Overcoming Savagery and Treachery, Maaloula’s Heroic Defenders Fight for the Future

© Eva Bartlett

Oct 18, 2016, Strategic Culture Foundation

-Eva Bartlett

Since 2013, September has for the historic village of Maaloula been a month of tragic anniversaries. Crimes and atrocities committed by Western, Gulf, Turkish and Zionist-backed terrorists there in September alone include murders, maimings, kidnappings, and the beginning of what would be the vast destruction and looting of Maaloula’s rich and unique ancient heritage.

On September 4, 2013, a Jordanian suicide-bomber exploded his truck at the Syrian army checkpoint at the arched gate outside the village. This was immediately followed by attacks on Syrian soldiers nearby, mainly by al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists—including Chechens, Uighurs, Turkestanis, Libyans, and Saudis, as well as locals.

Gate at the outskirts of Maaloula, where on September 4, 2013, al-Nusra and other terrorists carried out a series of coordinated attacks on Syrian soldiers, the start of the battle for Maaloula. © Eva Bartlett

On September 7, 2013, terrorists point-blank assassinated three unarmed Maaloula men after they refused to convert to Islam, critically injuring one of the men’s sisters.

On September 13, 2013, a group of roughly twenty Syrians, including a Maaloula local, climbed the mountains above the town in an attempt to observe the never-interrupted, nearly 1,700 year old, annual traditions of the Festival of the Holy Cross. Terrorists attacked the men, killing roughly half of them and abducting the others (1).

Although since March 2013 al-Nusra and FSA, among other terrorist factions, had occupied areas of the cliffs above and beyond the over 4,000 year old village, the September 4th attack began what would be an eight month battle by Maaloula’s defence forces, the Syrian Arab Army, and Hezbollah to liberate the village from terrorists who bombed, burned, looted, and in any way possible attempted to destroy the heritage of Maaloula.

According to Maaloula local defence soldiers, between September 4, 2013 and April 14, 2014, at least 200 soldiers of the Syrian army were killed in the battles to liberate Maaloula, including at least four who were savagely beheaded in the initial terrorist attacks. Their honourable sacrifices will not be forgotten.

The less-recognized heroes in Maaloula’s fight against terrorism were those villagers who defied terrorists’ commands or with arms resisted them, and continue to do so now.

In July 2016, I returned to Maaloula to see how life had improved since April 2014, and to hear the accounts of Maaloula’s heroic defenders and of a woman left for dead.


Syrian Narratives: Interview on Sputnik Radio


“John Wight interviews Eva Bartlett, writer and human rights activist, on what is really happening on the ground in Syria and why the mainstream media are only showing one side of the story.”

Click HERE to listen on Sputnik.

*Please note, that at 4:35 minutes  I intended to say “March, 2011” and not “September”. 


Updates From on the Ground in Syria: June to August 11

– Aleppo and nearby villages ravaged by the West’s “moderate” terrorists (photo essay)

Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors

REVEALED: Russia Contacted US Twice to Stop Coalition’s Massacre of Syrian Army Troops

The Guardian view on Aleppo: More Western lies about Syria

‘West not serious about fighting terrorism’ – adviser to Syrian President Assad

Terrorists’ Attack on Damascus Restaurant and Homes: “They have no humanity and no respect for children” [related: Where is the West’s compassion & condemnation following terror attacks in Middle East? ]


Aleppo and nearby villages ravaged by the West’s “moderate” terrorists (photo essay)

*Aleppo citadel. © Eva Bartlett

Sep. 8, 2016, SOTT.net

(republished at Global Research )

-Eva Bartlett (all images and videos by author)

The northern city of Aleppo has been one of the most grossly misreported-on cities in the Syrian Arab Republic, with Western and Gulf media and NGOs continuously ignoring the realities of life in this city of over 1.5 million civilians, instead launching coordinated propaganda campaigns against the Syrian government and army (SAA), and in favour of terrorists labeled as “rebels”, and ignoring their firing of an array of missiles, rockets, Hell Cannon-fired gas canister bombs, explosive bullets, and more onto the civilians of greater Aleppo.

Terrorist factions occupying areas of Aleppo include Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, the so-called “Free Syrian Army”, and child-beheading Nour el din Zinki mercenaries.

In July and in August, 2016, I travelled by car to Aleppo, to meet with doctors and ordinary civilians, and to hear their testimonies of life in a city which has many times been under terrorists’ siege and is always under terrorists’ bombings and snipings.

I was also able to visit Nubl, adjacent to Zahra’a, two villages just north of Aleppo which were under a devastating 3.5 year siege by terrorist factions until the SAA and allies lifted it in February 2016. Residents endured prolonged periods of hunger, were targeted by terrorists’ bombings, and for want of medicines, medical treatment, and sanitary conditions suffered diseases that could otherwise have been treated.

The main highway to Aleppo runs through Idlib and Aleppo governorates. Due to the occupation of their countryside by terrorists, the sole means of entering the city has only been via the Khanasser road and onto southern Ramouseh road, a roughly 500m stretch of which was risky due to terrorists’ sniping and shelling.

By August, the Ramouseh road had been closed due to terrorists’ increased shelling and sniping, and subsequently due to their occupation of districts in and near Ramouseh.

North of the city, the Castello road—much of which is a bumpy dirt path framed by the landscape of destroyed vehicles during the fight against terrorism—is now the only way into the city. Although secured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies, the road is nonetheless targeted by mortars from terrorists occupying areas outside of Aleppo, as was the case the morning I was leaving Aleppo.

During the August trip, I visited the liberated areas of Bani Zeid and the Lairamoun Industrial district, both scenes of devastation in the fight against terrorists who were finally defeated.

Following are photos from the two visits.

Driving up the Khanasser road, one passes the shells of trucks and cars, destroyed in one of Da’esh and other terrorists’ attacks on the road.

On many sections of the Khanasser road, as well as the east-west road leading to Ithriya, Da’esh terrorists flank one side of the highway, just 2 or 3 km away, and the so-called FSA, al-Nusra and other factions flank the other side.

Entering Aleppo via the southern Ramouseh road, stacked barrels, then embankments of sand and earth, screen cars from terrorist snipers’ bullets. Five of the driver’s were killed by snipers on this stretch of road in Ramouseh. This alternative road was the main means of entering Aleppo. Civilians in trucks, buses and cars on the road are all potential targets for Western-backed terrorists.


The Guardian view on Aleppo: More Western lies about Syria


*Terrorist-fired gas shells in the old city of Aleppo on August 2nd killed 4 people, including one rescuer with Aleppo’s *real* Syrian Civil Defense. Photo by Aleppo journalist Lama Khaly. According to Khaly, the man in the photo died of his injuries. This reality was not told in the Guardian or other corporate media.

September 8, 2016, SOTT.net

-Eva Bartlett

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 need to 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 the Syrian army 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. CONTINUE READING

Life under fire in Syria: SOTT.net interview with Eva Bartlett

Sep 2, 2016, SOTT.net



“Since 2008, Eva has spent more than 3 years in Gaza documenting Palestinian life under Israeli rule. She has also visited Lebanon and, since 2014, has just come back from her 5th trip to Syria, the latter for 9 weeks, to bring back firsthand accounts of what daily life is like for the Syrian people who have been subjected to a Western imperial war for the past over 5 years.”

Some Related Links:

Syria: how the violence began, in Daraa, May 13, 2013, OpEd News
Syria: The hidden massacre, May 7, 2014, Russia Today Op Edge
Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria, Oct 10, 2015, Dissident Voice (other languages at this link)
Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors, Aug 14, 2016, SOTT.net

The Omran Deception, Aug 31, 2016, TeleSur

Watching The Hawks, with Sean Stone: “Eva Bartlett Challenges the Corrupt Western Media’s Vision of Syria”


Aug 25, 2016, Watching the Hawks RT

Eva Bartlett, independent journalist and blogger at “INGAZA,” joins Sean Stone from Beirut to discuss the time she spent in Syria and how what she has seen and heard directly challenges the western media’s narrative of the war in that country.


*Also shared here: Eva Bartlett: ‘It’s not a civil war – This is a war ON Syria’ AUGUST 26, 2016 BY 21WIRE 

21st Century Wire says…

Beyond its violent and damaging effects on the ground, the Syrian Conflict is a PR war mounted by the western powers and their surrogates.

Regarding the Syrian Conflict, here is an informative interview by RT America’s Watching the Hawks co-host Sean Stone and independent journalist Eva Bartlett, explaining the real dynamics on the ground in Syria and also the western media lies and manipulations on Syria, especially with the current Battle for Aleppo.

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

‘West not serious about fighting terrorism’ -Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, adviser to Syrian President Assad


*photos:  Building occupied as headquarters for terrorists of Brigade 16 of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), Bani Zaid, Aleppo; scrawled name of terrorist Yousef Hayani, leader of Brigade 16; doctors of the Aleppo Medical Association protest terrorists’ bombing of Aleppo hospitals and media silence.

Aug 23, 2016, Russia Today

(in French)

*Note: Blog post slightly longer than original published article. Additions show in red.

In early August, Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, spoke with me about how the Western media is stifling Syrian voices, endlessly propagating false allegations against the Syrian government and army.
On the question of the Western media’s reaction whenever the Syrian Arab Army liberates areas from foreign-backed terrorists (the most recent examples include the liberation of Aleppo’s Bani Zaid and Lairamoun industrial districts from the so-called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), Jabhat al-Nusra, Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Ahrar al-Sham, among other terrorist factions), which was met with deafening silence by Western corporate media, Shaaban accused the Western media of “double standards.”

“If the West really wants to end this terrorism, why are they so upset about liberating Bani Zaid in Aleppo, which was responsible for killing thousands of civilians in Aleppo? They should have hailed the Syrian Arab Army that liberated these Syrian citizens from terrorism, and they should have hailed overcoming these terrorist groups that were sending hell into Aleppo.

“There’s no real stand against terrorism,” the Syrian president’s adviser continued. “Not only do they not care about the lives of civilians in Aleppo or Syria, they don’t care about the lives of civilians in Nice or Paris or in the USA. The lives of civilians in Syria is as worthy as the lives of civilians in any European country, and one should be human in this regard.”


Comparing the Russian method of battling terrorism in Syria to the Western coalition forces, Shaaban said the Western forces lack the necessary will to fulfill their mission.

“Russia believes that terrorism is a world-wide cancer, and therefore it should be fought truly and drastically in Syria so that it doesn’t get to other countries. But the West doesn’t have this conviction, doesn’t have this will or intention.