Syria–my writings

Guilty until proven innocent (again): UN report on alleged Russian ‘war crimes’ in Syria is based on ‘We Say So’ & unnamed sources

March 7, 2020, RT.com

-Eva Bartlett
A UN-mandated report, which accuses Russia of war crimes in Syria, heavily relies on anonymous sources and lacks evidence, but also smacks of deliberate disinformation that is halting the eradication of terrorism in Idlib.

Earlier this week, the The Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the Syrian Arab Republic released a report largely lambasting Syria and Russia in their fight against terrorism in Syria. Corporate media were quick to echo allegations of Russian “war crimes” in Syria, all while diminishing the crimes of terrorist groups against Syrian civilians and soldiers.

The report does passingly acknowledge that Syria, Russia and allies are fighting “armed opposition groups, including Hay’at Tahrir” (al-Qaeda); the rest of the document reads mainly as a litany of accusations against Syria and Russia. 

In the “mandate and methodology” section, the report notes that its information is based on “233 interviews conducted in the region and from Geneva” as well as from governments, NGOs, and UN reports.

So a report based on testimonies taken in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon or by phone, is again negating the masses of Syrians in Syria who would like their truths to be heard, the terrorism they have endured to be known. 

I scoured the 24 pages of the report, but even in the annexes I could find no transparent and credible sources, only the following vague terms repeatedly referred-to: Witnesses, civilians, NGO, rescuers, medical teams, first responders, flight spotters, and early warning observers.
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Aleppo City’s Countryside Fully Secured, Syrians in Aleppo Celebrate The End of Terrorism

In December 2016, the Syrian Arab Army, Russia & allies liberated the northern Syrian city of Aleppo of the al-Qaeda and equally-heinous terrorists who had occupied and terrorized civilians in the city since 2012.

In the years subsequent, Aleppo to a large degree returned to peace, with rebuilding occurring in the hard-hit Old City, with displaced Syrians returning (contrary to the lies of UK Channel 4, among other war propagandizing media).

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So-called “rebels” (terrorists) tortured & point-blank executed Syrian civilians, all over Syria

Not for the first time I write about this sordid reality. 

From the very beginning of the war on Syria, from early 2011, terrorists (then dubbed “unarmed protesters”) have slaughtered Syrian civilians, military and government employees (including famously throwing the bodies of slain postal workers from a post office rooftop). 

In a 2015 article, I detailed some of the many early atrocities and massacres carried out by so-called protesters.

And now this latest sad revelation, of a mass grave found in eastern Ghouta, containing around 70 bodies. 

SANA reports:

“…a mass grave was discovered in the area of al-Eib Farms, southeast of Douma City in the Eastern Ghouta that contains corpses of civilians and army personnel including a woman, as they were handcuffed and they had been executed by terrorist groups after kidnapping and abusing them and most of them were buried in the same hole.

Mansour indicated that the approximate number of bodies that have been recovered is about 70 martyrs, and their death goes back to between the beginning of 2012 until 2014

Dr. Ayman Khallou, a forensic doctor at Tishreen Military Hospital, pointed out that most of the remains recovered today were handcuffed and two of them were identified.

Khallou added that the Initial forensics indicated that most of the martyrs were executed by gunshots in the head, and some were executed with cables…”

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On Syrian hospitals being bombed…or not…

*Feature photo: Kindi hospital after terrorists truck bombed it (web photo)*
In November 2016, as corporate media continued to scream about hospitals in Syria, I travelled to Aleppo again. At Aleppo’s University Hospital I met Dr. Ibrahim Hadid, former Director of Al Kindi Hospital, the largest and best cancer treatment hospital in the Middle East. The hospital was destroyed by terrorists in December 2013 truck bombing of Al-Kindi Hospital
 
When speaking with Dr. Hadid, he stressed that he wanted medical colleagues and institutions to exert some of the concern they have for “hospitals” allegedly bombed in terrorist areas. They, and Western corporate media, have done the opposite, of course, largely ignoring the destruction of the top-notch Kindi hospital. 
Kindi was not the only hospital targeted by terrorists. As I wrote previously:
 
“…Dr. Batikh said a private  hospital, Al-Rajaa, was hit by a mortar attack. “They cannot do  operations now, the operating room is out of service.”On Sept. 10, Dr. Antaki messaged me:“Yesterday, a rocket, sent by the  terrorists, hit a maternity hospital in Aleppo in Muhafazat Street. Two  persons working in the hospital were injured. No death. But the point is  that it is a hospital and it was hit by a rocket.”
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US to grant $35 million to promote its fake news bubble in Syria & control local media

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Fake News Media

January 24, 2020, RT.com
Although Western media has a shoddy track record of lying on Syria (and Libya, Iraq…), the US State Department will pump $35 million more into future war propaganda on Syria, under the guise of promoting honest reporting.
 

A US State Department grant, “Support for Independent Media in Syria,” is unabashed in stating one of its main goals is “to advance U.S. Government policy objectives in Syria.”

That is probably the sole honest clause in the grant description: that it is in the end about US self-serving, hegemonic objectives in Syria.

The description goes on to claim these goals include the defeat of ISIS—although the illegal US-led coalition has attacked Syrian army positions on numerous occasions, ensuring the advance (not defeat) of ISIS in those areas. One of the most glaring instances being the September 2016 repeated attacks on the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor province, which saw ISIS take over the region.

The US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, recognized in the region as the man responsible for the near-defeat of ISIS, is another notable example of the US goals being to prolong, not defeat, ISIS in the region. CONTINUE READING

Guardian, Atlantic contributor acts as a Syrian terrorist mouthpiece on Twitter, and if you don’t like it you’re a Russian stooge

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December 27, 2019, RT.com

-by Eva Bartlett

Giving a sympathetic platform to a terrorist is reprehensible at best, downright criminal at worst, and definitely a bad look for a ‘respected’ media contributor. Oh, it’s for bashing Assad and the Russians? Go ahead, then.

A funny thing happened recently on Twitter. A journalist who contributes to the Guardian, Foreign Policy and the Atlantic tweeted—in a long thread peppered with photos of Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, the leader of an Al-Qaeda branch in Syria—about “the force that dominates” Idlib.

Hassan Hassan’s initial tweet coyly avoided mentioning that this force is Al-Qaeda in Syria.

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And no, its not just us Russian bots who say that Idlib is infested with Al-Qaeda: former US special envoy, Brett McGurk, deemed Idlib “the largest Al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.”

The thread smacked of giving a platform to terrorist propaganda. After extensively quoting Jolani, Hassan weighed in with his own thoughts on the situation in Syria and his Al-Qaeda “rebels”. CONTINUE READING

Western leaders, screw your ‘Sanctions Target the Regime’ blather: Sanctions KILL PEOPLE

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December 16, 2019, RT.com

-by Eva Bartlett

The US has a favourite tool for bullying non-compliant nations: sanctions. Sanctions inflict considerable suffering, even death, on ordinary people in targeted nations. Yet those defiant nations persist and resist.

A recent opinion piece in the Washington Post proposing a new oil-for-food scheme, this time in Venezuela, surprisingly acknowledges that sanctions “can also end up harming the people that they intend to protect.”

Okay, first off, we know there is no intention of “protecting” civilians in any of the countless countries targeted by Western sanctions. Do Western talking heads really think we’ve forgotten the half-a-million dead Iraqi children, thanks to US sanctions?

Yet, ask a Western leader about crippling sanctions placed on nations which don’t bow to Imperial demands and you’ll be met with some nonsensical explanation that sanctions only target ‘regimes’ and ‘terrorists,’ not the people.

I’ve lived in, spent considerable time in, or visited areas under sanctions and siege, and I’ve seen first hand how sanctions are a form of terrorism, choking civilians, depriving them of basic and urgent medical care, food, employment, and travel entitlements that many of us in Western nations take for granted.
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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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Voices from Syria’s Rukban Refugee Camp Belie Corporate Media Reporting

An elderly women evacuated from Rukban complained of hunger due to extremely high food prices. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Eva Bartlett visited refugees in Syria escaping the horrid conditions in the Rukban Refugee Camp, a desolate outpost in the US administered deconfliction zone. What she found was very different than the ‘reality’ depicted by the Western press.

July 4, 2019, Mint Press News

-by Eva Bartlett

AD-DUMAYR, SYRIA — A little over a year ago — just after the Syrian army and its allies liberated the towns and villages around eastern Ghouta from the myriad armed jihadist groups that had waged a brutal campaign of torture and executions in the area — I interviewed a number the civilians that had endured life under jihadist rule in Douma, Kafr Batna and the Horjilleh Center for Displaced People just south of Damascus.

A common theme emerged from the testimonies of those civilians: starvation as a result of jihadist control over aid and food supplies, and the public execution of civilians.

Their testimonies echoed those of civilians in other areas of Syria formerly occupied by armed anti-government groups, from Madaya and al-Waer to eastern Aleppo and elsewhere.

Despite those testimonies and the reality on the ground, Western politicians and media alike have placed the blame for the starvation and suffering of Syrian civilians squarely on the shoulders of Russia and Syria, ignoring the culpability of terrorist groups.

In reality, terrorist groups operating within areas of Syria that they occupy have had full control over food and aid, and ample documentation shows that they have hoarded food and medicines for themselves. Even under better circumstances, terrorist groups charged hungry civilians grotesquely inflated prices for basic foods, sometimes demanding up to 8,000 Syrian pounds (US $16) for a kilogram of salt, and 3,000 pounds (US $6) for a bag of bread.

Given the Western press’ obsessive coverage of the starvation and lack of medical care endured by Syrian civilians, its silence has been deafening in the case of Rukban — a desolate refugee camp in Syria’s southeast where conditions are appalling to such an extent that civilians have been dying as a result. Coverage has been scant of the successful evacuations of nearly 15,000 of the 40,000 to 60,000 now-former residents of Rukban (numbers vary according to source) to safe havens where they are provided food, shelter and medical care.

Silence about the civilian evacuations from Rukban is likely a result of the fact that those doing the rescuing are the governments of Syria and Russia — and the fact that they have been doing so in the face of increasing levels of opposition from the U.S. government. CONTINUE READING

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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