chemical weapons

MintPress Sits Down with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova weighs in on Syria, Crimea, the Moscow protests and more.
September 12, 2019, MintPress News

Moscow— In a simple meeting room at the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova gave me a generous hour of her time in a conversation peppered with bemused laughter at Western allegations about Russia and clear frustration at the West’s incessant vilification of all things Russia.

I traveled to Moscow in August, where to my delight I had the opportunity to interview Zakharova. Given that Russia is the focus of obsessive and largely negative Western media reporting, and also the country’s role in eliminating the proliferation of terrorist groups that once controlled large swaths of Syria, I wanted to ask Zakharova for her take on a variety of topics related to both Russia and Syria.

In our wide-ranging discussion, Zakharova spoke of the U.S. sanctions regime against Russia and of the Western interference in Russian domestic issues — such as the protests seen in Moscow in July and August.

On Syria, she addressed the issue of exploitation of children in propaganda against Syria and Russia — notably Omran Daqneesh, a child whose image was splashed across newspapers and screens worldwide in 2016, incriminating Russia and Syria in an airstrike that was later proven to have never happened. An official apology from one of the most adamant perpetrators of that narrative, CNN’sChristian Amanpour, also neverhappened.

One cannot discuss the war in Syria and related propaganda without addressing the massively-funded White Helmets. In discussing the group, Zakharova gave examples of its role in fomenting support for Western military intervention, including in pushing responsibility on the Syrian government for the alleged but unproven and, by most honest accounts, staged chemical attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, in 2018. Footage of the attack included video starring the White Helmets and another exploited Syrian boy, Hassan Diab, whose testimony of the events ran in stark contrast to the allegations against the Syrian government that were being circulated in the Western media.

Zakharova also addressed the inconsistencies around the Skripal case, the historic importance of Crimea’s referendum, and the U.K. “media freedom” conference of July 2019, where cases of imprisoned journalists like Julian Assange and Kirill Vyshinsky were notably not part of the conference program.

In an unexpected development since my discussion with Zakharova, Ukrainian-Russian journalist and editor Vyshinsky was released from his over 15 months of imprisonment without trial by Ukraine. Referring to his imprisonment, Zakharova described him as a hostage.

The interview took place at a time when Western media reporting would have one believe that the streets of Moscow were full of chaos and unrest with the protests. In fact, contrary to media reporting, Moscow was calm, as were the protests I attended on August 10. Once again, it seemed, the media was hyping and distorting reality, as they have so often done elsewhere in the world.

Zakharova’s words are a reality check and offer an informative insight into the Russian perspective on Russian, Syrian, and global events.

Feature photo | Maria Zakharova sits down with Eva Bartlett at a Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Moscow, Russia in August, 2019.  Eva Bartlett | MintPress News

 

A Syrian Leader Tells His Country’s Story: An Interview with SAA General Hassan Hassan

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Eva Bartlett sits down for an exclusive interview with the head of the Syrian Arab Army’s Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan.

August 5, 2019, Mint Press News

For years, international headlines spotlighting Syria have claimed that the Syrian government, army, and its allies were guilty of a variety of atrocities. Yet as time has passed, many of the accusations levied at government and its allies have been shown to have been either falsified, staged (as in the case of allegations of chemical attacks in eastern Ghouta), or actually committed by the myriad terrorist groups operating in the country.

For their part, Syrian leadership has maintained from the start that the demonstrations in their country were not peaceful, from 2011 and on. Media in the West and the Gulf vilified Syria’s leadership, featuring story after story of government-imposed violence while ignoring or whitewashing the violence of the burgeoning armed groups flooding into Syria.

From as early as 2011, armed groups were throwing civilians from rooftops and committing beheadings, kidnappings, and massacres. The year 2011 alone saw multiple massacres of civilians and security forces committed by what the media called “unarmed protesters” and later by the “Free Syrian Army.” This was the same year that many in the media were insisting that a “peaceful revolution” was underway.

Since that time, those same armed groups, as well as the many iterations they spawned, have starved, tortured, imprisoned, murdered, maimed and even harvested the organs of Syrian civilians, in addition to killing Syrian and allied soldiers and journalists and destroying much of the country’s infrastructure.

To give a voice to the often ignored “other side” — those Syrians that have been working to defend their country since 2011 —  Eva Bartlett interviewed the Syrian Arab Army’s Head of Political Administration, General Hassan Hassan. General Hassan’s shelves and large wooden desk are covered with stacks of books, family photos, and various homages to the country he serves — the general holds a Ph.D. in geopolitical studies. The following is a transcript of Bartlett’s interview with Hassan following the 74th anniversary of the founding of the Syrian Arab Army.

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Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over

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Um Ahmad, an Idlib civilian tormented by terrorism. © Eva Bartlett

May 25, 2019, RT.com

-Eva Bartlett

Western media and politicians are crying for Al-Qaeda in Syria again. It doesn’t get much more absurd than this!

After years of brutal occupation by terrorists from various groups and now overwhelmingly Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (aka Al-Nusra, aka Al-Qaeda in Syria), Idlib governorate will eventually, by political or military means, be liberated. For now, military operations to liberate nearby northern Hama and southern Idlib villages are already under way.

Idlib, occupied by at least 70,000 terrorists, is the last remaining stronghold of Al-Qaeda in Syria – a fact emphasized by the US’ own former special envoy, Brett McGurk, who deemed the northwestern Syrian province the “largest Al-Qaeda safe-haven since 9/11.

Yet, corporate media continue to deliberately overlook the presence of Al-Qaeda, instead writing of an Idlib that somehow, in the world of the Guardian, for example, is Al-Qaeda-free.

The liberation of Idlib, and also Hama, Latakia and Aleppo countrysides, will mean not only an end to terrorists’ incessant bombing of civilians, but also an end to the savage rule of terrorists – rule which in every prior instance around Syria has meant imprisonment, torture, and public executions of civilians by sword or point-blank assassination, starvation, rape of women, and even organ theft.

READ MORE: Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns

Last September, Syria and allies implemented a demilitarized zone and ceasefire around terrorist-occupied areas of Idlib and northern Hama.

Al-Qaeda in Syria unsurprisingly rejected any sort of truce, and continued pounding the civilians of Mhardeh and al-Suqaylabiyah in Hama, and elsewhere within striking range.

Recent terrorist attacks reportedly include shelling on: Al-Suqaylabiyah (killing five civilians, followed by another attack leading to a further death),Masyaf National Hospital (killing 5), and Aleppo (including a May 14 attack which killed eleven civilians, and an April 14 attack which killed 12).

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Radio Sputnik ‘The MSM shows a double standard when reporting on Syria’ – Eva Barlett

On Sputnik the other day to address the latest from a BBC producer on Douma.

Sputnik writes:

“On April 14th 2018, Britain, France and the US launched missile strikes on Syria in retaliation for what they had said was a chemical attack staged by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on the Syrian town of Douma. Reports at the time had alleged that up to 500 people had attended hospital on 7th April with ‘signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals’.

The main evidence cited was video footage of a hospital which claimed to show victims of a sarin or chlorine gas attack. Together with photographs of supposed gas cylinders, this visual evidence was held up by the international community as irrefutable proof that the Syrian government had been responsible for gassing its own people. Despite skepticism from various experts on the genuine nature of the footage, calls from the Russian government to treat the evidence with caution and the fact that the OPCW found no concrete evidence of a chemical weapons’ attack at the Douma site, western leaders and media continued to push the narrative that the Syrian leader was indeed to blame.

Now a BBC Syria producer, Riam Dalati, has revealed on Twitter that he believes the footage of people being treated after the alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma was staged.

Sputnik spoke to journalist Eva Bartlett, for her take on this admission by a BBC journalist.”

LISTEN: https://soundcloud.com/radiosputnik/the-msm-shows-a-double-standard-when-reporting-on-syria-eva-barlett
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Syrian American Doctor on The Propaganda, Criminal Sanctions, and War Crimes, In The War on Syria


I spoke with a US-based Syrian doctor, educated and trained in Syria but living in the United States about a variety of issues related to war propaganda on Syria since the start in 2011, as well as the draconian effects of the criminal western sanctions on Syria.

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“CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA? BBC PANORAMA RELIES ON QUESTIONABLE RESEARCH”

For immediate release
 
CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA? 
BBC PANORAMA RELIES ON QUESTIONABLE RESEARCH
 
“A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic claimed to show how chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian Government as part of a deliberate military strategy. Yet there are serious concerns over the investigation’s reliance on ‘broadly impartial’ sources — who are not named — and consequently the reliability of the report’s findings. 

On RT to discuss terror attacks on villages near Idlib, esp #Mhardeh, also White Helmets pending false flag chemical hoax

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In studio in Damascus yesterday, discussing the tragic attack on Mhardeh on September 7, an attack with at least 9 Grad missiles, according to the local defense forces (NDF), 6 of which contained cluster sub munitions.

11 killed, over 20 injured, including critically. I interviewed Shadi Yousef Shehda, a father whose three young children were murdered, along with his wife and mother. His pain was beyond heartbreaking, while speaking to me and showing his children’s clothing and toys.
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