The above are all unverified allegations at this stage. They are coming from the opposition militant groups themselves, groups firmly aligned with the opposition and a whole array of “activists” posting on Twitter and Facebook, some of whom are finding themselves becoming instant mainstream media hits.
The most disturbing aspect is that the mainstream media are reporting unverified allegations as fact. This is the definition of fake news.
Reports emerged of at least 82 civilians being executed as the Syrian Army and allied militias clean up the last areas under rebel control. “The reports we had are of people being shot in the street trying to flee and shot in their homes,” said Rupert Colville, a U.N. spokesman. “There could be many more.”
The mainstream media were bursting at the seams to inform all and sundry of these unsubstantiated revelations. The Daily Beast, hardly known for its balance on Syria, claimed that for the remaining civilians in the rebel-held pocket, “fear of arrest, conscription or summary execution added to the daily terror of bombardment.” It also quoted Abu Malek al-Shamali in Seif al-Dawla, one of the last rebel-held districts, as claiming the Syrian troops are asking families if they have sons with opposition groups, then, depending on the response, either leaving them alone or shooting them and leaving them to die.
The BBC got in on the act, reporting the slaughter of civilians, “including women and children, on the spot in their homes and on the street, the United Nations says.” They conveniently forgot to mention that the United Nations, not being on the ground in Aleppo, are relying on unverified sources, which may prove to be unreliable, and may themselves not even be on the ground in Aleppo.
Colville looked decidedly unclear as to who carried out these claimed atrocities. He said one Iraqi militia was involved and reports said they were carried out in four locations, so there could have been more than one group carrying out the killings. Again, these unverified allegations. It all sounds inconclusive and vague. That’s natural, as we don’t even know if the massacres happened yet, let alone who carried them out. Yet they make worldwide headlines. Is the fakerstan media setting themselves up again to be bought down in a screaming heap of fake news?
Jan Egeland, the UN’s humanitarian adviser on Syria, was prepared to attribute blame for what he said were “massacres of unarmed civilians, of young men, of women, children, health workers.” He too named an Iraqi Shia militia as being responsible, but placed responsibility on the governments of Syria and Russia.
Many in the general public may be gullible, but you would think Kenneth Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, would be more circumspect. But no, he appears on Democracy Now and states as fact the uncorroborated reports from the CIA/MI6-funded White Helmets of the summary execution of civilians, including women and children. Stephen Cohen questions why Roth embraces one narrative — genocidal actions by the Syrian-led forces, to the exclusion of another — the people of Aleppo celebrating their liberation by the same Syrian-led forces.
Brandon Turbeville, in Activist Post, examines a breathtaking piece of NBC propaganda written by Alastair Jamieson and Mac William Bishop. In this testimony to biased reporting they wrap their heads around three grave allegations in one sentence:
Citing accounts of women and children being burned alive and of families choosing suicide over surrender, the UN human rights office said it received reports of pro-government forces killing at least 82 people as they tightened their grip on the city.
Our reporters at NBC are showing once again why they have forfeited the right to be the custodians of independent, balanced journalism. The UN has not made claims of people being burned alive or choosing suicide. Also the authors give much more credence to the claim of 82 people being executed by omitting that the reports are unverified at this stage.
For attribution to the claims of mass suicide and massacres, the article goes on to mention Charles Lister, an apologist for terrorist factions in Syria and a rabid proponent for increased western military intervention in Syria:
Charles Lister, a Syria expert and senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, said there were “truly shocking stories from Aleppo including husbands and wives taking each other’s lives in family suicides” and that hundreds may have died during Monday’s fighting.
It goes without saying that Lister is not on the ground in Aleppo. His status as a Syria “expert” has more to do with feathering his own nest with the powerful backers of regime change in the military/industrial/security complex than any purpose of noble intent.
But never fear; there are sources on the ground making these assertions. One such source is Abdullah Othman, the head of the Consultative Council in the Levant Front, one of the largest militant groups in Aleppo. He claimed 79 people were “executed at the barricades” and said: “This morning 20 women committed suicide in order not to be raped.” To gain some perspective on this report, imagine any mainstream media outlet affording any similar statements by the Syrian government the slightest vestige of credibility. No, accusations of crimes against humanity and merciless barrel bombing of civilians monopolise the mainstream media coverage when it comes to Bashar al-Assad.
But just when you think local jihadis and partisan pundits of the war machine are the extent of such reporting, in steps France’s top diplomat, Jean-Marc Ayrault. He issued a statement saying, “cold-blooded assassinations of entire families […] executions, particularly of women and children; People burned alive in their homes; continued targeting of hospitals… Such atrocities revolt consciences. More than ever, there is an urgent need to stop hostilities in Aleppo.”
Such bellicose statements emanating from Paris have become predictable if still disappointing and stand in stark contrast to scenes of celebration across Eastern Aleppo as civilians welcome their liberation after four long years of terrorist rule.
The Daily Beast continued with the wild accusations, going on to accuse Syrian soldiers of rape ”in the course of the Assadist blitzkrieg.” It was joined in this orgy of unfounded accusations by Alraby, who headlined with:
Syrian regime forces have allegedly committed public mass executions, sexual assaults and burned bodies in the streets of east Aleppo, the UN and local media have reported.
Once again, we had hysteria at the United Nations, with Samantha Power and Matthew Rycroft leading the charge of the indignant brigade.
He went on to repeat all the shocking but unverified claims of summary executions, women committing suicide in order not to be raped, people being burned alive and hundreds of men being abducted by Syrian forces. He takes these unproven accusations and transforms them into facts, linking them to the darkest of past war crimes after which the world said “never again.” He wrapped up by outrageously claiming this was the “fall” of Aleppo. One could hardly have expected a more mournful tone if ISIS had just captured Aleppo. The irony is that Aleppo has just been liberated from Al-Qaeda-led terrorist forces, barely indistinguishable from ISIS.
Power, she of the unmatched acid tongue and drenched in hypocrisy, waxed lyrical with this: “Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later – Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica and now Aleppo”…”Up to 100 children are reportedly trapped right now in a building under heavy fire. Terrorists, clearly, young children, they must be terrorists. Because everybody being executed, everybody being barrel bombed, everybody who has been chlorine attacked, you’re going to be told they’re all terrorists.”
Here are the top diplomats from countries backing the butchering of civilians in Yemen and who butchered civilians in Iraq and Libya. They are financially and morally supporting terrorists butchering civilians in Syria. They tell us clearly with their comparison of the “fall of Aeppo” to ISIS taking over cities in Iraq and Syria, that Russia and Syria are in the same barbaric league as ISIS. I am sorry, but it is you, the US and UK, who are in the same league as ISIS, whom you created from the ruins of Iraq and continue to arm and fund as they lay waste to Syria. The Anglo-Amercian alliance once again proves itself the most capable in spewing forth vitriol and knocking the international community out with its staggering hypocrisy.
Paris showed its perplexing solidarity with Al-Qaeda by turning off the Eiffel Tower lights, stating it was done as a mark of solidarity with the people of Aleppo. Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s office released a statement saying the symbolic act aimed to “once again alert the international community to the need for urgent action.” It obviously doesn’t interpret as urgent action the assistance in fighting terrorism provided to the people of Syria by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and various militia groups.
Paris would have been best advised to have turned off the Eiffel Tower lights when ISIS seized Palmyra and Raqqa, as they are terrorists who went on blood-letting sprees against terrified populations and captured soldiers. To do this when the legitimate government of Syria has finally liberated long-suffering citizens from four years of hell is a gross insult. How quickly forgotten are the 130 people butchered in the terrorist attack in Paris in November 2015. This shameless display of terrorist adoration is a mockery of the people of Syria and France.
As well as the death of mainstream media, we are witnessing the death of the NATO political elite’s credibility. I would say their morality too, but that went a long time ago.
The reality which western politicians and fakerstan media can’t handle is that the streets of Aleppo erupted with wild celebrations upon the Syrian Army and its allies finally liberating the city.
People sang and danced, chanting their appreciation to their army for liberating them from the grip of terrorists. Stories have been recounted of the terrorist groups stockpiling aid, denying people food and medical supplies, holding them as human shields, threatening them if they dare try to leave and of abuse and executions of civilians.
The Russian Centre for Reconciliation has coordinated with the Syrian government to evacuate over 100,000 people. Some still remain in the last tiny pocket of opposition-held territory, as the deal to evacuate the last fighters and their families has stalled amid accusations from both sides of the cease fire being breached.
The tired and hungry residents of Aleppo are being provided with much-needed food, medical treatment, clothes and blankets and shelter in internally displaced persons camps. The images of this are unmistakable. Despite this we still hear from the western media that people are fleeing the fighting, that regime soldiers have taken over the devastated city, that people trapped inside East Aleppo have held out for four years of bombardment and siege and that far from being a battle of liberation this is a Russian and Syrian regime “onslaught.” The word liberation is nowhere to be found. A bit like the honesty and integrity of the mainstream fakerstan media.
Independent journalist Vanessa Beeley is on the ground in Aleppo, unlike the journalists tucked up in comfortable offices in Beirut and Ankara. She has visited the newly liberated areas of East Aleppo, spoken to people grateful to have escaped the clutches of terrorist groups, heard the horror stories of life under their control and witnessed the provision of badly needed humanitarian aid by Syrian, Russian and other aid agencies.
Beeley wrote on her Facebook page:
Jibreen East #Aleppo. Today we visited the area that welcomes the civilians who have escaped from NATO and Gulf State funded terrorist imprisonment in districts of East Aleppo.
In this area, civilians are given food, medical care and assessment and they register with the Syrian authorities before joining families in West Aleppo or entering the IDP camps in Jibreen. Those families who don’t have IDs are given a paper that enables them to travel in Syria until their IDs are replaced.
We were told that up until today, 95,000 civilians had been registered, from East Aleppo. This number can probably be increased by a further 10% as some women and children had gone directly to their families in West Aleppo without registering.
We were confronted by emaciated, exhausted children. Mothers whose sons had been murdered by the terrorists for no reason. Syrian civilians, sick and malnourished, broke down in tears as they recounted the atrocities they had suffered at the hands of these so called “moderate rebels”.
One woman started talking and burst into tears, the relief of getting out of East Aleppo was too much for her and the horror she had lived through overwhelmed her. The terrorists had murdered two of her 12 sons because her other sons were fighting in the Syrian army. She had been sick for many months but she said no civilians were treated in the makeshift terrorist field hospitals, only fighters were given any help.
She wept again when I asked her what she thought of the western media narrative, that the SAA were killing civilians. She said quite simply “yesterday we were in Hell, today our life begins again”.
I will be writing up all testimonies and uploading all video interviews…but please dont fall for the corporate media lies based on spurious sources, the majority of whom are now in Turkey, fake photos and evil propaganda that works only to ensure the perpetual misery of the Syrian people.
I was allowed into one of the Russian field hospitals on site..Russian doctors were efficiently and kindly treating all manner of injuries. One young man, skin and bones, had great difficulty breathing. Another was having a dressing changed on an open wound on his leg. Russian doctors were administering clean bandages with no fake blood or special effects. This was real humanitarianism in action.
The mainstream media have no sources on the ground to verify their accusations. Eva Bartlett, appearing at a United Nations panel, slapped down their narrative in an outstanding performance which has gone viral online.
Asked by a Norwegian journalist about the reports of”international organisations” who report the “facts” of hospitals and schools being deliberately bombed, Bartlett set the record straight on exactly where these explosive accusations come from.
Bartlett responded by pointing out that there are no international organisations on the ground. They rely on compromised groups such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the White Helmets for their information.
The White Helmets is a CIA/MI6 creation funded to the tune of $100 million by the US/UK/European and other states. It has been accused of faking its rescue scenes, operates only in rebel-held territory and there is a plethora of video footage of White Helmets members waving guns around, celebrating with terrorist groups and standing over and mocking the dead bodies of Syrian soldiers. “Your sources on the ground, you don’t have them,” Bartlett said.
Taking a much needed swipe at the mainstream media, Bartlett said, “(that) the people support their army and government is absolutely true….whatever you hear in the corporate media is the complete opposite…and I will name them, BBC, Guardian, New York Times, etc. on Aleppo is also opposite of reality.”
Bartlett criticised what she correctly called another effort in the United Nations Security Council for a “useless ceasefire,” which is simply a cynical ploy by the supporters of the terrorist factions to buy them time to regroup and resupply, thus prolonging the final liberation and suffering of people held hostage in Aleppo.
Bartlett spoke of the other siege we don’t hear about in the fakerstan media, the siege of West Aleppo. People have suffered from the denial of food and medicine, electricity and water, and from constant bombardment by mortars, gas canister bombs (the infamous hell cannons), water heater bombs, artillery shells and grad rockets.
Bartlett spoke of the myth of the Syrian government deliberately starving people in Aleppo. She spoke of witness testimonies of people being held as human shields in East Aleppo, of being shot at as they tried to flee from the terrorists and being protected by the Syrian army and its allies.
What a huge disconnect from reality we see in the fakerstan media coverage in the greatest day in Aleppo for the last five years, a ray of hope for long suffering Syrians.
Paul Mansfield is a budding freelance writer who currently works in the welfare industry in Melbourne, Australia.
Areas of interest include: Russia/US conflict, wars in the Middle East, particularly Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, the occupation of Palestine by Israel, the damage to our economies from the global financial markets, the debt trap imposed on states by bankers seeking to privatize assets and “reform” economies while they line their pockets with cash and impoverish local populations.