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Aleppo: How US & Saudi-Backed Rebels Target ‘Every Syrian’: War diary by Western journalist Eva Bartlett on the truth about Aleppo

On Oct. 20 and again on Nov. 4, the Syrian government and Russia opened eight humanitarian corridors established for civilians and militants who wished to flee terrorist-held areas of eastern Aleppo, including militants who wished to surrender their weapons under amnesty. However, no one left on Nov. 4. Many residents within eastern Aleppo have said they are being held hostage and used as human shields by terrorists who shoot upon people attempting to leave through the humanitarian corridors. [Photo by Eva Bartlett, Nov. 4, 2016]

 
‘We were living in security and peace. These areas are being targeted, they want to force us to leave. Every Syrian is being targeted,’ one Syrian religious leader told a delegation of reporters who visited Aleppo earlier this month.

By @EvaKBartlett |

MintPressNews (on Facebook) (republished at: Global Research, SOTT)

In early November, Fares Shehabi, a member of the Syrian parliament from Aleppo, organized a trip to Aleppo for 13 Western journalists, including myself, with security provided by forces in the Syrian Arab Army.While I had traveled to Aleppo independently as recently as July and August, for many others in the delegation, it was their first visit to the city or their first visit since the war on Syria began in 2011.

On previous visits to Aleppo, I met with the Aleppo Medical Association and saw a maternity hospital hit twice by rocket and mortar attacks by militants under Jaysh al-Fatah (the Army of Conquest), a loose alliance of anti-government terrorist groups. I met with members of a branch of the Syria Civil Defense and Christian and Muslim religious leaders. Just north of the city, I visited Nubl and Zahraa, towns besieged for more than three years by the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front, and other affiliated terrorist factions before the Syrian Arab Army drove them out in February of this year. I saw the liberated region of Bani Zaid and the al-Layramoun industrial district. I interacted with civilians in public parks, streets, and markets.

Ahead of my trip earlier this month, I was interested to see what might have changed following the liberation of still more areas by the SAA. I also hoped to speak with civilians who had fled the terrorist-held areas of Aleppo’s eastern districts since I had last visited, during which time eight humanitarian corridors had been established for civilians and members of terrorist factions willing to relinquish their arms or to accept safe passage to areas in Idlib and government-secured parts of western Aleppo.

However, on Nov. 4, no one fled terrorist-held areas of Aleppo. Family members of civilians still there say their loved ones are being used as human shields by groups like the Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, or Nour al-Din al-Zenki — the so-called “moderate rebels” and “opposition forces” backed by the United States, NATO, Israel and Gulf allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Returning to Aleppo

Homes opposite the terrorist car bombing blast in al-Zahra'a, Homs © Eva Bartlett

From Damascus, the bus traveled along smooth, paved roads to Homs, where we passed the entrance to Zahraa, a neighborhood plagued by terrorist car and suicide bombs. Moving out of Homs, we continued eastward along a narrow road for about an hour until we reached the Ithriya-Khanasser road, and the last leg of the trip to Aleppo.

Though the Ithriya-Khanasser road was flanked by the wreckage of buses and cars, attacked mostly by Da’esh (an Arabic acronym for the extremist group commonly referred to in the West as ISIS or ISIL) in recent years, and although Da’esh continues to creep onto sections of the road at night to lay mines, our travel there was without incident.

When I reached the southeastern suburb of Ramouseh in July, it was by taxi. The driver sped through the suburb, fearing Nusra Front snipers less than a kilometer away. He floored it for at least 500 meters, speeding through risky spots and weaving in and out of a valley in perfect range of terrorist shellings, ultimately reaching an SAA checkpoint before entering Greater Aleppo.

Castello Road was only means of entering Aleppo in August. The road, which runs into the northern part of the city, had recently been secured but still threatened by terrorist shelling.

Ramouseh was re-secured prior to our November visit, and again became the main means of entering Aleppo. In November, we traveled by bus, escorted by security, and the threat of snipers was weakened by SAA advances in recent months. Above the sniper embankment of barrels and sandbags, I had a clearer view toward Sheikh Saeed district — areas which terrorist factions had long occupied and from which they sniped and shelled Ramouseh.


*Ramouseh road when leaving Aleppo, Nov 2016.

CONTINUE READING

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

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*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)

Killed in Turkey: No investigation two years after suspicious death of American journalist Serena Shim

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Oct 20, 2016, The Duran 

(republished at Global Research)

October 19 marks two years since the very sudden and suspicious death of American journalist Serena Shim near Suruç, Turkey, close to the Syrian border.

Although all signs point to foul play, indeed murder, by Turkish intelligence, until now the US government has neither conducted nor demanded an inquiry into the events of the alleged car accident which Turkish officials say was the cause of Shim’s death, let alone offer condolences to the family.

Serena Shim was at the time reporting on Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), from the Turkish side. She was, in her own words, one of the first, if not the first, on the ground to report on ,“Takfiri militants going in through the Turkish border”. These include not only ISIS but also terrorists from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA).

As Shim’s sister Fatmeh Shim stated in 2015, “She caught them bringing in ISIS high-ranked members into Syria from Turkey into camps, which are supposed to be Syrian refugee camps.”

Serena Shim’s January 2013 expose, “Turkey’s Pivotal Role in Syria’s Insurgency: PressTV Report from Inside Turkey,” showed footage of what she estimated to be 300 semi-trucks “awaiting militants to empty them out”; included testimony explaining how Turkey enables the crossing of foreign terrorists “freely” into Syria; spoke of the funneling of arms via the Incirlik US Air Base in Turkey to terrorists in refugee camps or on through to Syria; and highlighted the issue of terrorist training camps portrayed as refugee camps, guarded by the Turkish military.

Shim named the World Food Organization as one of the NGOs whose trucks were being used to funnel terrorists’ arms into Syria, and stated this in her last interview, just one day before being killed. Notably, in that interview she also explicitly stated that she feared for her life because Turkish intelligence had accused her of being a spy. She told Press TV:

“Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists, so I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me… I’m hoping that nothing is going to happen, that it’s going to blow over. I would assume that they are going to take me in for questioning, and the next hope is that my lawyer is good enough to get me out as soon as possible.”

Two days later, Press TV announced her death, stating:

“Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene in the city of Suruch in Turkey’s Urfa province. She was going back to her hotel in Urfa when their car collided with a heavy vehicle.”

This was the official version of her death, although in subsequent versions the story changed. In a report one month later, Russia Today (RT) spoke with Shim’s sister, who said:

“There’s so many different stories. The first was that Serena’s car was hit by a heavy vehicle, who proceeded to keep on driving. They could not find the vehicle nor could they find the driver. Two days later, surprisingly, they had found the vehicle and the driver, and had pictures of the heavy vehicle hitting my sister’s car. Every day coming out with new pictures of different degrees of damages that have happened to the car.”

“Serena and my cousin who was the driver of the car were taken to two different hospitals. She was reported first dead at the scene. Then coming out with later reports that she passed away at the hospital 30 minutes later from heart failure?! ”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT THE DURAN

Syrian Narratives: Interview on Sputnik Radio

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“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”. 

RELATED LINKS:

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)

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*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.

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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.

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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.

CONTINUE READING!

The Guardian view on Aleppo: More Western lies about Syria

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*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