Friday, 27 July 2012

Information and disinformation in the Syria conflict



Syrian Military, Rebels Rush Reinforcements to Aleppo
Civilians Prepare to Flee as Major Battle Looms

by Jason Ditz.

25 July, 2012

The Syrian military is rushing a large number of troops and dozens of tanks to the northern city of Aleppo, the largest city in the nation, as fighting with the rebels continues to intensify. Rebels say they are deploying more fighters to the city too.


This has many predicting one of the most important battles of the nascent civil war is soon to be fought in the city, with both sides hoping to deliver a knockout blow to the other in a city that has only been part of the fighting for the past week.

The city is enormously important to both sides, with the rebels having designs on it being “their Benghazi,” reflecting the desire to turn their own civil war into a Libya redux. Its loss would secure a territory for the rebels to call their own, and would probably increase foreign aid to them.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) now claims to “control” 70 percent of Aleppo, but the ability to maintain that control is very much in doubt. Past rebel offensives to capture large portions of important cities have often given way to counter-offensives by the military which retook most of the territory.

 
Iran vows 'unchangeable' support for Syria with 'experience and capabilities'
Iran has vowed more support for Syria amid mounting “foreign pressure" and promised not to leave its ally “alone in difficult times.”


RT,
26 July, 2012

Given that powers have united to damage the Syrian nation, Iran’s stance toward Syria is not changeable – it will always stand by its Syrian brothers,” Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, said on Thursday while meeting Syria’s deputy prime minister, Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji, in Tehran.

The secretary of Iran's National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, called relations between Iran and Syria “strategic”, saying that Tehran is ready to support Damascus "more than before in the face of foreign pressure."

In response, Ghalawanji expressed his gratitude to Iran, stressing that the West’s “cruel sanctions” against Syria have hit the Syrian people more than they have affected the government.

Earlier on Wednesday night while meeting Ghalawanji, Iran’s vice president in charge of international affairs, Ali Saeedlou, said that “Tehran is ready to give its experience and capabilities to its friend and brother nation of Syria.”

The statements come as a Syrian delegation of 15 ministers and high-ranking officials are in Tehran on a three-day visit to seek the expansion of economic cooperation.

Tehran expressed its readiness to reconstruct facilities damaged in Syria during the uprising. The Syrian delegation also secured Iran’s support in developing electricity and water facilities.

Syria and Iran have agreed a deal on importing 50MW (megawatts) of Iranian electricity into Syria via Iraq. The figure will climb to 200MW at the next step.

"We agreed with Iran that in one month agreements will be made with Iraq, so that putting problems to one side, electricity imports from Iran will begin," Syria's electricity minister, Imad Khamis, said on Thursday.

Iran and Syria have also signed cooperation agreements which include the construction of a dam along with a power plant. At the same time, Iran reiterated it is not going to dispatch military units or hardware to Syria. On Wednesday Iran’s defense minister, General Ahmad Vahidi, said that at present “Iran has no military forces in Syria” and does not plan to send any.


NATO Terrorists Execute Civilians While Waiting for Syrian Army
NATO-backed militants execute civilians as they await impending battle in Aleppo, Syria.


26 July, 2012

July 26, 2012 - For many months, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has depicted the militants creating havoc across his nation as "armed gangs," "foreign terrorists," and simply just, "terrorists." During a 2011 interview in Damascus with Barbra Walters, Walters feigned indignation when hearing these labels, insisting that these were people simply seeking "democracy" and "freedom."
It turns out months later, it was President Assad who has been vindicated, and Walters' disrespectful, curt condemnation exposed as the same brand of war propaganda that has mired the West in over a decade of ceaseless, bloody, bankrupting wars and interventions.

 
The FSA are Terrorists 

 
AFP now reports that the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA) militants who had attempted to overrun the city of Aleppo in Syria's north on July 17, in coordination with an assassination bombing and a similar militant attack on Damascus, are now trapped in the city center, awaiting Syrian Army reinforcements expected to close in and neutralize them. An AFP correspondent embedded with the terrorists reported that, "two men, accused of belonging to pro-government "shabiha" militia, were summarily dispatched in the street, each with a bullet to the head."
By this of course AFP means, two civilians were rounded up and shot in the head - killed in cold blood in the streets. 

 
BBC's Ian Pannell also rode in with FSA terrorists during the initial attack on Aleppo, which is by all accounts a pro-Army, pro-Syrian city. Pannell described scenes of FSA militants "seeking revenge" as they too rounded up men "suspected" of being "shabiha." The men were unarmed, terrified, and had weapons discharged at their feet as they knelt on the ground. Pannell doesn't tell us if this group of men were "dispatched" as well, preferring to paper over what appeared to be an atrocity in the making by stating, "there is little justice on either side."

It appears the term suspected "shabiha" has become analogous of the Western media's use of the term "African mercenaries" in Libya during NATO destabilization and regime change operations there last year. These "African mercenaries" were lynched, beheaded, shot, burned, and hacked to pieces, just as the FSA is now doing to suspected "shabiha."

Photo: Images and reports eventually trickled out as NATO-backed genocide unfolded throughout Tripoli's streets, indicating the destruction of infrastructure and the specific targeting of black Libyans written off by the corporate media as "suspected mercenaries." Benghazi rebels have been long reported to harbor extremist ideologies and an intense ethnic & racial hatred
....

It would later turn out these black Africans were not mercenaries, but citizens who had lived in Libya for generations fighting desperately for their lives against sectarian extremists intolerant of their complexion and creed. Likewise, suspected "shabiha" are Syrians unwilling or unable, because of their ethnicity or creed, to capitulate to roving bands of foreign-armed sectarian extremists

The FSA Include Foreign-Fighters 

CNN, whose Ivan Watson also accompanied FSA terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants. It was admitted that:
Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade's ranks.
A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a "platoon" of Libyan fighters to armed movement.
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.
CNN's reports provide bookends to earlier admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria with known terrorist commanders making the arrangements.  

Western Media is Complicit in Covering Up War Crimes 
 
Not only are these FSA militants committing atrocities, they are doing so in front of representatives of Western media, who are demonstratively excusing, covering up, or downplaying their war crimes. Additionally, these media personalities are attempting to downplay the significant implications of foreign-fighters crossing Syria's borders and conducting armed attacks on a heavily populated city - implications that run contra to the West's narrative regarding their support of the FSA against the Syrian state. 

By doing so they've become accomplices, providing impunity for the actions of terrorists, and allowing the governments of the United States, Britain, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, an ignoble alliance, to continue fueling this violent, foreign-contrived band of militants. And by doing so, these media representatives have undermined their journalistic immunity, putting the lives of real journalists the world over at risk.

 Image: An approximation of areas where fighting has been taking place in Aleppo, Syria. Clearly during the initial offensive by the FSA, they came in from 2 of the city's main highways, both leading to the Turkish-Syrian border. It appears that a large number of fighters have been trapped inside the center of the city, surrounded by Syrian military forces. This was not an "uprising" but rather an invasion by armed militants from across the Turkish-Syrian border. It is unclear whether a significant number of additional militants are on their way. 
....

And it will be this corps of professional deceivers who continue their efforts to pave way for wider NATO intervention to fulfill US ambitions to carve out "safe havens" in northern Syria form which to prolong the current bloodbath. 
Perhaps this is why Russia - condemned by these very nations for its "inaction" in supporting the subversion of Syria - stated quite clearly that the West, specifically the US, was "justifying terrorism against the Syrian government." 


The West is hemorrhaging legitimacy and finds itself in an untenable position where it can neither go forward nor back without incurring tremendous, catastrophic consequences - consequences millions of people across the Middle East as well as across the West will pay for in blood and treasure. It should be remembered who exactly brought us to this precipice and why - corporate-financier interests, their stables of policy makers, and the corporate-media - all for the sake of pursuing narrow-minded, self-serving geopolitical hegemony


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