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West’s war crimes in Syria exposed

By Finian Cunningham | Press TV | July 30, 2013

There was a time during the 30-month covert dirty war on Syria when the Western governments and mainstream media would make a clamor over reported massacres.

Now, despicably, these governments and media just ignore such atrocities.

Why? Because it is increasingly clear that the groups committing these crimes against thousands of Syrian civilians are the foreign-backed mercenaries, whom the Western media and their governments have tried to lionize as “rebels” fighting for “democratic freedom”.

That charade is rapidly disintegrating, exposing not just criminal Western governments sponsoring the violence against civilians, but an entire media industry that is also guilty of war crimes through its willful complicity.

This is not mere hyperbole. To disseminate false information and lies about conflict – under the guise of independent news – is to be complicit in covering up war crimes. You can hardly get more serious misconduct than to tell lies about crimes against humanity.

These toxic lies and propaganda are now being exposed as the Western-backed plot to subvert the sovereign state of Syria unravels; this unraveling is accentuated by the West’s death squads becoming even more unhinged as they stare at looming defeat at the hands of the Syrian army.

The latest massacre occurred in the town of Khan al-Assal in the northern province of Aleppo. Some 150 people, mostly civilians, were reportedly slaughtered in cold blood. Many of the victims were shot in the head execution-style. The groups claiming responsibility are the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Ansar al Khalifa.

Reliable sources say that the killers tried to cover up their barbaric crimes by mutilating the corpses and burning the remains. Only days before this orgy of murder, the same groups are believed to have massacred at least seven civilians in the town of Maqbara in the province of Hasakah.

Elsewhere, as the Syrian national army makes searing advances against the militants, it is apparent from the identities of the dead that the majority of these fighters are foreigners, from Saudi Arabia, Libya, Jordan, Turkey, as well as from the US and Europe, including Britain, France and Germany.

Just last week, it was reported that Saudi Arabia bought $50 million-worth of heavy arms from Israel to supply this foreign network in its endeavor to terrorize the people of Syria into submission.

Already, the US, Britain and France have stumped up over $200 million which they claim is provided to “the Syrian opposition” in the form of “non-lethal aid”.

This is just cynical semantics to cover up the fact that the Western governments and their regional Turk, Arab and Israeli proxies are sponsoring genocide in Syria.

Over the weekend as the mass murders in Khan al-Assal and Maqbara emerged there was a telling silence in the Western media. A cursory glance at outlets such as New York Times, Washington Post, Voice of America, the Guardian, BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle, Reuters, among others, showed no or negligible reports on the atrocities.

A notable exception was the London-based Financial Times, which headlined: “Syria opposition condemns rebel attack”. The FT tried to obfuscate the mass murder of civilians by claiming that “extremist rebels” had executed captured Syrian army soldiers and by giving prominence to condemnation of the “abuses” by the exile non-entity group, the Syrian National Coalition.

Similar Western silence followed another massacre last month in the village of Hatlah in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. In mid-June, more than 60 mainly Shia inhabitants were slaughtered again by Western-backed foreign militants. Most of the victims were women and children. Syrian government appeals for international condemnation at the United Nations were ignored.

Contrast this void in Western government and media reaction to earlier massacres. In May and June 2012, the Western media went viral with reports of mass killings in the villages of Houla and Qubair where some 108 and 78 inhabitants were murdered, many of them with throats slit. Immediately, the Western media then claimed or implied that the perpetrators were Syrian state forces and roundly condemned President Bashar al-Assad.

Back then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Assad of “ruling by murder and fear” and led the chorus of Western governments calling for Assad to step down.

It later transpired that the Houla and Qubair massacres were the work of the Western-backed foreign militants. But Western media did not follow-up with corrective reporting. This is the conduct of a propaganda ministry, not independent journalism.

The same propaganda formula of sensationalist headlines and innuendo, with minimal evidence, was repeated in subsequent massacres, such as in Tremseh in July 2012, or the bomb attack on Aleppo University in January this year in which more than 80 were killed. Also in that same month, more than 100 bodies were fished out of the Queiq River in the Bustan al-Qasr district of Aleppo – all of those victims with gunshot wounds to the head. Never mind that the district was under the control of foreign militants, the Western media continued their campaign of innuendo that it was the Syrian state forces that carried out the executions.

The Syrian government has consistently alleged that all these mass killings are the work of Western-backed militants. This sickening terrorist methodology concatenates with the Takfiri mentality of killing everyone who is deemed to be an infidel – Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Christian, non-believer alike, who does not subscribe to their fundamentalist twisted theology.

It is entirely in keeping that Western governments and Wahhabi Arab despots sponsor such groups given the long history of collusion between these protagonists, going back to the creation of al-Qaeda by Western military intelligence in Afghanistan during the 1980s to fight the then Soviet-backed government in Kabul.

The indiscriminate murder of civilians in wholesale massacres by Western-backed death squads operating in Syria to overthrow the Assad government is also consistent with the countless no-warning car bombs that have ripped through markets, streets, hospitals and schools all across Syria. Days before the latest slaughter in Khan al-Assal, a car bomb killed at least 10 in the Jaramana district of the capital, Damascus.

A few months earlier, another deadly bomb attack also targeted Jaramana, killing more than 30. The district is a mixed community of Muslim, Christian and Druze, which is largely supportive of the Assad government. As with the many other massacres in Syria, the aim is to terrorize the civilian population, to sow sectarianism and to coerce
the populace to relinquish support for the government.

As the foreign criminal conspiracy to force regime change in Syria flounders – with the turning point being the Syrian army victory in Qusayr early last month – the Western-sponsored terrorists are resorting to more and more desperate methods. This depravity was manifested yet again in the slaughter of civilians in Khan al-Assal and Maqbara. Tragically and despicably, we can expect more such atrocities in the coming weeks and months as the Western criminal conspiracy suffers more defeats.

But what is truly remarkable is how the Western governments and their propaganda machine, known euphemistically as the mainstream news media, are ignoring these latest massacres. That is because their vile game is up. They can no longer dissimulate on the reality of who is carrying out these massacres and how it is all part of a criminal genocidal campaign directed from Washington, London and Paris. That is why they are feigning to ignore such atrocities. To look into them honestly would uncover the ugly face of Western imperialism and the unconscionable role played all along by so-called Western news media.

Meanwhile, proper journalistic services like Press TV that are reporting the reality of what the Western governments are really doing in Syria via their death squads are being banned from satellite networks controlled by Western authorities.

Indeed, a very real extension of this censorship is how Press TV correspondent Maya Nasser was murdered last September by Western-backed death squads in Damascus for the very reason that he was helping to uncover the truth about what is being inflicted on Syria. Assassination is just an extreme act of censorship, as the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once noted.

Western government and media silence over the latest massacres in Syria is not just a matter of indifference or sloppy journalism. It is indicative of their complicity in the covert genocidal war on Syria.

July 30, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US predicts another Houla-style massacre in Syria

Press TV – June 12, 2012

The United States has predicted that another Houla-style massacre will occur in Syria and has even mentioned exact locations.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday that the Syrian government “may be organizing another massacre, this time in the village of al-Haffa, in Latakia province, as well as in the towns Deir el-Zour, in Daraa, in Homs, in Hama, and in suburbs of Damascus.”

She accused Damascus of using new tactics of repression but made no mention of the armed gangs’ failure to abide by the joint UN-Arab League peace plan, brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan.

In 15 months of violence in Syria, the Houla massacre, in which over 100 civilians were killed in the western town on May 25, was the worst incident.

A Syrian government-appointed fact-finding mission has said armed groups carried out the Houla massacre to frame the government and foment sectarian strife.

But anti-government groups say Syrian government forces were the perpetrators of the acts of carnage in Houla.

Annan’s six-point plan, effective from mid-April, calls for the establishment of a cease-fire between the government and the opposition and also says humanitarian groups should be allowed to have access to the population, detainees should be released, and a political dialogue should be started.

The unrest in Syria began in March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Assad’s government.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, but Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

June 11, 2012 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , , , | 3 Comments

‘UN Commissioner report on Houla? But they only talk to Syrian opposition – by phone’

RT | May 31, 2012

The Houla Massacre is to be brought before a rare gathering of the UN Human Rights Council. But what kind of findings will be presented? Anti-war campaigner Marinella Corregia worries the HR commissioner talks only to its sources: the opposition.

The meeting, set for Friday, has been called by 21 of the 47 council members. The request was officially submitted by Qatar, Turkey, the US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Denmark and the EU.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous said there are strong suspicions that pro-regime fighters are responsible for some of the 108 in Syria’s Houla massacre, and that heavy weapons were illegally fired by Syrian government forces. But he added “I cannot say we have absolute proof.” Ladsous also told reporters he sees no reason to believe that “third elements” — outside forces — were involved in what was one of the bloodiest single events in Syria’s 15-month-old uprising, though he did not rule this out.

It also appears that entire families were shot in their homes. Local residents have blamed the executions on Shabbiya, a paramilitary group that “essentially supports the government forces,” says Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

UN Human Rights Council ‘own’ sources?

What worries Marinella Corregia, an activist from the “No War Network,” is the sources the UN Commissioner for Human Rights uses to draw their reports, as their opinions do not seem in accord with UN monitors’ prudence. General Robert Mood, who heads the observing mission, has not yet pointed to anyone for the killings.

Marinella Corregia called the spokesman for the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, to get some answers. This is the conversation they had as reported by the peace activist:

Marinella Corregia: Who spoke with the local people you quote? The UN observers?
Rupert Colville: The UN observers are another body.

MC: So which witness sources do you have and how did you speak with them?
RC: Our local network, whom we spoke on the phone. I cannot say more; I have to protect them.

MC: How could they recognize that the killers were Shabbiya? Weren’t their faces covered?
RC: Our local contacts in Syria say they were Shabbiya. Try to be less cynical.

MC: But no doubt from your side? It seems that many of the children were from Alawite pro-government families…
RC: We are asking for an investigation. I don’t say we are certain. We have also been asking for international investigations for the past months in Syria; but it has never been done and that is why we rely on our sources.

MC:  So it is not the UN that says that pro-government groups killed the children, it is your sources saying that.
RC: Yes, many people, our sources point the finger at the Shabbiya [militia group].

More questions than answers as Houla investigation continues

But who are these contacts? Corregia says that so far the UN Council on Human Rights used reports made up by their own commission of three envoys, working independently from UN monitors. The commission has never set foot on Syrian soil; their sources, as listed by the anti-war campaigner, appear to be: “the opposition groups [the UN Human Rights Council] spoke to on the phone; the opposition they met in Turkey; and other ‘activists’ they met in Geneva.”

So the bottom line: no actual witnesses!” points out Marinella Corregia, who is sure the body treats the Houla incident “just the same way.”

Houla reports filed so far stand no criticism, continues the activist, – instead of giving answers, they just raise more questions:

“Who talked to the residents, since the UN Human Rights Council is in Geneva? Are they true residents or the ones like the face-covered lady interviewed by Al Jazeera? The ‘survivor’ in question says she was hiding as her children were being slaughtered – how is it possible that a mother hides at a moment like this?”

“How was it possible that immediately after “Shabbiya” and the “army’s artillery” accomplished the massacre people were not afraid to collect bodies, film them and then send the video to international media?”

“How could survivors identify Shabbiya militia if they say killers were masked? By ‘green military dress’?”

“Why does a video show that some dead children have their hands tied? Did the killers take time to tie the hands of the children before killing them? Or were the hands tied later by those who filmed the massacre in order to call for more blame if possible?”

“Why does the man in the video, while showing the children and screaming ‘Allah Akbar!’, treat them with no respect, like puppets?”

“Why in one of the videos, showing the ‘government’ shelling, are people escaping carrying Syria’s flag, not the opposition’s one?”

“Is it true, as some sources say, that the majority of the people who were killed came from Alawites pro-government families or neutral Sunnis and some others from the opposition? Is it also true that the people were shouting pro-Assad slogans?”

UN Human Rights Council’s rulings mostly adds political weight to the efforts taken by other UN’s bodies, notably the UN Security Council. The Security Council – and prior to it the UN monitors in Syria – is yet to deliberate a final opinion who is responsible for the Houla massacre. But some political leaders seem to know their answer: Syrian diplomats have already been expelled from the US, the UK, France, Germany and other countries across the world.

May 31, 2012 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Comments Off on ‘UN Commissioner report on Houla? But they only talk to Syrian opposition – by phone’

BBC mistakenly [?] uses image of Iraq in Syrian massacre story

By Craig Silverman | Pointer. | May 28, 2012

A 2003 photo taken in Iraq was mistakenly used by the BBC website to illustrate a report about the recent massacre in Houla, Syria.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the image of a child jumping over body bags was removed from the story after the BBC realized its error. The photographer who took the shot is incredulous that the BBC could have confused his photo with recent events.

“I went home at 3am and I opened the BBC page, which had a front page story about what happened in Syria, and I almost felt off from my chair,” Marco di Lauro told the Telegraph. “One of my pictures from Iraq was used by the BBC web site as a front page illustration claiming that those were the bodies of yesterday’s massacre in Syria and that the picture was sent by an activist.”

The caption on the BBC image read, “This image – which cannot be independently verified – is believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial.” The credit line on the image said, “Photo From Activist.”

Di Lauro posted on Facebook Sunday about the use of his image, and included this screenshot of the BBC website:

He made this statement in a Facebook post, which has since been shared over 750 times:

Somebody is using illegaly one of my images for anti syrian propaganda on the BBC web site front page

Today Sunday May 27 at 0700 am London time the attached image which I took in Al Mussayyib in Iraq on March 27, 2003 (see caption below) was front page on BBC web site illustrating the massacre that happen in Houla the Syrian town and the caption and the web site was stating that the images was showing the bodies of all the people that have been killed in the massacre and that the image was received by the BBC by an unknown activist. Somebody is using my images as a propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre.

After being contacted by the Telegraph, a BBC spokesperson provided a statement. It reads in part:

We were aware of this image being widely circulated on the internet in the early hours of this morning following the most recent atrocities in Syria …

Efforts were made overnight to track down the original source of the image and when it was established the picture was inaccurate we removed it immediately.

The BBC has a very good team working at its User Generated Content Hub. They focus on sourcing and verifying content that surfaces on social media, or is sent in by activists or unofficial sources. An image of this nature that came from an activist would first go through the UGC Hub for verification. That’s what the group exists to do.

My guess is the UGC team failed to properly vet the image, or the image went live to the site before the UGC Hub had a chance to do its work. I contacted sources at the BBC but have not yet heard a definitive account of what happened.

~~~

FJP Pro Tip:

A reverse image search could have flagged this photo in seconds. Where to do it? We use Google Image Search (instead of typing a search term in the text box select the camera icon which allows you to either enter the URL of an image or upload one) and Tineye (the process is the same).

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Comments Off on BBC mistakenly [?] uses image of Iraq in Syrian massacre story

Syrian government denies involvement in Houla massacre

RT | May 27, 2012

Damascus has refuted accusations of being behind a ruthless attack in Houla where over 90 civilians were killed. Political analyst Ibrahim Alloush told RT those killed were actually Assad loyalists, and the timing is suspicious.

­Friday’s attack in the Governorate of Homs has raised already-high tensions in Syria, with many in the international community quick to point fingers at Assad’s forces.

Public anxiety was fueled by numerous amateur videos from Houla posted to YouTube showing dozens of bodies, including many women and children.

Although the videos were widely distributed by the media, the source could not be independently verified.

Damascus condemned the attack Saturday, saying it had no involvement in the massacre, and accused “terrorist” groups of being behind it.

The authorities also announced an investigation into the incident.

Political analyst Ibrahim Alloush told RT that the way the attack was done and its timing “make it obvious” that Damascus is not responsible.

“It would not make sense for the Syrian army to commit these massacres and withdraw, and then just let the rebels come and take photos and make documentaries about them,” he explained.

Alloush believes the crimes were committed “by the armed gangs supported from abroad, from the GCC countries and from the NATO specifically through Turkey.”

The analyst insists that the massacre in Houla was carried out in the context of a broad attack throughout the area.

“They also attacked the national hospital in the region and they set fire to it. Then they turned to civilian houses in some of the neighboring villages and they started killing indiscriminately,” he said, emphasizing that among those killed were people loyal to Assad.

Alloush also said that the timing of the attack makes it look suspicious.

“These crimes have come at a point when a political solution has slated for the Syrian question, and these people do not want to see a political solution – instead they want to see an armed intervention, an international foreign intervention in Syria under pretext of massacres,” he concluded.

May 27, 2012 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, War Crimes | , | Comments Off on Syrian government denies involvement in Houla massacre