infiltrations. The Syrian Arab Army has hilltop posts around Ta’aouna, but nonetheless the village defenders (including many who are family men and formerly served in the SAA) watch to see if/where terrorists are shooting from/at. “We organized ourselves, since 2011. We communicate with the army and give them targets, and they do the same with us,” he says of the watch for terrorist attacks.

We sit behind a wall of tires, some concrete blocks to one side serving as a defensive wall from behind which to watch for and shoot at terrorists. A second local defender appears, greets me with a friendly handshake, explains that in late 2013 terrorists managed to advance to the low hills to our right. But not since.

I ask Abu Abdo what he did prior to the war on Syria. A school principal, and he still is, he does the defense volunteering after hours….

They point to the land between Ta’aouna and the low hills flanking the village, and the start of Aqrab beyond.

“That small cement building on the land, right near there, about one month ago, a university student was shot in his head and killed, by a terrorist sniper. He was an engineering student.”

Earlier they’d told me about this, and about another university student who roughly 2 weeks ago was torn apart by shelling from terrorists in Aqrab. “He had just finished his exams,” they had said.

Descending from the roof, we walk past a nearby house, the children on the porch stoop. The second defense soldier tells me, with a proud smile, they are his kids. He takes me to the side of the house to show three creatively covered holes, “Dushkie” shots from the terrorists about 10 days ago.” READ MORE ABOUT THAT VISIT  HERE

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At the outskirts of al-Waer, Homs, I was urged not to remain standing at the checkpoint where I’d been watching civilians re-entering their district. I was told that some 2,000 + militants (this estimate may be too low) still remained in al-Waer, under a truce, but that they could violate it at any moment, hence sniping was a risk. READ MORE ABOUT THAT VISIT HERE.

On two occasions I’ve been sniped at by militants. In summer 2014 outside the walls of the Old City of Damascus, a sniper in Jobar fired my way, bullets whizzing past, startling a number of Syrian women and men sitting on the grass.  In summer 2016, passing through the Damascus district of Barzeh, the taxi I was in was sniped at by a militant in that district (it is under a truce since early 2014. FSA within still have light arms).

On Nov 4, I was at the Castello road humanitarian crossing, along which in theory civilians (and even militants) who wished to leave militant-occupied areas could do so. While there, the road was shelled 2 times by militant factions. This video captured the 2nd shelling.

These are just some examples to highlight that even when reporting and taking testimonies of Syrians living in government-protected areas, it is not without great risk. The smear tactic of implying otherwise completely negates the hell that Syrian civilians have been living for years under these various types of attacks.

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*Gas canister bombs litter the roads between Aleppo and the northern villages of Nubl and Zahra’a, which I visited in July 2016. It is such bombs, and larger water heater bomb variations (as well as Grad missiles, mortars and explosive bullets), which for years militant and terrorist factions were firing near-daily on the 1.5 million people of greater Aleppo, before liberation.

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*Aleppo University residences housing well over 10,000 internally displaced Syrians from militant-occupied areas of Aleppo and its countryside for around 4 or more years. One of the residences was hit by a terrorist missile days prior to my 2nd November visit, killing four from one family alone.

Related:

Aleppo: How US & Saudi-Backed Rebels Target ‘Every Syrian’, MintPressNews, Nov 29, 2016, Eva Bartlett.
Aleppo and nearby villages ravaged by the U.S.’s “moderate” terrorists (Photo Essay), SOTT.net, Sep 8, 2016, Eva Bartlett
Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors, SOTT.net, Aug 14, 2016, Eva Bartlett

 

The Truth on Syria: Canadian Journalist Eva Bartlett in Montreal

Global Research, January 24, 2017
Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett will be speaking in Montreal,

Saturday January 28, 4 PM – 7 PM

Delta Hotels by Marriott Montreal

 

475 President-Kennedy Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1J7

Also participating in this event with Introductory comments are: Prof. Michel Chossudovsky and Yves Engler.

What really happened in Aleppo in Syria at the end of 2016?

Did the Russian and Syrian armies really engage in the massacre of a civilian population in rebellion against the Syrian government?

This is what the major Western media would have us believe, as it tries to justify, on humanitarian grounds, a direct military intervention by NATO forces, which could lead to further escalation, globally. But is this information ”objective” or “unbiased”?

We invite you to attend a conference by Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett who was is able to provide first-hand information to shed light on the real issues of the war in Syria which caused nearly half a million deaths and more than four million refugees.

An independent Canadian journalist who became well recognized after a press conference at the United Nations during which she debunked the information provided by the major western media about the war in Syria and the sources on which they rely.

Bartlett, a native of southern Ontario, has visited Palestine, Lebanon and Syria on several occasions; From where she made herself known for her reports and analyses published among others on TeleSur, Global Research, Al-Akhbar, Rabble.ca and on her own blog.

A specialist in Syria, she has been an eyewitness to mortar attacks in Damascus and has been the target of snipers herself. She will present a summary of what she observed on the spot and the many interviews with street people and victims of hostilities. Eva Bartlett also became known for her activities as a journalist and human rights activist in the Gaza Strip where she lived a total of three years between 2008 and 2013. She testified about the war crimes and attacks on Gaza perpetrated By the Israeli army while accompanying paramedics and reporting from hospitals.

En direct d’Alep! Que s’est-il réellement passé à Alep en Syrie à la fin de 2016? L’armée russe et syrienne se sont-elles vraiment livrées au massacre d’une population civile en rébellion contre le gouvernement syrien? C’est ce qu’il faudrait croire si l’on se fie aux informations diffusées avec insistance par les grands médias occidentaux, censées justifier, par des raisons humanitaires, une intervention militaire directe des forces de l’OTAN. Celle-ci serait susceptible de conduire le monde dans une escalade meurtrière. Mais ces informations sont-elles objectives ou « intéressées »? Nous vous proposons d’assister à une conférence de la journaliste indépendante canadienne, Eva Bartlett.

Elle est en mesure, mieux que quiconque, de livrer des informations de première main pour faire la lumière sur les véritables enjeux de la guerre en Syrie, laquelle a fait près d’un demi-million de morts et plus de quatre millions de réfugiés.

Journaliste indépendante canadienne rendue célèbre après une conférence de presse donnée aux Nations Unies durant laquelle fut mis à mal le bienfondé des informations livrées par les grands médias occidentaux sur la guerre en Syrie ainsi que les sources sur lesquelles elles s’appuient.

Bartlett, originaire du sud de l’Ontario, s’est rendue à plusieurs reprises en Palestine, au Liban et en Syrie; d’où elle s’est fait connaitre pour ses reportages et analyses publiés entre autres sur Mondialisation.ca, TeleSur, Al-Akhbar, Rabble.ca et son propre blog. Spécialiste de la Syrie, elle a même été témoin oculaire d’attaques au mortier à Damas en plus d’avoir été elle-même la cible de tireurs d’élite.

Elle présentera un sommaire de ce qu’elle-même a observé sur place et des nombreuses entrevues avec les gens de la rue, des victimes.

Eva Bartlett s’est également fait connaitre pour ses activités de journaliste et de militante pour les droits humains dans la bande de Gaza où elle a vécu trois ans au total entre 2008 et 2013. Elle a témoigné des crimes de guerre et attaques contre Gaza perpétrés par l’armée israélienne alors qu’elle accompagnait des ambulanciers et reportait depuis les hôpitaux.

SYRIA: The Children of Kafarya and Foua are Crying in the Dark


Eva bwEva Bartlett

21st Century Wire

A true humanitarian crisis of malnutrition, starvation, and untreated diseases has been occurring for over a year in Syria far from cameras and headlines, and has been steadily worsening under the total siege, imposed since March 2015 by terrorists of the Jaysh al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) coalition on the two northern Syrian villages of Foua and Kafarya, completely isolated and surrounded by Western-backed terrorists.

The Syrian poster child of suffering is not the ‘Aleppo boy‘ whose image was recently splashed on front pages and social media in a coordinated act of propaganda. The Syrian poster children of suffering—starvation, murder, maiming, and denial of medical care, thanks to Western-backed terrorists—are many, but perhaps the most severe and continued examples these days come from Foua and Kafarya.

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Photo from inside Kafarya & Foua. The true face of starvation.

Under siege, the diseases and illnesses of children (and adults) go untreated due to a lack of medicines and for want of a properly-equipped and functioning hospital.

Under siege, the critical injuries of children (and adults) in many instances result in death, otherwise in prolonged suffering due to the same, preventable, denial of medical care.

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Photo: Kafarya and Foua

Ali Wael Karabash, 5, is believed to have skin cancer and must avoid bright lights and sunlight. Photos of the boy from several months ago to the most current images being shared on social media by Foua residents show a drastic worsening of his skin cancer. Until now, there have been no campaigns by human rights groups, the UN, or media to inform people of his treatable disease, nor to advocate for that treatment. Instead, the boy suffers the physical pain of the festering lesions on his face and the psychological pain of knowing he could have treatement, and of a childhood robbed of peace and even sunlight.

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Photo: Kafarya and Foua

On August 27, Laith al-Haj, 6, was shot in the head by a terrorist of Jaysh al-Fateh in neighbouring Binnish village. Until recently, Laith was in critical condition, only some day agos showing signs of mild improvement. Laith’s 4 year old brother Mohammed was likewise sniped that day, shot in his neck.

Video Player

Whereas the Aleppo boy had front page coverage and world-wide sympathy, these two boys, among a tremendous many more, who continue to need urgent medical care, are pointedly ignored by the media, as are the documented maimings and killings over the years of children and other civilians in the villages.

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Photo: Kafarya and Foua

On August 30, Jaysh al-Fateh from 2pm until evening heavily bombed the two Idlib governorate villages with well over 200 missiles, Grad rockets, tank shells, Hell Cannon-fired cooking gas canister bombs, and mortars.

The following day, the terrorists, which include al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham, fired another over 60 of these bombs at estimated 23,000 residents. The mercenary coalition surround Foua and Kafarya from all directions, making it impossible for residents to flee the bombings, let alone escape the siege.

Kafarya and Foua residents defend their villages, but with no where near the arsenal with which Western, Turkish, and Gulf-backed mercenaries routinetly attack. In addition to the array of bombs these terrorists possess, they also use tanks to fire upon the village residents.

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Aya Steeh, 11 years old. Murdered by NATO terrorists besieging Kafarya & Foua

According to local journalist, Jameel al-Sheikh, the August 30 bombardment injured at least nine people and killed an eleven year old girl, Aya Steeh, who died of her wounds during surgery.

As of September 6, no major English-language media have reported on these attacks, athough on social media, supporters of the besieged villages continue to actively share photos, videos and tweets of the carnage.

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Infant Rimas Al-Nayef was one of at least 5 children killed by NATO-backed terrorists’ shelling on August 10, 2015 in the northwestern Syrian village of Foua.

One year ago, I wrote of the murder of infant Rimas al-Nayef, whose August 10, 2015 killing was not reported by corporate media. Nor were those of four other children, and 25 other residents, killed the same day in a bombardment of up to 1,500 terrorist rockets, missiles, mortars and other bombs on the villages.

At that time, I also quoted Syrian journalist Saer Asleam who reported:

“There are more than 60 critically ill people, and others who have been seriously injured by the shelling. Heart and kidney patients, and those with cancer and other severe diseases, are at risk of dying due to the lack of the necessary medicines and drugs for treatments.”

This was one year ago. By now, the number of critically-ill and seriously-injured is exponentially higher. And still, silence in the United Nations and corporate media.

Nuermous other children in the villages have since been killed by terrorist bombings and snipings, or by the siege. Some of these deaths include:

Retal Haj Hasan, 5, killed by missile fire on Foua, June 2016.

Najeb Ahmad Hallak, 10, shot in the heart by a sniper while returning from school in February, 2016.

Zahra Mohammad Haj Saleh, an infant, died of malnourishment and cold in February 2016.

Fatma Nour al-Deen, just under a year and a half old, died in January 2016 from a lack of medical care.

“People Are On The Edge of Death”: Siege Testimonies

In Damascus this August, I met with a number of Foua residents who had been evacuated in late December 2015, a rare evacuation which saved a proportionately small number of injured or ill residents.

The exchange allowed 336 severely-injured or ill from the villages, including some defenders of the village, to be transported out for needed medical care, in exchange for the transfer from Zabadani and Madaya districts of 126 people, including an unknown number of terrorists.

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Abeer Mando, aged 32 from Foua.

The evacuees spoke of the hellish conditions the had endured until December, stressing that eight months later, life is unbearable, “people are on the edge of death.”

They also spoke of an increase of water-borne diseases—particularly among children—with the population drinking whatever water they could find, often contaminated.

Although there are wells and water pumps, the people lack the electricity or fuel to operate the pumps. Some people have gone so far as to press olive oil to run the pumps, but even that only lasted so long and depleted a vital food source.

In the August 30 bombings of Foua and Kafarya, Jaysh al-Fateh mercenaries destroyed the towns’ water tanker which had been used to distribute what water could be pumped to residents.

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Photo: Kafarya and Foua by Jameel Alshaikh

Due to sniping and shelling attacks of the mercenaries besieging them, the residents have lost access to farmland, thus a food source, and to trees for winter heating and cooking.

One of the residents, Maher, said that he had lost 20 kg from the March 2015 siege until his departure in December. “Imagine how people are now.”

According to Foua residents in the village, Zainab Waheed Muhsen, 65, needs unavailable oxygen therapy once every three days for her Pulmonary fibrosis. She is reported to also have Parkinson’s, the medications for which she cannot receive, and suffers from liver and heart problems.

Patients with heart, liver, kidney and other common diseases remain without adequate treatment.

In February 2016, Foua residents and the few doctors there issued a statement regarding a desperately-awaited shipment of aid finally received. They noted that it was inadequate, with perished food items, and no meat or produce included. Regarding needed medical aid, the statement read in part:

International Organizations consistently ignore very specific and clear needs and are assiduously failing to meet those needs time after time. Especially for some medical supplies and essential medicines, like the anaesthesia drugs, sterilization and hygiene products.

The hospital is also surprised by the lack of supplies of diabetes medications in particular, especially insulin, as well as anti-hypertensive drugs, diuretics and many other chronic disease medications.

As for our suffering children, our medical staff here are demanding to know why, for 10 months, you have not supplied any vaccines. …thousands of children trapped in our towns are at risk of getting sick from diseases that could be prevented by these vaccines…”

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Iman Rehal, 39. From Foua.

Iman Rehal, 39, one of the evacuated residents, was shot in her head on August 15, 2013, while in her home, by one of the snipers besieging Foua. She stayed in a coma for six months, and has since endured fits of shorter comas.

In the first two months of her coma, Rehal was stuck in Foua because the roads out were not safe. After two months, she was transferred and treated in a Latakia hospital. When months later she was to go back for further medical care, a terrorist missile hit near her house, preventing her from leaving that day.

Months later, the siege on Kafarya and Foua began, eleminating any possibility for further medical treatment. She was included in the December 2015 evacuation, along with her two young children, due to the shrapnel that remains in her head and the paralysis affecting the left side of her body.

Her request:

“We want this suffering to be conveyed to the UN.”

NATIONS UNITED IN SILENCE

An August 2, 2016, United Nations Security Council session revisited a 1996 report on violations against children during armed conflict. The UN’s press release noted that Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, “said many of the impacts of conflicts on young people could not captured by statistics. Children lost parents, were disabled due to curable illnesses and suffered long-term psychological trauma.”

But the children of Foua and Kafarya’s curable illnesses and long-term psychological traumas go unaddressed by Zerrougui or the United Nations.

Syria’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Ja’afari, addressed the session. Speaking at length on the real causes of the suffering of children in Syria and in refugee camps, Ambassador al-Ja’afari highlighted that Saudi Arabia’s perverted Wahhabi ideology has been actively enacted against Syrian children by Saudi-backed terrorists in Syria.  Translated from his speech in Arabic, excerpts of his address include:

The whole world has been shocked by the horrendous crime of the slaughter of the Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa, who sat wounded, stunned, surrounded by human beasts…Such a group which has been considered by some as ‘moderates’.

Thus, that child was slaughtered according to the Wahhabi ISIL legitimacy, in order to commit this disgusting crime.

But it is a genetically-modified crime.  A group of ‘moderate’ thieves, called Nour al-Din al-Zenki, a group manufactured in Turkey, which was described by the United States ambassador in a previous session as ‘rebel fighters’, as you might recall; which is a terrorist group which practises the Wahhabi perverted thinking, and receives financial and arms support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Western powers and the Erdogan regime, this group has committed this ‘moderate’ criminal act.

The images and stories coming out of Foua and Kafarya are so appalling that they should be highlighted in the United Nations and in Western media, both of which purport to care about Syrian civilians.

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Attempts to save eleven old Aya Steeh failed. Another life lost to the NATO war against Syrian children. Photo: Jameel Alshaikh

But because these realities do not fit the warped and untruthful narratives of “moderate rebels” and a “dictator” killing his people, the suffering of Foua and Kafarya residents goes unmentioned in the media which hypocritically and immorally champions terrorists in Syria as “rebels”, and unmentioned in the United Nations, which systematically works to silence the Syrian voice.

The people of Kafarya and Foua, and of everywhere ravaged by death squads deemed “moderates” in Syria, must not only to be heard, but their siege and terrorism-imposed suffering must cease. These children, adults, and elderly are the faces which people who cry for the Aleppo boy- and every propaganda campaign before him- need to know of and need to advocate for.

***

Follow Eva Bartlett at www.ingaza.wordpress.com

Assad message to Syria after the Aleppo Victory – Lies About Syria

 

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Canadian Journalist Exposes Lies by Mainstream Media on Syria

December 11, 2016

Canadian journalist, Eva Barlett, completely dismantled mainstream media’s narrative on events taking place in Syria.

The freelance journalist has repeatedly visited Syria since the conflict began in 2011, in a bid to get a sense of the realities on the ground.

In a press conference organized on Friday by the Syrian mission to the United Nations, Barlett delivered her remarks regarding the current situation in Aleppo and throughout the country, in which she pointed out Western media bias regarding the conflict.

Canadian journalist, Eva BarlettShe was asked by a journalist from the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten what the incentive was for Western media to spin a false narrative.

The Norwegian journalist asked her about “the agenda from us in the Western media, and why we should lie –why the international organizations on the ground should lie?…How can you justify calling all of us liars?”

The Canadian journalist pointed out that there are “certainly honest journalists among the very compromised establishment media. However, she started off by challenging the assertion about the ‘international organizations’ on the ground in eastern Aleppo. The reality, she noted, is that “there are none.”

“These organizations are relying on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR], which is based in Coventry, UK, which is one man. They’re relying on compromised groups like the White Helmets. Let’s talk about the White Helmets: They were founded in 2013 by a British ex-military officer, they have been funded to the tune of $100 million by the US, UK, Europe and other states.”

Bartlett also recalled that while the White Helmets “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib…no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them; and I say ‘no one’ bearing in mind that now 95% of these areas of eastern Aleppo are liberated.” At the same time, “The White Helmets purport to be neutral, and yet they can be found carrying guns and standing on the dead bodies of Syrian soldiers.”

Furthermore, she noted, “their video footage actually contains children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”

“So they [the White Helmets] are not credible. The SOHR are not credible. ‘Unnamed activists’ are not credible. Once or twice maybe, but every time? Not credible. So your sources on the ground – you don’t have them,” Bartlett said.

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