Eva Bartlett Discusses Media’s Fake Narrative on Syria

Independent journalist Eva Bartlett offers up an interesting suggestion in this interview–that maybe it’s time for all people of conscience to stop granting interviews to the mainstream media. “We can’t expect them (the corporate media) to suddenly have an agenda of telling truth on Syria or any other issue.” It is a statement one could hardly argue with.

If a TV reporter asks you to give a comment on camera, the last–and I mean the absolutely last–thing you should do is to feel flattered. What should cross your mind instead is the instant recognition that such a person’s main interest is not in presenting an accurate account of what you have to say, but rather in getting a soundbite that supports his or her employer’s political narrative. This is what they get paid for. This is what a reporter’s job is nowadays.

In the world we live in today, truth is turned upside down. Watch this video posted yesterday by RT regarding comments made at a committee meeting in Congress earlier this week. One of the speakers before the committee tries to advance the premise that the truth is in reality a “virus,” and that the viral avalanche of lies spouted by the mainstream media are in reality the truth. “Disarming” the “virus” necessitates finding a “vaccine,” this of course in the form of more lies.

I couldn’t help smiling at how irate the RT reporter sounded at the conclusion of her report, and yes, it is of course exasperating when liars manage to get away with their deceptions. Which I think gets back to what Bartlett is saying–that maybe it’s time to simply stop speaking to the mainstream media.

Finally, I’ll close with this–a simple and basic truth spoken by Syrian President Bashar Assad: that all foreign troops present in Syria are invaders unless they have the government’s permission to be in the country:

Video: War on Syria: Manufactured Revolution and Fake Media Narrative

Global Research, February 28, 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.

The following video interview by Global Research TV was conducted in Montreal in January in the context of Eva Bartlett’s Canada speaking tour.

It is followed by her presentation at the Montreal venue. (M.Ch, GR Editor)

Eva Bartlett’s presentation in Montreal 


Excerpts from Eva Bartlett’s Sott article entitled

Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors

Doctors In Aleppo Refute Media Lies

In the first week of July 2016 I traveled by car to Aleppo. When entering the southern Ramouseh district of the city, the car sped along a road known for terrorist snipers. Three weeks later in Ramouseh, a woman was sniped by a terrorist and killed.

© Eva Bartlett
Oil barrels line Ramouseh road to protect Syrian civilians against Western-backed terrorist snipers

In Aleppo, I met with doctors from the Aleppo Medical Association (established in 1959), including Dr. Zahar Buttal, Dr. Tony Sayegh, and Dr. Nabil Antaki.

One question I posed to the doctors was regarding the other oft-repeated lie of the “last pediatrician” in Aleppo, a startling allegation designed to shock western readers and rally them against the Syrian government. And one which has no basis in truth.

Dr. Zahar Buttal, Chairman of the Aleppo Medical Association, refuted such allegations, noting that Aleppo has 180 pediatricians still working in the city. Of one of the alleged lone pediatricians he said: “The media says the only pediatrician in Aleppo was killed in a hospital called Quds. In reality, it was a field hospital, not registered.” As for the pediatrician, “We checked the name of the doctor and didn’t find him registered in Aleppo Medical Association records.”

Indeed, the Quds hospital referenced was central to the April/May frenzy of media lies regarding Aleppo and the Syrian government, and Russian allies. Claims around the building called al-Quds hospital contradicted one another, the fallacies and serious discrepancies outlined in this article.

Also central to the lies were the bias and propaganda of the very partial, corporate-financed Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), which supports areas in Syria controlled by terrorists, specifically Jabhat al-Nusra (whose failed attempt at re-branding with a new name – Jabhat Fatha al-Sham – does not negate its ties to Al-Qaeda nor erase their crimes).

The next, related, question for the doctors was: If government-secured Aleppo has 180 pediatricians, how many doctors in total are still working there? Lying media have for months claimed the number of doctors are dwindling, including even a late July propaganda piece in The Intercept which asserted that “the number of doctors in Aleppo City has plummeted into the low dozens. The number of remaining medical specialists is even smaller.”

Yet, according to Dr. Zahar Buttal, until now there are 4,160 doctors registered and active in Aleppo city, in the government-secured areas of over 1.5 million people. Of the 4,160 doctors, 200 have been newly registered since the beginning of this year.

As for the media claims of a lack of specialists in Aleppo, in addition to the 180 mentioned pediatricians, there are of course many more specialists in Aleppo. According to the Aleppo Medical Association’s Dr. Zahar, specialists still practicing in the city include:

  • 30 cardiovascular surgeons
  • 214 general surgeons
  • 112 orthopedists
  • 11 pulmonologists
  • 12 neurologists
  • 8 neurosurgeons
  • 250 obstetricians/gynecologists
  • 15 gastroenterologists

Dr. Nabil Antaki, himself a gastroenterologist, is one of a group of 15 specialist doctors which, since late 2012, have volunteered their services, treating in private hospitals (with the most minimal equipment and medical fees possible) upwards of 500 civilians severely injured by terrorist bombings, needing specialist care and often life-support. Specialists in his group alone include: three general surgeons, one heart surgeon, one neurosurgeon, two orthopedic surgeons, and three anesthesiologists.

Dr. Antaki has been outspoken about the western media lies on Aleppo. When the western-created “Aleppo is Burning” campaign took flight in late April – the exact time when western-backed terrorists increased their daily bombing of Aleppo to severe bombardments – Dr. Antaki, seeing the worst of the casualties and bombings, spoke out.

When I met him in July 2016, Dr. Antaki continued to be vocal about the media manipulations and fragrant lies about the reality on the ground in Aleppo.

“All of the campaigns which were launched by the western media concerned the east part of Aleppo, which is the part controlled by the ‘rebels’. All the media reported that the people there are suffering, the buildings are destroyed and that the Syrian government are doing ‘war crimes’. But, what we are receiving in the part controlled by the Syrian government is much worse than in the east part. Nobody speaks about what is happening in the western part of Aleppo.There are not only tens of mortars every day which fell on the western part of Aleppo, but hundreds, and every day we have hundreds killed or wounded. And nobody spoke about it. When the media spoke about one supposed hospital destroyed in the eastern part, one week after, the main maternity hospital in Aleppo was hit by bombs sent by the ‘rebels’, and women were killed, and nobody spoke about this.”

Aleppo’s Dr. Tony Sayegh has also been vocal about the blatant media bias on Aleppo. In July, regarding the Quds hospital and related propaganda, Dr. Sayegh told me:

This hospital, in the Sukkari district, they made a big propaganda about it, ‘the last doctor in that area,’ which is absolutely wrong. The government has doctors working in that area who get their salaries from the government, even though the area is controlled by terrorists. For the government, all areas and and their inhabitants are Syrians. Areas where there are terrorists, like al-Manbij, like al-Bab, in all those areas there are many doctors working with the health ministry, and they take their salaries from the health ministry.

Aleppo’s Over Ten Thousand Dead and Maimed Absent From Corporate Headlines

Dr. Nabil Antaki gave the following overview of life for the civilians of government-secured Aleppo, from mid-2012 until our July meeting.

Since July 2012, the main area of Aleppo receives every day mortars, bombs and gas canisters, sent by the ‘rebels’ on the civilians living in Aleppo. Here you have human damage more than there, but less physical destruction, because here we are receiving mortars and gas canister bombs. If a mortar hits the building, it might make a hole the size of a window, but also kill five people at once. In the part of Aleppo under the government control, every day we have dozens of injured and killed.

In late April 2016, terrorists in the occupied eastern quarters of Aleppo, as well as then-occupied Beni Zaid and neighbouring districts, increased their normal bombing campaigns of mortars, gas canister explosives (from household to the the largest size canisters, stuffed with glass, bearings, metal shrapnel), explosive bullets, and powerful foreign-supplied rockets to from high-tens to over one hundred per day on the heavily-populated areas of Aleppo secured by the Syrian state.

Of the heightened bombardment, Dr. Nabil Antaki told me:

Usually you don’t have just one mortar, you have a rain of mortars: ten, twenty, thirty, and more in a few hours. Many people are wounded at the same time. When ambulances bring people to the public hospital, maybe twenty or thirty people arrive at the same time. The public hospitals lack enough medical staff and equipment. So if you have ten severely wounded persons arriving at the same time at the public hospital, by the time care comes, a victim has time to die.

In his Aleppo Medical Association office, Dr. Zaher Buttal read from his diary statistics on the late April/early May terrorists’ bombardment campaign:

  • April 23rd: 81 martyrs, 30 wounded.
  • April 28th & 29th: Bloodiest days. 31 martyrs, 75 wounded **initial numbers only.
  • From April 23rd-30th: 120 martyrs, over 800 wounded.
  • May 3rd: 25 martyrs, 100 wounded (including 3 women killed in the al-Dabeet maternity hospital explosion).

© Eva Bartlett
Dr. Dabeet showing me images of the Western-backed terrorist attack on the maternity hospital named after him

Although the Aleppo Medical Association documented the daily number of killed and injured by this increased bombing campaign, and although the areas attacked included a number of registered Aleppo hospitals, corporate media and Wall Street-backed “human rights groups” in their Turkish-based, or further-removed, reporting on Aleppo preferred to cite “unnamed activists” and al-Qaeda-in-Syria “White Helmets” actors.

Like many (if not most) Aleppo residents, Dr. Zaher Buttal has never heard of the White Helmets. The fact that the head of the Medical Association is not aware of this group purporting to be rescuing civilians in Aleppo highlights the reality that they work solely in terrorist-occupied areas and for the terrorists themselves. For more information on the terrorist-propaganda group that is known as the “White Helmets,” see this video and this article.

Other Pro-Terrorist Propaganda

The same July 2016 Intercept article which promoted the lone-doctor narrative also neglected to mention that a hospital they cite is in fact a hospital not only long-established but also belonging to a volunteer association headed by Syria’s Grand Mufti, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun.

The Intercept article read: “Almouslem’s hospital, Omar Ibn Abdel Aziz, has long been the only functioning medical facility in its pocket of eastern Aleppo City.”

In a mid-July and then an August 11th meeting with Mufti Hassoun in Damascus, he explained that the organization (The Association of Raising the Standard of Health and Social Status) of which he is Director had two hospitals and ten clinics daily giving medical care for free to up to 1500 of Aleppo’s poorest. One of these hospitals was the mentioned Omar Ibn Abdul Aziz hospital. It had three operating rooms, an MRI, nine dialysis machines, 12 incubators, and 50 beds. It is now controlled by terrorists who, Mufit Hassoun said, further mounted machine guns on the hospital’s three ambulances. The humanitarianism of western-backed so-called “moderate” “rebels”.

Mufti Hassoun explained:

In 1985 we started construction of the hospital, and in 1992 the hospital started operating. We treated for free over 400 patients daily, people from a very poor neighbourhood.

When the terrorists took over the hospital, they evicted the doctors, and killed three of the nurses and more than ten of the patients. The media say that MSF is supporting the hospital, but they are using it like a field hospital to treat terrorists. This is the hospital that we built with our own hands, and now they lie and say that it’s their own hospital.

Halfway through a video which the Intercept piece links to, who should appear but the war-propagandizing White Helmets – who only work in terrorist-occupied areas. This is the evidence the Intercept presents, along with a UN report lacking sources for its assertions. The UN has no physical presence in terrorist-occupied eastern Aleppo and, like lying media and NGOs, relies on “unnamed activists” and the SOHR-type sources for their statistics.

Brazenly, Al-Hel online media stole a photo from the Aleppo Medical Association, claiming it depicted doctors in terrorist-occupied eastern Aleppo: “Aleppo doctors are demanding an end to the bombing of the regime … and describe the situation as ‘a humanitarian catastrophe’.”

The equally war-propagandistic Facebook page, Syria Breaking, shared the stolen-photo and Al-Hel article, adding its own lies:

There are now in the eastern part of the city of ‪#‎Aleppo, no fewer than 300 thousand people, there are only 30 doctors in five hospitals to serve them.

The photo in question was in fact from a May 6th protest (photos here) organized by the Aleppo Medical Association outside of the destroyed al-Dabeet maternity hospital, gutted on May 3rd by a terrorist rocket. According to Dr. Zaher Buttal, more than 150 doctors attended the demonstration.

The protest came following the weeks of carnage from terrorists’ relentless bombardment of civilian areas all over government-secured Aleppo – including numerous hospitals – and was, Dr. Buttal said, both in anger at the terrorists’ targeting of hospitals in Aleppo and also to show the world that, contrary to media lies, Aleppo does have doctors.

Of the signs doctors held, Professor Tim Anderson wrote:

Their signs – in English, Italian and German as well as Arabic – read: ‘Syrian Arab Army represents me’, ‘Long live Syria, long live Aleppo’, ‘Terrorists are killing our children’, ‘Armed opposition is destroying our civilisation’, ‘No for armed opposition’.

From the terrorists’ May 3rd bombings, a rocket landed on a parked car right next to the al-Dabeet maternity hospital, causing a massive explosion which gutted the hospital interior, severely damaged the exterior, and burned the two cars parked behind it. Footage from a nearby building’s security camera shows the rocket and subsequent massive explosion occurred at 9:36 am, May 3rd.

A Western-backed terrorist rocket explodes outside Dabeet Maternity hospital in Aleppo

While initial reports said 16 civilians were killed in the May 3rd terrorist bombings, by the time the wounded had succumbed to their severe injuries, 25 people were killed and over 100 injured, according to the medical association’s Dr. Zaher Buttal. The three women killed were in the al-Dabeet hospital reception at the time, said Dr. Dabeet. One of the injured included a 28-week-pregnant woman who survived the loss of long sections of her intestine due to shrapnel injuries.

The operating room was destroyed, along with patient rooms, five of ten incubators (the other five needing repair), and much of his equipment.

One week later the maternity hospital was again hit by a terrorist-fired mortar, destroying the roof and injuring construction workers there, according to Dr. Dabeet.

© Eva Bartlett
Dabeet Maternity hospital after it suffered a direct hit from Western-backed terrorists in Aleppo.

According to Dr. Zaher Buttal, other hospitals hit include the Ibn Rashd hospital, with a mortar hitting the top floor, the Arab Medicine hospital, and the perimeter of the Razi hospital.

Starving, Besieged Civilians? Liberated Areas Ignored

While terrorists’ bombings and sniping attacks have been the most pressing issues in Aleppo in the past few months, other crises since 2012 have been those of water and electricity shortages, as well as the terrorist-blockades suffered by the population in government-secured Aleppo, cutting off food, fuel and medicine to the city.

The already risky Ramouseh road which I took into Aleppo in early July was recently assaulted by terrorist snipers and shelling, and has been closed to prevent civilian fatalities. This sole road leading into Aleppo closed, terrorist actions have again cut the lifeline for the over 1.5 million people inside. In July, Dr. Nabil Antaki explained how terrorists themselves closed the road many times in the past, and the dire effects of doing so.

Because the ‘rebels’ control the main roads around Aleppo, Aleppo has suffered blockades, sometimes for a few days and other times for many, many weeks. During those many weeks, nothing was able to enter Aleppo: no food, no vegetables, no fruits, no gas, no medical equipment, no drugs… the people of Aleppo suffered a lot.

The water supply has been cut by ‘rebels’, because the main water stations are in ‘rebel’ areas. Many times they cut the water for weeks or months. So for three years, we had to use the water of wells — we now have in Aleppo 300 wells which we had to use to provide water for the 1.5 million persons living in Aleppo under the Syrian state.

In addition, we don’t have power supply, because the electricity generator and power supply are in the ‘rebel’ portion of Aleppo, and they cut the supply. That’s why people have private subscription to 1 or 2 amperes, just to have 1 or 2 or 3 bulbs during the night. They have to pay very expensive prices just to have this. The people of Aleppo are truly suffering.

Mustapha Melhis of Aleppo’s water authority explained in July 2015:

Our water reservoirs are 90 kilometers [56 miles] away, in Hafsa, a region held by IS [Islamic State]. In May, they cut the amount of water [supplied] by half….

The second aspect of the problem is distribution. The water pumped by IS flows to the Suleiman Halabi and Bab al-Nairab stations here [in Aleppo]. Both areas are controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra, and they are using the water as a weapon to impose their demands.

In the same article, Aleppo Governor Mohammad Marwan Olabi said:

The power plants are outside the city. Terrorists control two areas from where electricity lines to Aleppo pass. Whenever they want to put pressure on Aleppo, they cut the electricity. And when electricity is gone, the water supply is cut off as well.

Corporate media have largely ignored these very real crises, and instead manufacture (regarding terrorist-held eastern Aleppo) the same types of propaganda campaigns of “starving civilians” which earlier flooded social media and were endorsed by dubious NGOs, like those on Madaya and Yarmouk. In all cases, no mention is made of the fact that the population in the area includes terrorist factions or why there is any lack of supplies (because of the terrorist factions).

As with Madaya and Yarmouk, when residents of the terrorist-inhabited regions do manage to speak to media, inevitablythey speak of terrorists stealing food supplies, hoarding goods and selling them at extortionist rates, and preventing residents from leaving to safer areas.

On July 28, the Syrian Arab Army fully secured the Bani Zaid and Lairamoun northern neighbourhoods of Aleppo city,liberating them from the western-backed mercenaries who occupied the districts since October 2012.

Civilians who had remained in Bani Zaid spoke of the terrorists’ firing of gas canister and other bombs on the civilians of neighbouring government-secured Aleppo districts. Western corporate media largely ignored this significant liberation and the jubilation of liberated residents.

On the same day, President al-Assad issued a decree granting amnesty to Syrians who laid down their weapons and reconciled with the state.

When the Syrian-Russian coordinated humanitarian corridors opened in eastern Aleppo in late July, reports soon after emerged of terrorists preventing residents from leaving, including assassinating residents who attempted to leave. When some residents from these areas did manage to evacuate, testimonies showed them thanking the government for providing the basics and cursing the terrorists for having stolen from them, abused residents, and in many cases killed their loved ones.

Russia Today interviewed evacuees who likewise did not praise the west’s so-called “rebels” but spoke of the hell civilians endured under terrorist occupation.

We left with our remaining children. May God punish the rebels. They did not allow us to leave, they deprived us of gas, water, electricity and bread. We were not allowed to leave. There were no medicines. They used to tell us you live with us or die with us,” one woman said.

Attacks On Aleppo Continue, To Media Silence

“For three days after the liberation of Bani Zaid, it was very quiet in Aleppo. People were happy, there were no more mortars. Suddenly, yesterday, the terrorists started sending mortars and rockets on Aleppo again, especially on Hamdaniya where thousands of displaced people live. So people are leaving this neighbourhood to find another place,” Dr. Nabil Antaki told me on August 1st .

In a phone call on August 10th, Dr. Zaher Buttal updated that since July 30th, terrorist bombings had killed 30 civilians in Aleppo, and wounded hundreds. By August 11th , Dr. Buttal said another 16 civilians in Hamadaniya, Aleppo, had been killed by terrorists’ missiles, another 45 wounded.

Today there was supposed to be a truce between 10 am and 1 pm. Terrorists ignored this and again bombarded Hamadaniya neighbourhood.

Both Dr. Buttal and truth-based media have reported that terrorists used toxic gas in their bombardment of civilian areas of Aleppo.

The Western corporate media and NGO complex, on the other hand, continue to talk about imaginary “last doctors” in Aleppo, while ignoring the very real suffering of over 1.5 million Syrians in government-secured Aleppo, as well as the doctors who are treating them. This is hardly surprising given that, from the very beginning, the corporate media has toed the NATO agenda on Syria, which is to manufacture every imaginable lie and accusation against the Syrian government, the Syrian Arab Army, and the people themselves, in order to chase the NATO-GCC-Zionist-Turkish dream of imposing a puppet government in Syria. They have failed.

Excerpt from an article by Eva Bartlett originally published on SOTT

Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013), arriving by boat as a part of the Free Gaza missions. She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. Eva accompanied Palestinian fishers and farmers as they came under intensive fire from the Israeli army. She has been to Syria four times since April 2014 and works to convey the voices of a people suffering under the foreign war on Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.

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

10376143_687418851293807_9084825192015740406_n.jpg
*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.

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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

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