Russia

Overview of latest month-long visit to Syria (Aleppo and Damascus)

14980678_1342825855727405_1304013439245224914_n

*Nov 4, Castello road humanitarian crossing, shelled twice when I was there, and another 5 times, on a day meant to be for civilians to exit terrorist-occupied areas of Aleppo. No one exited.

This is a brief update to say I’ve recently left Syria (two days ago) after a month there (My sixth visit since my first eye-opening visit in April 2014). Articles to follow include interviews from two latest trips in November to Aleppo, as well as in Damascus, including:

ALEPPO VISITS:

From November 2-5, I joined a group of Western journalists for my third trip to Aleppo since July, during which time we:

-Met with Aleppo MP Fares Shehabi, head of the Chamber of Industry, who briefed us on Turkey’s assault on and theft of Aleppo industries and Aleppo in general, and arranged for visits to important areas of the city.

-With Rev. Ibrahim Nseir and MP Shehabi, went to neighborhoods devastated by terrorists’ shelling over the years; met with Christian and Muslim religious leaders who spoke love and unity, and very definitively against terrorism and for the sovereignty of Syria.

-Met with directors of al-Razi hospital and were there, and at the morgue, when some of the over 200 wounded and 18 martyred from the day’s terrorist bombings and snipings arrived on Nov 3. Account of that day of terror attacks and some of the victims on this post.

-Went to Bustan al-Qasr and Castello road humanitarian corridors on Nov 4 when Syrians (and Russians) did everything in their power to enable civilians to leave terrorist-occupied areas to the safety of government-secured greater Aleppo. Efforts were foiled by terrorists. Castello road crossing was hit by two terrorist-fired mortars while there, the second less than 100 m away from where I was giving an interview to Syrian TV. Fuller account on this post.

 

-Visited liberated Bani Zeid and Lairamoun (which I’d visited in August), seeing an FSA underground prison, the remnants of terrorists’ manufacturing of Hell Canon gas canister bombs, and more.

-Visited a centre housing Syrians displaced from eastern areas of Aleppo and sheltering for the past 4 years in government-secured greater Aleppo.

POST CONTINUES

Syria Interviews with Sean Stone on Watching the Hawks

Two parts to an interview done with Sean Stone on Watching the Hawks in October, 2016.

-Putting a Human Face to Suffering in Syria w/ Eva Bartlett, Oct 18, 2016, Watching the Hawks (shared on their Facebook page)


-A Different Perspective on Syria w/ Eva Bartlett, Oct 20, 2016, Watching the Hawks (shared on their Facebook page)

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:

DARA’A/EARLY DAYS:
 
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)
 
ALEPPO:
 
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
POST CONTINUES

‘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. 

CONTINUE READING

Concerts at Palmyra represent liberation, resilience, revival

13139097_983491595037468_8512776631038163951_n

May 8, 2016, American Herald Tribune

-Eva Bartlett

The momentous Syrian-Russian liberation of world heritage site Palmyra on March 27, 2016, came and went with zero congratulations from world leaders who are supposedly fighting terrorism. Palmyra is an area that was subject to ten months of Da’esh (ISIS) occupation, slaughters, and destruction.

When a delegation of foreign journalists went to Palmyra post-liberation, although scheduled to join the delegation, the four US media outlets are reported to have cancelled the night before. When a delegation of independent visitors went to Palmyra still not long after, the information in accounts they shared until now remain glaringly-absent from corporate newspapers and channels.

On May 5, the ancient site was newsworthy once again. Just over a month after its liberation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) backed by the Russian Air Force, Palmyra’s Roman Amphitheatre was host to a concert of exceptional musicality and tremendous significance for both Syria and Russia.

Sputnik News reported:

“According to Syrian Culture Minister Issam Khalil, the concert of the Russian world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra in the Syrian city of Palmyra is dedicated to the upcoming Victory Day.”

Sputnik cited Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who addressed the audience and musicians by video link, saying of the concert:

“I consider it as an expression of gratitude, memory and hope. The gratitude to everyone, who fights against terrorism without sparing their own lives. The memory of all the victims of terror regardless of the place and time when crimes against humanity have been committed.”

13076517_1741809176061831_1573758825753066844_nMODR

An introduction by acclaimed conductor Valery Gergiev, included:

“The music you will hear today, you hear our pain and our memory. But there’s also great hope in this music.  It’s very difficult to speak about emotions we feel, we musicians. We protest against barbarians who destroyed wonderful monuments of world’s culture. We protest against the executions of people, here on this great, great stage. Our concert in Palmyra is our appeal for everyone to come to peace and unity, and all people in the world to unite and work against this evil, against the terrorism.”
CONTINUE READING

Western media ignoring reality on the ground in Syria: terrorism and anti-Syria sanctions which help terrorists

DSCN7130 (640x480)

Three year old girl critically-injured by terrorist mortar and rocket attacks (photo from my Feb 2015 visit to University Hospital in Damascus)

-Eva Bartlett, Mar 3, 2016, Russia Today, (re-published at: Dissident Voice, Global Research, The Vineyard Saker In Oceania)

This month, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Advisor to Syria’s President. The methods used to undermine Shaaban’s message should come as no surprise.

The interview was typical of the infrequent times corporate media has bothered to interview Dr. Shaaban: loaded lexicon, pre-priming the audience with false allegations about the Syrian government, repeatedly cutting-off the high-ranking guest, and a notably rude and condescending demeanor not afforded to guests who tow the NATO narrative on Syria.

As with other top Syrian representatives, Shaaban is made out to be “non-credible” by corporate media pundits when they deign to interview her. They actively work to discredit Syrian officials while at the same time putting forth claims that Wahhabi terrorists are “rebels” and “Syrian representatives” and those warring on Syria are “concerned” about widespread suffering in the country.

Dr Shaaban

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban (Photo: Eva Bartlett)

Sanctions: It is the Syrian People Who Are Suffering

Dr. Shaaban emphasized the Syrian realities at a meeting in her office in December.

A crucially-important issue that media pundits ignore is that of the crippling sanctions on Syria. In terms of how to provide actual relief to the Syrian people, Dr. Shaaban stated:

The first thing the West should do in this battle against terrorism is to lift the sanctions from the Syrian people. The sanctions are helping terrorists against the Syrian people, who are suffering doubly from the terrorists and from Western measures against the Syrian people.

Stephen Gowans recently wrote about the US government’s long-time plans to topple the Syrian government, sanctions being one part of the plot.

Documents prepared by US Congress researchers as early as 2005 revealed that the US government was actively weighing regime change in Syria. …As an alternative to direct military intervention to topple the Syrian government, the United States chose to pressure Damascus through sanctions and support for the internal Syrian opposition.

The advocacy website, End the Sanctions on Syria, notes:

Similar sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s were shown to have caused the deaths of more than half a million Iraqi children.

The site went on to report that (as of May 2014):

701 of 1,921 Syrian health centres have been ‘completely gutted’ by the terrorist attacks. Yet rehabilitation of these centres is retarded by the US-EU sanctions, which have already left ‘a deep mark on the healthcare system’… including by blocking access to medicines, medical equipment, transport and communications.

A May 27, 2015 article in The Lancet reports:

The cost of basic food items has risen six-fold since 2010, although it varies regionally. With the exception of drugs for cancer and diabetes, Syria was 95 percent self-sufficient in terms of drug production before the war. This has virtually collapsed as have many hospitals and primary health-care centres.

Economic sanctions have not removed the President: …only civilians are in the line of fire, attested to by the dire state of household and macro-economies. Sanctions are among the biggest causes of suffering for the people of Syria.

CONTINUE READING

Porkins Policy Radio ep. 46 The Truth About Syria with Eva Bartlett (interview)

2kmflal

2.3 km Syrian flag, al-Mezzeh Highway, Damascus, SANA, June 15, 2011.

Feb 21, 2016, Porkins Policy Radio

For this episode we are joined by activist and freelance journalist Eva Bartlett for an in-depth discussion of the  war in Syria.  Fresh from her fourth trip to the embattled nation, Eva lends us her perspective of what it’s actually like on the ground.  Eva recounts the many places she has visited, and the current living conditions of the Syrian people.  Eva and I discuss the numerous terrorist groups and gangs operating  within Syria, and the disappearance of groups such as the FSA and other “moderate rebel” groups.  Eva also offers us an alternative narrative about the Maddaya starvation story that gripped  news headlines and then vanished.  We discuss the propaganda involved in this story and its similarity to the skewed reporting of the terrorist siege of Yarmouk.
POST CONTINUES