Once again, without fail, as the Syrian army makes advances in fighting al-Qaeda in Syria — aka Jabhat al-Nusra — and the child-beheading ‘moderate’ terrorists of Nour al-din al-Zenki in districts of eastern and southern Aleppo, simultaneously a new bout of the same old tired and repeatedly disproved accusations of chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian Army is making the rounds.
The Guardian‘s September 6th article is embarrassingly (well, I would be) unsourced and, as per the norm, cites “unnamed activists” and the al-Qaeda-affiliated “rescuers”, known either as the “White Helmets” or — quite factually incorrect — the “Syrian Civil Defence”, as they are neither civil (many carry arms) nor rescuers (rescuers don’t pose with dead Syrian soldiers). The article’s fallacies are many and the propaganda as crass as ever. The Guardian must really think their readers are stupid.
Before diving into the problematic article and its unsubstantiated accusations, let’s pause to ask the obvious: Logically, why would the Syrian army needto drop chlorine on a population when conventional bombs will do far more damage? Suggestion: If the Guardian wants to portray the Syrian government as mass-murdering its civilians, which is in fact the Guardian‘s, and NATO’s, intent, then forget ineffective weapons like chlorine and start screaming that the Syrian government has nuked Aleppo.
As Stephen Gowans pointed out, in rebuttal to one of the earlier accusations of chlorine attacks by forces loyal to Assad in May 2015:
“As a weapon, chlorine gas is exceedingly ineffective. It is lethal only in highly concentrated doses and where medical treatment is not immediately available. It is far less effective than conventional weapons.” (See also Gowans’ ‘New York Times Complicit in Spreading False Syria Allegations’)
Another obvious question: When the Syrian government has repeatedly been accused in the past of conducting chemical weapons attacks, and has gone to the extent of ridding itself of its chemical weapons (its southern genocidal neighbour cannot say the same), why use a gas to attack terrorists when the predictable outcome would be a Western call for a No-Fly-Zone in Syria?
As I wrote earlier:
“The US and HR actors have repeatedly — and without evidence — accused Syria of using Sarin gas, then chlorine, accusations which have been amply refuted. Seymour Hersh’s probe on the sarin attacks was so damning, US mainstream media wouldn’t print it.
Tim Anderson investigated the August 2013 Ghouta attacks, pointing out:
- UN investigator Carla del Ponte had testimony from victims that ‘rebels’ had used sarin gas in a prior attack
- Turkish security forces found sarin in the homes of Jabhat al Nusra fighters.
- Evidence of video manipulation in the Ghouta attacks.
- Parents identified children in photos as those kidnapped in Latakia, two weeks earlier.
- Chemical weapons (CW) had been supplied by Saudis to ‘rebel’ groups, some locals had died due to mishandling.
- Three of five CW attacks were ‘against soldiers’ or ‘against soldiers and civilians’.”
Guardian Whitewashes Reality
The Guardian pointedly chooses to disregard that the Syrian government is fighting a terrorism thrust upon the civilians of Syria by the NATO-Turkish-Gulf-Zionist alliance, including the same terrorists in eastern Aleppo which the Guardian whitewashes while portraying their White Helmets as credible ‘rescuers’, instead of US/UK-backed and financed propagandists and props for death squads.
Terrorism is daily and massively felt in Aleppo, whose over 1.5 million civilians on a daily basis are subject to a bombardment of Hell Cannon-fired explosive gas canisters, and a combination of missiles, rockets, mortars, and explosive bullets, among other foreign-supplied munitions, by the terrorists occupying eastern Aleppo, who the Syrian army is fighting.
As I wrote recently, (something the Guardian would never deign to print):
“In late April 2016, terrorists in the occupied eastern quarters of Aleppo, as well as then-occupied Beni Zaid and neighbouring districts, increased the frequency of their bombing campaigns using mortars, gas canister explosives (from household to the largest size canisters, stuffed with glass, bearings, metal shrapnel), explosive bullets, and powerful foreign-supplied rockets 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, local doctor 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, another local physician, Dr. Zaher Buttal, read to me from his diary statistics on the terrorists’ bombardment campaign in late April/early May:
- 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 (including 3 women killed in the al-Dabeet maternity hospital explosion), 100 wounded.
In 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.
While initial reports said 16 civilians were killed in the May 3rd bombings, by the time the wounded had succumbed to their severe injuries, 25 people lay dead. 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.”
Examining the NATO/Guardian, Lies
The Guardian‘s September 6th article begins:
“Syrian activists and rescue workers in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo said that government warplanes dropped suspected chlorine bombs on Tuesday on a crowded neighborhood, injuring dozens.”
As noted earlier, this is how outlets like the Guardian put forth their rhetoric; citing “Syrian activists” or “rescue workers” is what lying media uses as “sources” (never verified, and whose allegiance is to the terrorists in the areas they reside in). Regardless of the Guardian‘s qualification that, “The report could not be independently verified and it was not clear how it was determined that chlorine gas was released,” the Western mainstream media’s constant repetition of similarly unsubstantiated and incredible claims maintains the overall lie about ‘the war in Syria’.
The same goes for the ambiguous term “rescue workers”, which, we know from other mainstream reports, is clearly a reference to those White Helmets. How can their claims be credible – nevermind substantiated and verified – when, regarding Aleppo, they operate solely in areas occupied by al-Nusra & co?
“Accusations involving use of chlorine and other poisonous gases are not uncommon in Syria’s civil war, and both sides have denied using them while blaming the other for using it as a weapon of war. Last month, there were at least two reports of suspected chlorine attacks in Aleppo, while the Syrian government also blamed the opposition for using the gas.”
This is shoddy journalism at its proudest. Yes, both sides have denied using chemical weapons. One side (the terrorists) is lying; the other (the Syrian government) is not. This isn’t about ‘the truth being somewhere in the middle’, or ‘the truth being lost in the fog of war’. There is a clear pattern – going back at least 3 years now, to the original ‘Assad uses chemical weapons’ claim in August 2013 – of terrorist connections to the actual use of chemical weapons; evidence of Syrian state connections to such is all but non-existent.
As cited earlier, even the UN’s Carla del Ponte pointed the blame at terrorists for earlier chemical weapons attacks. In fact, Aleppo’s actual Civil Defense reported that one of their volunteers, Mohammed Ahmed Dabbish, was killed by terrorist-fired gas shells in the old city of Aleppo on August 2nd. Three other people were killed in that toxic gas shelling. It is notable, too, that the primary reason he died is that the rescuers do not have adequate equipment, and he did not have a gas mask. Thank you, Western sanctions.
This was corroborated by Aleppo journalist Lama Khaly, who I met in the city a number of times in July and August and who later sent me photos from the al-Razi hospital treating victims of that gas attack. She later informed me that the man in the photo had died.
The Guardian also draws on the Britain-based ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ as a source of information, a known anti-government one-man show who goes by the pseudonym ‘Rami Abdulrahman’. His credibility is beyond lacking, he has a vested interest in propagandizing against the Syrian government, and he also relies on “unnamed activists”, including the so-called White Helmets, for his on-the-ground information and statistics.
The Guardian was at least clever enough not to actually name the hospitals in the Sukkari district said to be treating alleged victims of gas attacks. Why ‘clever’? Because if they had named the al-Quds field hospital, it would contradict their prior media lied that the Quds field hospital (in its unmarked, nondescript building, and whose coordinates were not given to either the Syrian government nor the Russian military) had been targeted and destroyed by the Syrians and/or Russians.
However, German war propagandist for Bild, Julian Ropcke, did name the hospitals; his tweet clearly naming the al-Quds field hospital as one among those supposedly treating alleged victims.
As alluded to above, the Quds field hospital was the subject of a flurry of propaganda in late April, at the same time that terrorists were heavily bombarding the 1.5 million plus population of western Aleppo.
Indeed, the Guardian participated heavily at the time in the hype about how “the UN must act now”. Perhaps that’s why, in its current propaganda piece, they omitted naming the “destroyed” Quds field hospital. Alternatively, readers who notice this are supposed to believe that “starving ‘rebels'” in eastern Aleppo have miraculously rebuilt a destroyed field hospital in order to treat phantom victims of gas attacks.
Here’s one final twist: In April 2013, it was reported that Jabhat al-Nusra (formerly known as al-Qaeda) seized Syria’s only chlorine factory:
“Jabhat al-Nusra, which the U.S. government classifies as a terrorist organization, seized control of Syria’s only chlorine gas production facility last August (2012), according to factory owner Mohammad Sabbagh. While the facility is no longer in working order, there are approximately 400 containers on site, each containing 1 ton of chlorine gas.”
A video filmed at and inside the Sysacco plant shows Western-backed terrorists gleefully claiming their prize.
What Conclusion to Draw?
The same conclusion following every propaganda campaign run by outlets like the Guardian, and whose talking points come from the US State Department and the British Foreign Office: The Guardian, and other corporate media outlets parroting these accusations, are lying to your face. They think you are too stupid to see through the lies.
The terrorists have a documented track record of using chemical weapons against Syrian soldiers and civilians to set the stage for public outcry and foreign intervention, whether it be a No-Fly Zone, or for the UN to “do something.”
The Syrian government has no interest in using chlorine gas, or sarin before that, or whatever the next allegation NATO apologists bleat. The Syrian army, with its allies, is fighting terrorism by conventional means, and quite effectively.
Still, the accusations come one after another. If you are a continued observer of the recycled propaganda against Syria, you will note that the cycles include:
- “The government is starving its people,” as per Yarmouk (infested by terrorists who steal food aid), Madaya (infested by terrorists who steal food aid), and Aleppo (infested by terrorists who assassinate civilians attempting to leave via Syrian- and Russian-brokered humanitarian corridors, and who also steal food aid).
- “The government is bombing hospitals”, as discussed above.
- “The government is using chemical weapons on its people (who are then being treated in destroyed or non-existent hospitals?).”
But Western audiences are supposed to believe these charades? And readers continue to buy the Guardian‘s lies?
These lies – as barefaced and substanceless as they are – are nevertheless killing Syrian civilians. If anyone should be tried for war crimes – aside from the terrorists and their funders – it is the war-progandizing media, whose presstitutes also have so much blood on their hands.
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.
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