Syrias „revolution“: What we did NOT (want to) see

„Merhej and Dayoub were the first of eighty-eight soldiers killed throughout Syria in the first month of this conflict“
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/336934-syria-war-conflict-narrative/
Did you know this? That 88 Syrian soldiers were killed in that very early phase of the Syrian civil war?

5 years ago the Syrian „uprising“ or „revolution“ started in the city of Deraa. It is not much that we really know about the details and the dynamics that triggered the deadly cycle of cause and effects which – not long later – climaxed into a spirale of violence that now enters it´s sixth year.

The western mainstream media and along with it the media of it´s Gulf Arab allies – especially the state-owned channels Al Arabiyya and Al Jazeera –  knew the „facts“ from the beginning:
Unarmed people demonstrated peacefully for democracy
– The state security forces responded with lethal force without a real reason

While it is true that security forces in Deraa strongly overreacted to youths spraying anti-government graffiti on the walls of a school by torturing some of them and insulting their parents when they protested against the treatment of their kids, this narrative which exclusively displays the opposition perspective of the events leaves other, less pleasant facts untouched.
Though the uncomfortable facts undermining the romantic myth of the „peaceful revolution“ are still widely un(der)reported by most western news outlets, other more independent sources have revealed them:

„But there were signs from the very start that armed groups were involved…A Syrian television crew, working for the government, produced a tape showing men with pistols and Kalashnikovs in a Deraa demonstration in the very early days of the “rising”.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-civil-war-five-years-on-2011-bashar-al-assad-isis-iran-conflict-a6929186.html

„According to several different opposition sources, up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.
One Daraa native explains: “At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed.”
Beyond that, the details are sketchy. Nizar Nayouf, a longtime Syria dissident and blogger who wrote about the killings, says the massacre took place in the final week of March 2011.“
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/157412-syria-hidden-massacre-2011/

Here is another case of early violence against the Syrian army which western media either denied or attributed to the army itself. This article, however, debunks the media lie and clearly identifies armed opposition as the perpetrators:
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/western-press-misled-who-shot-the-nine-soldiers-in-banyas-not-syrian-security-forces/

„According to the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the combined death toll for Syrian government forces was 2,569 by March 2012, the first year of the conflict. At that time, the UN’s total casualty count for all victims of political violence in Syria was 5,000.“
So, 50% of the casualties were soldiers of the army. Do you still believe that the „opposition“ was unarmed and peaceful? Considering this enormous death toll of the Syrian army, do you still believe that they „overreacted“?

No country likes to have the media of hostile western countries on its soil, especially after Iraq 2003 and Libya 2011 blatantly showed how media deliberately misreported events, concealed „unfavorable“ facts and exaggerated/overemphasized other facts. The Syrian government had no interest in exposing weakness and revealing the degree of it´s loss of control in some cities. Western and Arab media and governments simply declared all reporting by Syrian and pro-Syrian sources „propaganda“ and treated every claim by Syrian „activists“ as undisputed truth.
Whenever army soldiers were killed, Al Jazeera and co. had an „activist“ on the phone line explaining that the Sunni soldiers were executed by Alawite officers because they refused to shoot at unarmed civilians or because they wanted to defect. This myth, often cited by anti-Syrian mass media was so ridiculous that even Rami Abdulrahman from the frequently quoted pro-rebel Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) commented it as follows: „“This game of saying the army is killing defectors for leaving – I never accepted this because it is propaganda.”
Especially in the first year of the civil war, the primary source of western news channels, the activists, were quick declaring every person killed by the Syrian army as „civilian“. This was exposed as a lie by – no joke! – Al Jazeeras own reporter Nir Rosen: „Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the cause of their death is hidden and they are described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely protesting or sitting in their homes.“

One of the best-known and most cited „activists“ was Danny Abu Dayyem. Watch this video that exposes him and embarasses CNN:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lWB5ssifTg

Another „prominent“ Activist and primary source for Al Jazeera was Khaled Abu Saleh, who was also exposed as a liar and forger of news:
http://counterpsyops.com/2012/07/07/khaled-abu-saleh-a-multitask-syrian-hacktivists-on-western-payroll/

So, for many months the fairy tale was perpetuated of a population enduring it´s governments unlimited and unjustified violence peacefully and patiently until one day it had enough and decided to „defend“ itself. Some went so far to claim that this allegedly nonviolent phase of the „revolution“ lasted almost one year. This is a brazen lie. In a single incident in early June 2011 – note that this is less than three months after Deraa – some 120 soldiers and police were killed in the city of Jisr al Shughur.
This is what Syria expert Joshua Landis tells about the massacre: „There is little evidence of wide-scale mutiny of Syrian soldiers. No solid evidence that they shot at each other, and some evidence that the young men of Jisr set a trap for Syrian soldiers with simple weapons and dynamite…The Syrian government then published tapped phone calls of activists in Jisr that it collected on the eve of the initial combat. If they can be taken at face value, the activists establish a plan to send all the women and children of the city to Turkey. They were instructed to tell foreigners that Syrian military personnel shot each other. When enlisted men refused to shoot on unarmed demonstrators, their Alawi officers mowed them down – that was the story to be told to the Western press.“:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0cwLeMX8MA

Despite persistent media claims that the Syrian forces were acting with „irresponsible“ or „disproportional“ brutality, video clips like the following from Douma near Damascus (not later than March 2012) show a different picture: The soldiers carry no weapons, they are throwing stones back at the demonstrators:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdWH-SlIz6w

This video from Homs (not later than 2012) is even more unmasking for the „unarmed opposition“ as it shows armed „civilians“ firing at unarmed riot police:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsfsMVEO3nc

One thing is crystal clear: Syrias „uprising“ was armed and violent from its very first days. No doubt, many innocent people were killed by the security forces, but to claim that the violence was one-sided, that the protesters were unarmed and entirely peaceful, that police and army had no reason to resort to violence means ignoring the bitter truth of the not so romantic beginnings of what became a full scale armed insurrection.

Why is Iran called „terror supporter“ but Turkey not???

It is almost inconceivable to call or even imagine Nato member and EU membership candidate Turkey as „terror supporter“.
On the other hand it is a „fact“ for western media to consider Iran as such. But is this justified and if yes on what grounds?

Some facts:
The last time Iranian nationals killed anyone must have been in 1991/92 when former Iranian president Bakhtiar and artist Farrokhzad were murdered in Paris and Vienna. Since then there have been no acts of international terrorism with direct Iranian involvement, notwithstanding that both mentioned victims were Iranians themselves and no „foreigners“.

Western media and politicians, however, accuse Iran of terrorism because of that country´s support of Palestinian resistance groups (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) as well as Lebanese Hezbollah, but this is a very biased perception of things.
Starting with the latter, Hezbollah entered a truce with Israel in 2000. The truce was only interrupted for a month in 2006 and then continued. In the last 9 years since then Hezbollah did not attack any Israeli civilians at all and only on very few occasions attacked the Israeli army, each time in response to Israeli aggressions.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have indeed attacked Israeli civilians but following circumstances have to be considered:
a) Neither of these organizations is Iranian or even Shia Muslim
b) None of them was founded or hosted by Iran. None of them „imports“ fighters from Iran
c) Iran has no boundary with them (Palestine) and has no land-, sea- or airbased supply line to reach them
d) Both of them are local resistance movements with legitimate motivation. They are fighting against an alien occupation force (Israel) that has put a siege on their territory (Gaza), builds illegal settlements on their land (West Bank) and heavily bombards their territory (Gaza) with airforce and artillery.

Looking only at the major military operations of the Israeli army in the last 7 years it turns out that some 2700 Palestinian civilians were killed, while only 8 (eight) Israeli civilians were killed.
Pro-Israeli media would highlight that Hamas (and other Palestinian groups) have „rained down“ rockets on Israel and attacked civilians this way, but they will probably not mention that this has resulted in no more than 15 Israeli civilian deaths between 2001 and 2014:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas#Attacks_on_civilians

So, Irans support of a (democratically elected) Palestinian political party which legitimately has a military arm has been enough to qualify for the incriminating phrase „terror supporter“…

 

The less one should belittle violence against civilians which is always worthy of condemnation the more one has to scrutinize the role of Turkey in Syrias civil war.

Turkey has not only incited against the Syrian government, but worse, given safe haven to Syrias rebel groups and allowed international Jihadists to use Turkey as a hub to enter Syria:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/an-obvious-first-step–close-the-jihadis-highway-9687899.html

Turkey facilitated and promoted the housing, funding, arming, training and smuggling into Syria of all kinds of syrian and non-syrian rebels, of which a sizable or possibly the major portion were sectarian and radical islamists, not interested in establishing democracy and introducing the human rights the west so much pretends to care for. The rebels could cross the Syrian border to stage hit and run attacks with the Syrian army being under threat of getting attacked by Turkish forces upon coming „too close“ to the border.
„…Joe Biden revealed to the embarrassment of the administration in a talk at Harvard on 2 October. He said that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had promoted ‘a proxy Sunni-Shia war’ in Syria and ‘poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaida and the extremist element of jihadis coming from other parts of the world’. He admitted that the moderate Syrian rebels, supposedly central to US policy in Syria, were a negligible military force.“‚
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n21/patrick-cockburn/whose-side-is-turkey-on

It is unnecessary to recount the many attrocities and horrific crimes (mass shootings and beheadings of disarmed opponents, kidnapping and enslaving of women and children and the forced marriages of women to fellow Jihadists, crucifying civilians, burning prisoners of war, throwing down people from rooftops…) of the „Islamic State“ (IS, former ISIS), that was reinforced by thousands of international Jihadists who regularly entered Turkey and entered Syria (and Iraq) through that country.

Another major rebel group known for indiscriminate violence and clearly sectarian killings which has been sheltered and supported by Turkey is the al Nusra Front (or Jabhat al Nusra, JAN), Syrias Al Qaeda branch:
„Ford said part of the problem was that too many rebels – and their patrons in Turkey and Qatar – insisted that Nusra was a homegrown, anti-Assad force when in fact it was an al Qaida affiliate whose ideology was virtually indistinguishable from the Islamic State’s.“
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/02/18/257024/once-a-top-booster-ex-us-envoy.html

Apart from these groups, other ones, mainly active in the major cities Damascus and Aleppo and often spoken of as „moderate rebels“ are shelling civilians on a daily basis. Of course, western and anti-Syrian arab media have been either totally ignoring or downplaying these deadly attacks by uncritically and irresponsibly repeating the rebel´s „explanations“ and „justifications“ of their crimes: namely that the victims are no real civilians but „Shabihha“ or „regime loyalists“.
The rebels favourite weapon is the so called „hell cannon“, which has a very limited accuracy and fires propane gas cylinders:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2862517/My-gun-bigger-gun-increasingly-outlandish-weaponry-used-wage-war-Syria.html
Here is a picture:
Free Syrian Army fighter a prepare to fire a home-made rocket in Ashrafieh

Here is a picture showing a „moderate“ who holds a „rocket“ which he has named „a gift for election day“:
https://twitter.com/edwardedark/status/473188892741742592

The „hell cannon“ and other mortars and rockets are fired regularly at government-held west Aleppo where they kill many civilians every WEEK:
https://twitter.com/edwardedark/status/571287191575506944
Now, referring to the title of this article, is it not fair and proven to assert that Turkey has blatantly and heavily engaged in support of terrorism? Has not Turkeys support been much more direct and deadly (in terms of casualties) for Syrian (and Iraqi) civilians in less than 4 years that Irans alleged terror support in the last 15 years?

 

 

 

Already Syrias „moderate“ rebels work with al-Nusra and are almost aligning with IS

It speaks volumes:
Obama, Kerry and their willing central European co-warmongers still claim there are moderate Syrian rebels. Then they display either total ignorance or naivety by further claiming that these hardly identifiable moderates deserve to get (more) American weapons because they are supposed to do the ground fighting against the „Islamic State“.
The more interesting then that these rebels already are announcing openly that they are signing truces („non-aggression“ pacts) with IS in order to focus on their common agenda: „the Nussayri regime“ (Nussayri is a perjorative term for the Syrian Alawites. Calling the government „Nussayri“ not only proves the sectarianism of the rebels including the „moderates“ but also shows that they ignore that major parts of the government and the armed forces are in fact Sunnis).

Once again it is proven that alleged moderates (like the Syrian Revolutionary Front) closely work with the Al-Nusra Front, while the latter openly cooperates with IS on several fronts, e.g. Lebanon.

Attacking Syria would be an unjustified and criminal act

Attacking Syria is not an act of self-defense. Syria has not attacked the United States. Nor is Syria a danger to the US.
Syria has not attacked Israel and has not even responded to numerous Israeli bombings of its soil.
In addition the US attacking Syria would also not amount to defending „democracy“ for the syrian army is not fighting against any democratic state or entity.

What we know is that an attack with poisonous gas killed around 350 people in the early hours of August, 21st.
The much quoted „Syrian Observatory for Human Rights“ and the „Doctors without borders“ both spoke of 350 dead. There is a gap of 1100 dead to the approximately 1450 victims John Kerry mentioned.
We don´t know who committed the attack. We also don´t know which gas was used. Judging from the symptoms it is rather unlikely that a „classic“ chemical weapon such as Sarin has been used:
http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Revised-Thoughts-on-Damascus.pdf

While the US says that an attack on Syria would only be limited and directed against military targets earlier cases of  so called „surgical strikes“ or „precision attacks“ have managed to hit civilians with alarming regularity.
The prospect of incoming Tomahawks and cruise missiles has led many Syrians to flee their houses in panic and head towards neighbouring countries.
Any decision that transforms thousands of ordinary civilians to fugitives forcing them to live in uncertainty regarding their houses, their abandoned belongings, their jobs, their childrens school…is highly irreponsible and all but a necessary „humanitarian intervention“.

So far the US government has talked a lot about solid evidence but brought forward none. After days of building up tension and expectations by announcing the upcoming presentation of clear proof against the syrian government, a 4pages PDF file supposed to be full of damning facts contained nothing but a mess of assumptions and platitudes. Kerrys „evidence“ was actually a confession of failure, the evidence of no evidence.
Based on such (non-)facts and „evidence“ no US court would convict the defendant.
One of the main points in the paper meant to „prove“ that only the syrian government could have perpetrated the crime was the claim that the rebels have no chemical weapons. Something the CIA itself implicitly refutes:

„Al-Qa’ida and associated extremist groups have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attacks…however, most attacks by the group—and especially by associated extremists—probably will be small scale, incorporating relatively crude delivery means and easily produced or obtained chemicals, toxins, or radiological substances…Analysis of an al-Qa’ida document recovered in Afghanistan in summer 2002 indicates the group has crude procedures for making mustard agent, sarin, and VX.“
https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/terrorist_cbrn/terrorist_CBRN.htm

The likelihood of an attack on Syria causing catastrophic consequences is high. Here some scenarios:
– If the syrian government or the syrian president are indeed „insane“ or „delusional“ they could fire chemical missiles at Israel once they feel desperate, humiliated and cornered
– The syrian army is fighting mostly the same people, the US uses to call Al-Qaida and subject to drone attacks elsewhere:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/does-obama-know-hes-fighting-on-alqaidas-side-8786680.html

The Nusra front, by far the most active and effective rebel faction fighting the syrian army has been declared a terroristorganization by the state department. In addition there are other islamist Jihadi groups raising the same Al Qaida banner assisting the Nusra fighters:
http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/2013/05/blogs/graphic-detail/20130518_gdc631.png

The allegedly secular „Free Syrian Army“ hardly exists anymore:
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/the-free-syrian-army-doesnt-exist/

– In Iran a new, more moderate president is elected who seems to be willing to adopt a more friendly policy and improve ties with the United States. Attacking Syria would make it very hard for the new Iranian government to not take position
– A further strengthening of the syrian-iraqi Al-Qaida branch „Islamic State of Iraq and Syria“ by weakening Assad would pose an increased threat to the already fragile Iraqi state. The conflict could spill pver even more to Iraq and Lebanon. After many years of relative calm there are almost weekly bombings and skirmishes leaving hundreds of dead every month. In Iraq the AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) who backs the syrian rebels has intensified (suicide) bombings of market places, mosques, Cafes and even funerals killing more than 1000 people, most of them Shia muslims.

The american congress should vote against an attack on Syria. The attack would only bring further suffering to the syrian people and strengthen and embolden forces our media and politicians would call terrorists if they were fighting the US or Israel.

Syrias rebels and the perfect orchestration of the gas attacks

It cannot be denied that some sort of poisonous gas was used near Damascus with devastating effect. This is a fact. What is no fact is that it is clear who perpetrated the attack. The permanent statements of western politicians pointing at the syrian government are not evidence based and impartial but an intentional method to manipulate public opinion. There seems to be another fact to arrive at: That the rebels/“activists“ lied:

The sophisticated level of post-attack orchestrations by the opposition:
– immediate social media uploads reporting chemical attacks on 4 different suburbs/outskirts of Damascus
– spreading the apparently exaggerated claim of 1300 dead
– the lining up of heart breaking children corpses in almost total absence of rebel dead

and by contrast the relatively late first reaction of an obviously surprised government side suggest that one party in this conflict had a plan and a detailed chain of events to follow, while the other was caught in „shock an awe“ failing to publicize their version of the story through high ranking officials and at the right time (earlier than the rebels). The syrian government had no real story to tell.
By now, it seems that there were at most 350 dead, which is still a lot, especially given the high number of children deaths, but almost a 1000 casualties less than the very first horror reports. Then it seems, that only one place was really subject to a gas attack. These corrected versions that are either untold or played down by mainstream media in the days following the attack are no minor details: The claim of a four-fold almost simultaneous chemical attack and the high casualty figures were meant to assume that such a well-coordinated attack can only be carried out by an army with regular command and communication structure.

If the article below regarding the „Doctors without borders“ (Medicins sans frontieres) is true, then the statements by this organization cannot be considered 100% reliable and have to be taken with a grain of salt:
landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/doctors-behind-syrian-chemical-weapons.html

 

 

(Too) many open questions regarding the alleged chemical attack near Damascus

To start, here is a brief summary of arguments that highlight the unlikeliness of the syrian army being behind the chemical attacks around Damascus:

1. The syrian army has been making a number of military gains, especially in the Homs governorate but also in and around Damascus. The current military situation was not threatening at all. Resorting to chemical attacks in the midst of „normal“ military clashes does not make sense.
2. The syrian government for month has been threatened with military intervention by Nato countries in case the „red line“ of using chemical weapons would be crossed.
3. It has been the syrian government itself that invited a UN inspector team which arrived only 2 days before the alleged attacks.
4. Contrary to repeated accusations by western media and politicians from the US, UK and France (among others) the syrian government is not „insane“. Even after being subject to multiple attacks by the israeli airforce and artillery and in one case by the turkish army – acts that resulted in destruction and many casualties for the syrian army – the regime did not hit back, knowing well that any violent reaction would trigger a massive military attack that would be suicidal.

But there are more questions:
a) If it was the syrian army why did they not use „regular“ and much more deadly chemical weapons that they posses?
b) Why did they chose areas around Damascus for such an attack?
c) Why did the army not carry out a more massive chemical attack followed up by a major troop incursion, both to finish off the (remaining) rebel fighters and  – more important – remove the traces of the attack?
d) If it was the army, it must have been crystal clear to them that such a gas attack cannot be concealed. They would know that the victims would be brought to hospitals and clinics. It should not be difficult for the army to take control of those facilities in advance to avoid that medical reports „leak“ out and doctors give interviews that could implicate the army. Besides, the regime could break down the internet connection and block access to Youtube and co., while being prepared to spread their own (fabricated) story to the media before the „activists“ shape public opinion
e) It would be obvious to the army that the military value of apparently blind attacks on civilian areas supportive of rebels would be limited while the resulting outrage and revenge feelings would be huge

In addition there are a number of valid reasons why it is not just a conspiracy theory to suspect the rebels:
https://radioyaran.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/why-it-is-not-unlikely-that-the-rebels-could-have-used-chemical-weapons/

A good scientific analysis:http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Revised-Thoughts-on-Damascus.pdf

Why it´s unlikely the syrian army used chemical weapons

There are at least four valid reasons why the syrian army is unlikely to have fired chemical weapons:
1. The army has made gains in the last months and is in no desperate situation2. The UN inspectors have just arrived in Syria, at invitation of the government
3. If the alleged chemical attack is explained as „revenge for rebel massacres in Lattakia“ it would make much more sense to attack their strongholds far away from the capital such as Rastan, Azaaz or Anaden
4. The syrian government and army have undertaken at times extreme measures to avoid foreign intervention and subsequent annihilation. The best example is the army´s non-reacting to Israeli attacks that destroyed facilities and killed soldiers.

All this makes it appear quite unlikely that the army would attack mostly civilian areas close to the capital with weapons of mass destruction

Here some media quotes:

BBC: „the timing is odd, bordering on suspicious. Why would the Assad government, which has recently been retaking ground from the rebels, carry out a chemical attack while UN weapons inspectors are in the country?…The BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen says many will ask why the government would want to use such weapons at a time when inspectors are in the country and the military has been doing well militarily in the area around Damascus.“
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23777201

The Independent: „there are questions as to why the regime would want to take recourse to WMDs at a time when it was making gains using conventional arms and with the knowledge that UN inspectors were present in the country“

„If you look at the way they have sought legitimacy through having the UN team there, in a carefully orchestrated fashion, with the help of the Russians and the Iranians, the use of chemical weapons does not make sense,“ said a Western European diplomat. Robert Emerson, a security analyst, added: „Assad has not been doing too badly in the publicity stakes with the excesses of Islamists among the rebels like the cannibal commander, et cetera. Deploying WMDs at this stage would be a hell of an own goal.“
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrias-darkest-day-opposition-says-up-to-1300-killed-inchemical-weapons-attacks-by-assad-forces-on-damascus-8777527.html