Press TV: Interview with Gordon Duff /Collapse of Syrian Truce: US Air Strikes in Support of the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) Terror Group / Syrian War Report – September 21, 2016: Government Forces Advancing outside Aleppo / Syria: Attack on Aid Convoy Kills Twenty, Destroys Aid, And Obliterates US War Crimes in Support of ISIS-Daesh Terror Group? / SYRIA: Negotiations and The Battlefield ~ Dr Bouthaina Shaaban /War Propaganda and the ‘Aleppo Media Centre’, Funded By French Foreign Office, EU and US/
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov look toward one another during a press conference following their meeting in Geneva on September 9, 2016. (AFP photo)
Press TV has interviewed Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today in Ohio, to discuss the recent attacks by the US-led coalition on Syrian troops in Dayr al-Zawr.
Here is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: The Syrian army has announced the end of the ceasefire. Do you think this was designed by the US in order for Syria to make such an announcement?
Duff: I believe it’s all been theater. But I think it began with the setup by forces within the US. This is one of the things that hasn’t even been looked at. But the real loser here is Russia and I believe this is initially a US attempt to interfere in the parliamentary elections in Russia.
Looking at the potential meetings between Kerry and Lavrov, how can Kerry walk into a meeting with Lavrov after something like this? It’s got to be impossible. The US went after Russia when Russia’s bombing campaign began in 2015 for using iron bombs, unguided munitions. All American munitions are GPS-, satellite-navigated.
There are no accidental bombings by the US. The lines at Dayr al-Zawr, where the bombing occurred and where 83 Syrian army were killed, have been within 100 meters since 2015. They’ve been very standardized. The US and Britain bombed clearly long-established lines, using guided munitions, satellite surveillance and drone surveillance. They had a full surveillance package on this.
This was very much a planned attack. To the US, ISIS [Daesh] is a small player. The US is here to destabilize Russia. Syria is the tool the US is using. This is how I see it.
Press TV: Don’t you think that the strategy is flawed? Because there may be a reaction coming from Russia using their air force to target the so-called Free Syrian Army. That could be one of the consequences. Are the US and the coalition ready for that?
Duff: The US couldn’t care what happens to the Free Syrian Army. Half of them are Turkish army anyway. Half of ISIS is Turkish army. We saw that when Turkey moved into Syria. All the Turkish army did was change from their ISIS uniforms, got a little bit of a wash, shaved some of the beard off, and became Turkish army. There are no signs of there having been any combat at all by Turkey against ISIS – not a single airstrike by Turkey against ISIS; not a photo; nothing.
It’s all been an attack on the Kurds. The same thing they were doing year after year. It’s all theater. But this theater in Syria is tied to an American plan to destabilize Russia. Part of the same battle that’s going on in the Pacific over almost non-existing islands that no one cares about. Like we’re supposed to forget that China is America’s largest trade partner and holds trillions in American debt. The US can’t survive without China. Why would they fight a war against China?
No, this is a broader global issue being fought out destroying the Middle East and butchering hundreds of thousands of Syrian people. It’s clearly staged by the United States. No one has a question of any kind anymore.
Press TV: This incident is not something that can be brushed aside based on the Syrian and the Russian point of view. If we were to see what type of reaction this would draw from Russia in particular, what can we expect?
Duff: While the bombing was still going on, I received calls from two Syrian ministers. [They] called me and asked me what was going on and if the United States had lost their minds? They didn’t believe it. They don’t have love for the United States, but they didn’t think we were insane.
The US has shown a willingness to sacrifice any credibility of any kind. This is an election year, an election like non we’ve ever seen in the US. We have elections like they have nowhere else: rigged, insane, violent. American elections are insanity.
I’d like to say there was a strategy of oil in the Middle East, except the world’s glut with oil. Gasoline is well under two dollars a gallon here in the United States. It’s not about any of that. It’s about war for the purpose of war, nothing but war. It’s a game to these people. And these people obviously control the United States government. We have no questions about that.
Syrian-Iranian-Russian Alliance Responds to U.S. Violations of Geneva Deal
Last weekend, the US-led international coalition against ISIS used its air power against the Syrian Arab Army positions outside the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, supporting an advance of ISIS militants there. This was the second time in less than a year when the coalition’s warplanes bombed the Syrian government forces engaged in clashes with this notorious terrorist group. On December 6, 2015 four coalition warplanes hit the Syrian army’s field camp outside Deir Ezzor prior to the ISIS advance in the area.
It’s hard to believe in the official American version that the both incidents were accidental because in this case we should conclude that the US-led coalition has almost no intelligence about the situation in the province. Obviously, this is not true.
Most likely, Washington believes that such bombings are a demonstration of the coalition’s unity in countering the Russian-Syrian-Iranian efforts in the conflict and the answer to Russian air strikes on the US-backed New Syrian Army (NSyA) militant group that took place some time ago. The American political leadership likely believe that this move showed that the US is ready to answer if Moscow decides to intensify bombing of the so-called “moderate opposition.” Separation of this opposition from terrorists is not the case because when this is done it will become clear that various terrorist groups are a core of the anti-Assad forces.
The question is how will the Russian-Syrian-Iranian alliance to respond to its US-led counterpart?
- Moscow has already started a media campaign that the US is not able and does not seek to separate the moderate opposition from the terrorists. And this can be described as a direct assistance to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra).
- In the same moment, the official version of Washington about an accident can be used to demonstrate inability of the US military to conduct successful anti-terror operations without additional assistance from other powers.
- Strengthening of air defenses in the area will also help to cool hot heads in the US-led coalition. The case with allegedly downed Israeli aircraft shows that a real threat to sustain casualties as result of such PR actions reduces the willingness to conduct them.
- The Russian-Syrian-Iranian alliance needs to continue military pressure on any groups embedded with Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its proxies.
Summarizing the recent developments, it has become clear that Washington is pushing for breaching the ceasefire agreement and is searching a reason for this. So, Russia, Syria and Iran should be ready for continuation of the full-scale war if the truce is failed. This is why they took the lead.
On September 19, the head of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy declared during a press briefing on September 19 that there is no reason for the Syrian government forces to observe the ceasefire, unilaterally. The Russian military official emphasized the United States and US-backed opposition groups have not met any of the commitments of the agreements. The US even failed to provide the Russian military with precise data on the deployment of the US-controlled armed groups while the data, handed over to Russia on September 13, did not meet the bilateral agreement – it was merely a general list of the militant groups agreed to join the truce. In other words, the Russian military declared the end of the truce and the United States’ inability to fulfil the commitments of Geneva deal.
A few hours later, the Syrian army command declared the end of the nationwide ceasefire in Syria. In a statement released by SANA, it emphasized that “armed terrorist groups took advantage of the declared ceasefire” in order to regroup and mobilize forces. Now, the terrorists are aimed to launch attacks on “residential areas” and the government forces positions in several regions, including Aleppo. The ceasefire regime collapsed.
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On September 20, the Syrian army, the National Defense Forces and Hezbollah, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, repelled an attack of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra/Al-Nusra Front) and its ‘moderate allies’ in southwestern Aleppo.
Terrorist infantry, supported by battle tanks and artillery, attacked the government forces’ positions in the 1070 Apartment Project and in the Ramouseh Artillery Base. However, they were not able to break the army’s defenses.
Separately, the joint terrorist forces attacked the Syrian army positions at the strategic Castello Highway and in the al-Layramount Neighborhood in northwestern Aleppo without any significant gains there.
The Russian centre in Syria said that Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and its allies lost four battle tanks, three infantry combat vehicles and nine pickup trucks with heavy guns during this failed advance. About 100 militants were killed, accodring to pro-government sources.
By September 21, firefights have been ongoing at the Ramouseh Artillery Base, al-Layramount and near the Handarat refugee camp. The Syrian army and its allies also launched an advance on the 1070 Apartment Project – Hikmah School – Tell Uhud axis, southwest of Aleppo city. Clashes are ongoing in Sooq al-Jebes.
Separately, the Syrian army repelled an ISIS advance on the village of Nasrallah located near the Kuweires Military Airport, killing some 14 ISIS terrorists.
In the northern part of Aleppo province, the Turkish Armed Forces and Ankara-backed militants have continued operations against the ISIS terrorist group. On September 20, ISIS launched a series of counter-attacks east of Al Rai, capturing from the Ankara-led forces over 9 villages. By September 21, the Turkish forces have not been able to regain the ground that they had lost. Meanwhile, pro-Turkish sources report that all is ‘ok’ and the Turkish artillery hit over 50 ISIS targets in northern Syria.
In the northern part of Homs province, the pro-government forces launched an advance on ISIS positions at Jabal Al-the Sha’er hilltop located near the strategic hilltop of Tal Sawwan. The Syrian army and its allies also advanced on the ISIS-controlled Al-Sha’er Gas Fields. Clashes are ongoing there.
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Candidate Barack Obama, December, 2007
As the US heaps blame and accusations on Russia and Syria for the alleged air strike on the aid convoy on Monday 19th September, as ever there are more questions than answers – and whatever US spokespersons state, absolutely no certainties.
The only undeniable fact is that another tragedy killed at least twenty Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and the organisation’s local Director Omar Barakat, father of nine. At least eighteen of the thirty one-truck convoy were destroyed with the warehouse where humanitarian aid was stored.
The Russian Defence Ministry has categorically denied any attack and claims the convoy caught fire (1): “We have studied video footage from the scene from so-called ‘activists’ in detail and did not find any evidence that the convoy had been struck by ordnance”, commented Igor Konashenkov, a Ministry spokesman.
“There are no craters and the exterior of the vehicles do not have the kind of damage consistent with blasts caused by bombs dropped from the air.” His observations are hard to challenge, anyone who has studied the assaults of the “international community” on far away countries over the last decades knows what a bombed truck looks like – what fragments remains of it.
Photographs of the affected lorries show burned out vehicles, metal skeleton intact.
Konashenkov said that damage visible in footage was instead the result of cargo igniting – “oddly” occurring at the same time as militants (formerly Nusra Front) had started a big offensive in nearby Aleppo, backed by tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment.
“Only representatives of the ‘White Helmets’ organization close to the Nusra Front who, as always, found themselves at the right time in the right place by chance with their video cameras can answer who did this and why.”
Indeed the ‘White Helmets’ boasted in a video of being on the scene within “moments.”
The “White Helmets” who have had the gall to entitle themselves the Syrian Civil Defence Force are seemingly neither Syrian, nor Civil, nor Defence. Vanessa Beeley who has meticulously charted their antics points out (2)
“This is an alleged ‘non-governmental’ organization … that so far has received funding from at least three major NATO governments, including $23 million from the US Government and $29 million (£19.7 million) from the UK Government, $4.5 million (€4 million) from the Dutch Government. In addition, it receives material assistance and training funded and run by a variety of other EU Nations.”
She informs of such concerns regarding the organization that:
“A request has been put into the EU Secretary General to provide all correspondence relating to the funding and training of the White Helmets. By law this information must be made transparent and available to the public.”
Beeley points out: “There has been a concerted campaign by a range of investigative journalists to expose the true roots of … the White Helmets.” The most damning statement, however (comes from) their funders and backers in the US State Department who attempted to explain the US deportation of the prominent White Helmet leader, Raed Saleh, from Dulles airport on the 18th April 2016.
Of the incident, Mark Toner, State Department spokesman stated:
“And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.”
Figure that one, Dear Reader.
The Ron Paul Institute has pointed out:
“We have demonstrated that the White Helmets are an integral part of the propaganda vanguard that ensures obscurantism of fact and propagation of Human Rights fiction that elicits the well-intentioned and self righteous response from a very cleverly duped public. A priority for these NGOs is to keep pushing the No Fly Zone scenario which has already been seen to have disastrous implications for innocent civilians in Libya, for example.” (See 2.)
What better chance to push “the No Fly Zone scenario” than arriving within “moments” of the convoy tragedy, filming it and creating a propaganda scenario before any meaningful forensic investigation could even be started, since the trucks were still burning. And of course, the “White Helmets”, aka “Syrian Defence Force”, were filming rather than attempting to put out the fire and rescue those in the burning trucks.
The Russian Defence Ministry subsequently caused outrage by claiming that Drone footage: “shows bombed Syrian aid convoy included truck full of militant fighters carrying mortar guns.” (3)
However: “The footage emerged as the United Nations rowed back from describing the attack on the aid convoy as air strikes, saying it did not have conclusive evidence about what had happened.”
It must be asked, why on earth, after long and protracted negotiations over the convoy would Syria and or their Russian ally risk the wrath of US and “coalition” further decimation of the country by laying themselves open to accusations of bombing and aid convoys?
The tragedy has emphatically achieved one thing, however. Wiped from the headlines is another atrocity – the US bombing which killed over sixty Syrian soldiers and wounded over a hundred others just two days earlier, on Saturday 17th September, causing Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to comment: “We are reaching a really terrifying conclusion for the whole world: That the White House is defending Islamic State. Now there can be no doubts about that”, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
Again – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will guard the guards?
Dr Bouthaina Shaaban
Political and Media Advisor to Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad
The moment the Syrian Arab Army liberates an area from terrorists, voices in the West begin to express worry about civilians and their humanitarian situation, calling for a truce and the delivery of aid! The harmony between the situation the terrorists find themselves in and the West’s worries has become apparent at different junctures.
This proves that the West, which had occupied Iraq with its own troops, has only changed its tactics, using instead proxies in the form of terrorist groups that are funded, armed, and directed from abroad. We saw many countries moving in their troops and heavy weapons when these terrorist groups failed to achieve the objectives planned for them.
Therefore, the results of the meeting between Kerry and Lavrov on 9 September indicates without a doubt that the difficulty of having any dialogue is rooted in the fact that it is between those who targeted Syria, and those who stood firm in protecting the Syrian state and people.
What is happening then? How did those who arm and fund terrorists sit down at one table with those trying to preserve Syria’s sovereignty?
Many factors led to this historical juncture, and said factors may be reinforced in the future. Those who planned for the “Arab Spring” recalled the domino effect theory that dominated Western thinking when Iraq was occupied, and hoped that after Egypt and Tunisia, Syria would be an easy prey for regime change, and for a shift in its political identity – to Israel’s liking.
Russia and China’s alliance at the United Nations to support Syria’s sovereignty was a precedent in international politics, especially in the emerging confrontation between the Russia-China Axis and the Western Axis of the United States, Great Britain, and France. The Syrian people have returned the favor to the Russia-China axis by standing fast and making the dearest sacrifice to preserve the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of their country.
Yet those who sought to break Syria’s will kept up their attempts, and imported mercenaries from all over the world, trying to achieve their objectives in Syria, which would have subsequently changed the face of the region –and the world. Syria and her allies, however, were more determined in this crucial battle, and despite the weakness of their material capabilities as opposed to what the Gulf has paid in support to the West, the Eastern Axis defending the right of the Syrian people was able to reaffirm its stature on both the regional and international scene.
If we compare the latest G20 summit in China, and the 2014 G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, we see how far the Eastern Axis has come in asserting itself vis-à-vis the West. In the 2014 summit, July Bishop, the Australian foreign minister, demanded that Russia should not be allowed to attend the summit, yet the BRICS countries foiled the attempt; nonetheless, the pictures taken at that summit show how no Western leader wanted to talk to President Putin.
In the latest summit in China, however, we see that Presidents Putin and Xi have take a central role in the summit, and the bilateral meetings held between Russia and China on the one hand and other countries on the other hand, and the agreements signed, all indicate an expanding role for both on the international scene. This is especially true of the agreements they signed with Saudi Arabia, because the latter always needed an American green light to make any move (including this one).
This, therefore, indicates that the West admits that we are entering a new multipolar era. As for the Chinese President, he looked Obama in the eye and told him that China refuses any interference in the internal matters of other countries.
The historical trajectory of international relations has reached the point of multipolarity in parallel to the steadfastness of the Syrian army and people. The results of the Kerry-Lavrov meeting, following talks between Putin and Obama, have brought the US close to what Russia has been calling for, for nearly two years, which is the separation between terrorist organizations and the so-called moderate opposition, and the targeting of terrorist groups by both the Russian and American air forces.
Isn’t this what President Putin repeatedly called for, i.e. a true international coalition against terrorism?
The US acquiescence to joining forces with Russia against terrorism in Syria, is the result of Russia, Syria, and Iran standing firm during the horrific war on Syria; it is also an admission that the terrorists and their masters have failed in achieving their objectives. Why then wait all these years to agree? Simply, because they still had hope to change the balance of forces on the ground. It is no surprise then that this agreement comes after the Syrian Army advances in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, and Lattakia.
Because the sacrifices of the martyrs and the wounded are what made such an agreement possible, and contributed to changing our world from a unipolar to a multipolar one. Lavrov did not forget to indicate that Russia consulted the Syrian government about the agreement, and that the latter had agreed to it.
Those who interfered in Syria dreamt they could change the identity of the country, forgetting that for the past 10,000 years, Syria remained defiant in the face of all conquerors and enemies; and that the historical sacrifices of the Syrian people made this identity what it is, and would always ensure Syria’s pride and freedom.
The headline read: “Little boy pulled alive from the rubble”. The Aleppo Media Centre video and photograph of Omran Daqneesh, aka the ‘Dusty Boy” of Aleppo, allegedly rescued by the notorious White Helmets in terrorist-held East Aleppo, went viral almost immediately, rocketed into the propaganda stratosphere by the western mainstream media.
Almost every mainstream media outlet worldwide showcased this video and the now infamous still photograph of “Dusty Boy” Omran. The dusty and bloodied child was placed upon a chair in what seemed to be a pristine condition ambulance, despite being in an alleged war zone, while being photographed by a barrage of cameras and mobile phones. Meanwhile, nobody actually attended to him medically – it was as if this were a staged photo-shoot.
Nobody comforted him, dressed his supposed wounds, or put him in neck brace, or even on a stretcher presuming he might have had spinal injuries (standard first aid procedure) having just been rescued from ‘under the rubble’ of a bombed building which AMC claimed was targeted by “Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes.”
PROPAGANDA HUB: The Aleppo Media Center supplies US, UK, NATO members states, Qatar’s Al Jazeera and many more, with pro-regime change images, providing PR backing for listed terrorist organizations operating in Syria.
This Aleppo Media Centre pulled off a propaganda coup – one that generated calls for a No-Fly-Zone and associated western intervention policies all focused on salvaging the US failed road map of “regime change” in Syria. However, a number of independent international journalists, media analysts, and peace activists began to question the imagery and its source, which revealed some extremely disturbing details – not only about the picture itself, but more importantly about the organization who supplied it to an eager western media.
Recently, a compelling photo of a bleeding and seemingly confused young Syrian boy seated in an ambulance in Aleppo was widely distributed and commented upon in domestic and international news media. In response, some journalists have called for the Obama Administration to “take action,” including bombing government military targets in Syria.
For further insights into the “dusty boy” propaganda go to 21WIRE’s video report: Aleppo, Syria, ‘Dust Boy’ Image Staged.
Looking back at the event, the media furore, led by Washington, London, Europe, the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel, was intentionally overwhelming and acted not only as a familiar catalyst for the neocolonialist governments patterned responses, but it also successfully acted as a deflector and smokescreen, designed to conceal the daily massacres carried out by US-NATO and Gulf State-backed terrorist aka ‘moderate rebels’ in East Aleppo (approximately 220,000 people remaining, many of them terrorists and their families) against Syrian civilians who are living among the rarely mentioned 1.5 million civilians in West Aleppo, an area controlled and protected by the Syrian government and the Syrian national armed forces.
In the first two weeks of August alone there had been 143 civilians murdered by the majority Al Nusra Front mortar fire into western Aleppo, including 54 children and 23 women. This information was supplied to Vanessa Beeley by Dr Zahar Buttal, director of the Aleppo Medical Associationduring her trip to western Aleppo on the 14th August 2016.
The Usual Suspects
If the BBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera and others had conducted a cursory web search they would have quickly found out what other more thorough media outlets discovered.
The identification of alleged photographer of ‘Dusty Boy’ Omran was a man named Mahmoud Raslan [or Rslan] a self-described “activist photojournalist.” According to his own social media profiles and images, Raslan has been revealed as a fully-fledged terrorist sympathiser – exposed very rapidly by a number of respectable and reliable media outlets including Sputnik News:
Photos circulating online from the social media account of Omran’s photographer, a man by the name of Mahmoud Raslan, appear to show him commiserating with the killers of another child – 12-year-old named Abdullah Tayseer Issa, who was gruesomely beheaded by US-backed ‘moderate rebels’ last month….The photos, circulating on social media and collected by LiveLeak (warning, graphic images), show screenshots of Raslan’s Facebook page, including an image showing him posing and smiling with the terrorists from the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement who murdered Issa in cold blood.”
Raslan capitalised on his new found media stardom and circulated his heart wringing witness statement, first to the Telegraph, that ran with the story without any apparent investigation into Raslan’s terrorist roots:
The tears started to drop as I took the photo. It is not the first time I’ve cried. I have cried many times while filming traumatised children. I always cry. We war photographers always cry.
Apparently the abuse, torture and beheading of 12 year old Abdullah Issa (child killers pictured with Raslan below) failed to produce the same copious crocodile tears from terrorist sympathizer, Raslan.
During his various forays into the murky world of this deep state-controlled mockingbird media, Raslan has maintained that he is a “freelancer”, one who dabbles in work for Al Jazeera and AFP and who is “affiliated” with the Aleppo Media Centre.
Sarah Flounders, head of the International Action Centre told RT:
No, I think this photographer absolutely is known on Facebook, on YouTube for continually posting images, pictures applauding the Zinki militia, really a terrorist organization – well known even before this horrendous beheading of a Palestinian-Syrian child. He is not by any stretch of the imagination a human rights activist. He calls himself a ‘media activist’, but his role has been to applaud and support the terrorist activity in Syria.
Among other statements, Raslan also posted on his Facebook page describing how, “some of the best times I have spent have been with suicide bombers.”
In a later interview with Al Babwa, Raslan does his utmost to repair his shredded reputation.
I would never work with any group that disagrees with my personal beliefs, but sometimes we have to take pictures with them,” adding “I normally take hundreds of selfies with whoever I see on the fronts. We who work in press take hundreds of pictures that we keep in our archives.
So from this, we should be able to deduce that next time Raslan is at a “front” his Facebook and Twitter pages will be awash with selfies of Raslan with ISIS, Al Nusra (al Qaeda), Arar al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, or anyone else he bumps into at the ‘front.’
Follow the Money: Who’s Funding the Aleppo Media Centre?
Now it gets interesting. Writer Anne Barnard of the New York Times writes a suitably stirring account of the Omran story. It must be remembered she has also penned a very fine eulogy to a suicide bomber not so long ago. In her report, she identifies the Aleppo Media Centre as:
A longstanding group of anti-government activists and citizen journalists who document the conflict…
Anyone walking on the right side of the tracks of this Dirty War on Syria will shudder at the double whammy of ‘activist’ and ‘citizen journalist’ in the same sentence and then to have ‘anti-government’ thrown in for good measure – completes this propaganda picture.
What the NYT’s Barnard does not tell her readers: this terminology [when used by the NATO PR media] generally intimates a penchant for Wahhabi beards, shouting Takbeer [God is great] when targeting civilians with a variety of missiles, and the acceptance of a “moderate rebel” selection process that ensures those who not adhere to the “moderate rebel” extremist ideology are declared infidels and summarily executed.
Follow the Money
First lets examine the funding sources of this group of activist-citizen-journalists – embedded alongside the gaggle of religious extremist terrorist groups and other US/NATO state operatives, located exclusively in the Al Nusra Front dominated areas of East Aleppo, itself the launch pad of the daily hell cannon missiles that shatter the lives of the 1.5 million Syrians living in the Syrian state and army controlled West Aleppo.
The SEO is what it sounds like, a group of American citizens of Syrian extraction who have their offices on K Street in Washington, D.C., a street that is famous for being the center of the American political lobbying industry, with numerous think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups based there.
On the SEO website we find that they were instrumental in the establishment of the Aleppo Media Centre:
News reporting and media outreach have been among the major tasks that are vital to the civil uprising in Syria. Aleppo Media Centre, a specialized news center serving Aleppo and its suburbs, has been established with a generous contribution from SEO. Since October 2012, SEO has been responsible for coordinating Aleppo Media Center and providing technical and logistical help along with the financial help it provided.
However, the SEO is not the only benefactor of this much relied upon media centre, embedded inAl Nusra-land. In December 2015, France’s own state media body, Canal France International (CFI) celebrated the fact that Aleppo Media Centre would be broadcasting over the FM radio airwaves of Aleppo, Idlib and Hama. Again, Idlib and Hama, along with East Aleppo – are also Al Nusra Front strongholds.
The following statement accompanying the launch of the AMC radio station is to be found on the French CFI website:
Since 2012, the Aleppo Media Center, which has permanently brought together around twenty journalists based in Syria, has been providing continuous news coverage of the latest events affecting the region, with articles, photographs and videos being published on its website and on social media.
Thanks to the support that it has received from the Syrian Media Incubator in Gaziantep (Turkey), the Center is now seeking to bring a new project to fruition: setting up a local radio station in Aleppo, which will be broadcast for two hours every day on the FM 99.00 frequency, and around 15 hours per day on the Internet.
Over the course of 2015, the Incubator has given several training courses in radio and video to the journalists at the Aleppo Media Center. In November, it contributed towards the purchase of equipment for the studio and helped set the studio up, and also trained the team on how to use it.
In December, two members of the Center also received ‘trainer training’, which will allow them in turn to train citizen-journalists in Syria itself.
So, Aleppo Media Centre is also receiving “support” from an organisation called the Syrian Media Incubator based in Gazientap, Turkey. Interesting choice of name, as Turkey has also acted as an incubator for US-NATO, Gulf State and Israeli supported terrorist mercenaries of all denominations who have poured into Syria via the Turkish borders, along with weapons and supplies – all of which are the number one factor that has extended the current Syrian Conflict and ensured a perpetual cycle of misery and bloodshed for the Syria people.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. The ‘Syrian Media Incubator’ is a project funded by Canal France International (CFI), the French cooperation agency and media operator of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yes, that is the French Foreign Office, once removed, which is funding the Aleppo Media Centre, the main and primary source of ‘news’ on Aleppo for the whole of the mainstream media outlets in the UK, US and Europe.
Indeed, it’s all up there in red, white and blue on the French government website:
Canal France International (CFI), the French cooperation agency and media operator of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently signed two substantial contracts (worth €2.7million) with the European Union to develop projects in support of independent media in the Arab world.
The first is a two-year contract concerning a project to further the development of independent media in Syria, mainly by providing training.
The project will receive funding of €1.5million, including €1.2million from the European Union(EU). The overall goal is to enable a new generation of Syrian journalists to produce high-quality, professional information today and to become pillars of the post-crisis media in the future.
In April 2014, CFI will open a media centre, the Syrian Media Incubator, in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, 60km from the Syrian border, to the north of Aleppo. This collective workspace aims to provide modern telecommunication tools and support Syrian journalists who are determined to continue relaying news from their country, whatever the cost.
This admission by the French government is truly spectacular. Let’s examine that statement: France and the EU, hardly impartial observers of the war being waged against Syria by the US and its allies in NATO, the Gulf States and Israel, are funding and supporting a media outlet that is whipping up the propaganda storms at strategic points in the battle by the Syrian Arab Army, to liberate Aleppo from the claws of the US coalition terrorist gangs. Their stormshave sufficed to distract public attention from the real atrocities being committed by the terrorist entities against Syrian civilians in Aleppo and to once more invoke the clamour for a No Fly Zone, the ultimate tool that is needed by NATO to reduce Syria to a Libya style failed state.
Note here that the EU is also one of the main funding sources for another “Syrian opposition” NGO, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a one-man show based in Britain and run by a former Syrian convict called ‘Rami Abdelrahman’ (whose real name is Osama Ali Suleiman, photo,left), working in coordination with the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Why this is key is that just like the Aleppo Media Centre,the SOHR also provides all of these same western mainstream media outlets, and the US State Department and its allies – with all of their ‘news’ and ‘data’ about what is allegedly happening in Syria.
Whether it is Omran’s story or the recent claims of the use of chlorine bombs by the Syrian Army, they all serve an agenda that has little to do with benefitting the country of Syria, and much more to do with furthering the US-NATO’s own stated regime change policy objectives that have been at the top of their Syria to-do list since well before 2011 when the current pre-planned dirty war on Syria really started to gather momentum in Washington’s nation-building [destroying] agencies.
Once again, we see these self-styled “citizen journalists” being embedded deep inside these newly established terrorist colonies – terrorist enclaves that are teeming with fanatical, drug fuelled, violent unstable, criminal factions who are fond of launching glass, shrapnel or chlorine and explosive filled containers indiscriminately into the densely populated residential areas of West Aleppo.
These “citizen journalists” relish their role and their encampment inside the terrorist heartlands, and they certainly have no fear of these murdering felons who have shown no compunction to carry out the most heinous of atrocities, including sawing off the head of a 12 year old, emaciated, and whimpering-with-fear child, the aforementioned Abdullah Issa.
We are seeing the creation of another sector of the west’s shadow state concealed through a series of western-funded ‘NGO projects’ which is being constructed in the fog of war, brick by brick, until it forms an impenetrable barrier between the greater public and the truth of what is actually happening inside Syria, and to the Syrian people.
This shadow media enclave is being installed in order to erect the US-NATO propaganda tent – one which suppresses and silences the voices which would normally be heard from inside Syria, but which are blacked-out in favour of contrived, and hoax imagery, and other twisted reporting that categorically refers to Islamist terrorists as ‘rebels’ and ‘freedom fighters’.
The authentic, majority of voices should be those of the Syrian people – as opposed to the war cries of from US-NATO selected ‘opposition’ – the majority of whom are not even living inside Syria.
As a reminder, CFI already works in partnership with International Media Support (IMS) and Reporters sans frontières (RSF), and, in particular, helped in 2013 to set up an independent Syrian radio station called Radio Rozana, which broadcasts from Paris and relies on a network of 30 correspondents based in Syria. CFI provided several training sessions for these correspondents in 2013.
The Target Nations:
The second contract signed with the EU will enable CFI, over a period of three years, to fund projects seeking to develop online information services in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya,Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.
Their Clear Objective & End Game:
In this way, as the Arab world continues to evolve rapidly, CFI is redoubling its efforts to support the independent media that is destined to play a major part in the fragile processes ofdemocratisation taking place.
The French government’s endorsement:
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international – MAEDI) has set CFI the task of implementing its policy of aid for the development of public and private media and, more generally, the audiovisual industry with a tri-media outlook, in countries in receipt of development aid.
Its goals include the dissemination of information [propaganda], the strengthening of civil society and the State of law, and support for new democracies or ‘fragile States’“. It has the backing of France Télévisions and Arte France, ensuring service to a professional standard.
Media outlets such as Aleppo Media Centre are described in a CFI study, as a “bulwark against Damascus propaganda”, however as the so-called Damascus propaganda is instantly dismissed on all levels by US Coalition governments, their state media, human rights groups, controlled opposition groups, the Soros funded anti Syria NGO complex, NATO’s finest – the White Helmets, and finally the NATO-aligned think tanks… it is hard to comprehend why a bulwark was needed when a powerful international anti-Syrian state lobby already existed.
The Israeli Endorsement:
It is worth noting that Israel who is a primary beneficiary of the US Coalition war on Syria, according to Dr Bouthaina Shaaban (Media & Political Advisor to President Bashar Al Assad), had a page dedicated to reports from the Aleppo Media Centre on the Times of Israel news website up to the end of March 2015. This is an honour reserved only for those who fit into the narrow framework of the Zionist geopolitical vision of a fractured and fragmented Middle East, especially with its perennial rival in Syria – broken up along imaginary sectarian lines, a policy pursued by Israel and its ever more exposed partner in crime, Saudi Arabia.
The Main Actors
One of the co-founders of Aleppo Media Centre is Zein Al Rifai, along with Youcef Seddik. In aninterview with ‘Syria Deeply’, another one of the myriad of newly formed media centres working to foment propaganda against the Syrian state and national army, Al Rifai responds to questions with the now familiar soundbites and outright lies.
“Aleppo was one of the first cities to hold protests, and the demonstrations that took place at Aleppo University were significant, but unfortunately the media did not cover Aleppo at that time and the early protests were not well documented.” says Al Rifai
Perhaps those “early protests” were not documented because they did not happen as described by Aleppo Media Centre founder Zein Al Rifai.
NOTE: Syria Deeply is funded by the Asfari Foundation, headed up by CEO Ayman Asfari who also provided the $300,000 seed funding for ‘Syria Campaign’ who in turn were part of the team creating perhaps the most successful of the NATO’s outreach agents, the White Helmets.
Here is a statement from Dr Tony Sayegh, an eminent surgeon based in West Aleppo, who when asked what ‘Aleppo’ was like before the conflict, responded thus:
In July 2012 everything changed. But it was not the residents of Aleppo who rebelled against the rulers. Parts of the city were invaded by armed groups with fighters from other areas of Syria and from other countries. Tony Sayegh believes that the interests at stake of the invasion was much bigger than the control of a single city.
The attempt to overthrow the government of Syria with weapons and riots had failed. Then they decided to focus on Aleppo, to turn against the whole Syrian economy. The armed groups took over the water utilities and power plants to stop the supplys to the residents, and they focused on the industries. Entire factorys were taken down and driven to Turkey. They stole everything. That was when everything turned upside down and the bad days of Aleppo began.
A search on the activities of both Al Rifai and Seddik reveal that both of these anti-Syrian government “citizen journalists” are given easy access around France on a number of promotional speaking tours which is extraordinary considering how virtually impossible it is for the majority of secular, pro-government [or simply anti NATO intervention], normal Syrian citizens to obtain visas thanks to the hardline US and EU sanctions being implemented against the Syrian state, but primarily affecting the Syrian people.
In addition, both men are consistently described, by French press, as “anti-Assad activists,” and ‘journalists’ who have no objections to working alongside terrorist entities like Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria) provided the common goal is to overthrow President Assad.
We maintain good relationships with most of the opposition factions. We all share the same goal: to liberate Syria from tyranny, but each of us has taken his or her own path to achieve it. We have covered areas controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra in both Aleppo and Idlib. They did not bother us at all.
Not only do both men profess their affiliation with an organisation that is responsible for a huge percentage of the atrocities carried out against the majority of the Syrian people and beyond, but one of their regular speaking companions and co-advocates is none other than Hala Kodmani, the sister of ‘Syrian National Council’ opposition leader Basma Kodmani (photo, left).
Basma Kodmani’s credentials as a NATO favoured Syrian opposition candidate and double Bilderberg attendee are examined in detail by writer Charlie Skelton at the Guardian:
“A picture is emerging of Kodmani as a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry. Her “province of origin” (according to the SNC website) is Damascus, but she has close and long-standing professional relationships with precisely those powers she’s calling upon to intervene in Syria.”
A very quick search for “Aleppo Media Centre + Omran” demonstrates just how pivotal this western-backed media outlet is to the NATO-aligned media propaganda mill. Virtually every major mainstream media outlet relies upon AMC videos and reports to bolster and maintain their US Coalition stream of anti-Assad chronicles. The Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC, the Telegraph, CNN, Fox News, Time, FT and many more all depend upon AMC to produce the goods that they all use to cook their narrative on Syria.
This is ‘smart power’ in a nutshell – a brave new world where media fat cats, operating from plush London, Paris and Manhattan high rise offices, no longer need to get their hands dirty in a war zone, they have their “activists” and “citizen journalists” to do it for them.
The problem is, in the case of Aleppo Media Centre, by any professional or ethical measure, their reports are neither balanced nor are they objective. They are funded by the French Foreign Office, the EU and the US – all of which are heavily invested in the US Coalition military operation and ‘road map’ for Syria and the eventual regime change prize they all dream of.
What’s worse, the Aleppo Media Center is embedded exclusively with Al Nusra Front, Arar al-Sham and terrorist-controlled areas. In their own words, they work closely with Al Nusra Front provided the regime change objectives are adhered to, regardless of the number of Syrian civilians massacred along the way – which is undoubtedly the case in Aleppo and all over the country too.
They are a crucial cog in a much larger, sinister network of democratization promoters and neocolonialist predators. They are also showcased by Israel, itself a primary beneficiary of perpetual conflict and chaos in Syria and the region.
In the end, they are promoting the idea that to improve Syria – they must first destroy it. Based on all available evidence, western state-sponsored media is working as the PR agency to sell that idea to the deliberately misinformed public.
These same Syrian embedded and satellite mainstream media outlets are liberally bandying around the Hitler label for President Assad, a cheap demonization device that they and theirSMART power teams have regularly employed for other regime change targets – Muamar Gadaffi(Libya), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia/Serbia) to name only a few.
Their ‘Hitlerization’ campaigns have reaped rich imperialist rewards, yet a read of Hitler’s own thesis on propaganda demonsrates very clearly that it is the global north and its mainstream media machine that adheres very closely to the intellectual conceit described in detail by Hitler himself – as being an essential component in controlling the masses and guaranteeing their acceptance of an eternal war.
The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses