Back home two nights ago after a series of flights and bus rides. Before I got on the last bus (on which I kept falling asleep as it was 4 am in Lebanon/Syria and my internal clock is still tuned into that time), an employee of the bus company asked if I was ‘that reporter who goes to Syria’, and when I replied with my name, he made a gesture of respect (hand on head) and thanked me. Turns out he is a Palestinian from Nazareth originally, living in Canada, and follows my efforts for Palestine and Syria, and had been trying to get in touch with me somehow.
I’ve commented before and will say it again: it’s encounters like these that make efforts worthwhile, and I’ve happily had many such encounters over the years, including two days ago while in Beirut airport. CONTINUE READING
MHARDEH, SYRIA — (War Report) On September 7, Mhardeh, a small Christian town in northern Hama, was targeted with nine Grad missiles — six of which were fitted with internationally-prohibited cluster sub-munitions — by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists roughly four kilometers away from the town center, occupying the northern Hama countryside areas of Ltamenah and surroundings.
Four days later, I went to Mhardeh and took the testimony of a man who lost everything to the terrorist attack: his wife, three young children, and mother were all killed in the initial bombardment.
By September 19, a total of 13 civilians had died as a result of the September 7 terrorist attack, including four who had sustained critical injuries. One of those four was a 15-year-old boy who had received shrapnel to his brain, as reported by Vanessa Beeley, who had visited the then-critically injured teen in hospital on September 9. CONTINUE READING
A Maaloula fire spinner during the annual September Festival of the Holy Cross in Maaloula, Syria. Eva Bartlett | In Gaza
Eva Bartlett attends the Damascus International Trade fair and the annual Maaloula Festival of the Cross to see how Syrians in areas liberated from jihadi rule are defiantly celebrating their new found freedoms.
DAMASCUS and MAALOULA, SYRIA — (Report) In April 2018 I returned to Syria, visiting recently-liberated areas in eastern Ghouta and also travelling to the southern village of Hadar — which at the time was under continual bombardment by terrorists just to the south, with the assistance of Israel and its observation towers over the region.
My focus last April and May was highlighting this media-neglected issue, but also going to the site of the concocted and yet-unproven allegations of a chemical weapons attack. Indeed, as I wrote, no one at the hospital in question, nor the people of Douma I spoke with on the street, believed a chemical attack had occurred. Instead, they were more concerned with detailing the horrors and starvation they had lived under the rule of Jaysh al-Islam and other terrorist factions.
So, the focus of my last visit to Syria, which has been warred upon for the last seven years, was in highlighting the crimes of the terrorist factions against civilians, but also the crimes of the Western and regional nations promoting war propaganda and baseless accusations against Syria and its allies.
In early September, I returned to Syria for more uplifting reasons: to attend two important annual events that in recent years were interrupted due to terrorism: The annual Damascus International Trade Fair and Maaloula’s annual Holy Cross Festival. CONTINUE READING
In 2016, I visited the centre depicted in the linked RT news report on the effect of western sanctions on children with cancer. At the time, the director told me they were trying to help 240 children, were underfunded and in debt, the people working there were volunteers, and (at that time) were facing constant power outages, as was the norm in Aleppo due to terrorists outside of Aleppo controlling the power plant.
Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Ja’afari, August 30, speaking ever-eloquently (in English) on who is fighting ISIS (not the US, they’ve rescued & protected ISIS…), and who is fighting terrorism in Syria, as well as another clear warning that (Western-backed) groups will stage a fake chemical attack in #Idlib.
In a move that was entirely predictable, the US administration is once again threatening to bomb Syria if there is a “chemical weapons attack”.
This was entirely predictable because that chemical attack script has been read out, with salty crocodile tears, fake concern, and mocked indignation by US talking heads over the years – since 2012, in fact, when former US President Obama himself drew his red line on Syria.
The latest script-reader to toe the chemical hoax line is President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, who on August 22, stated: “…if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons we will respond very strongly and they really ought to think about this a long time.”
Beyond the tattered veil of moral superiority that is US war propaganda, Bolton’s words were clearly a very public command to Al-Qaeda and co-extremists to stage yet another fake chemical attack.