On 26 August 2013, just 3 days before the vote in the UK parliament on taking military action against Syria was defeated, the BBC were at the Atareb Hospital in Aleppo, making a documentary on the work of UK “charity” Hand in Hand for Syria, following Doctor Rola Hallam and a volunteer, Doctor Saleyha Ashan.
Within a short time of arriving at the hospital, BBC reporter Ian Pannell described it as being overwhelmed with victims of a napalm-like attack on a nearby school.
The first harrowing encounter gave an ominous warning of what was to come.
A seven-month-old baby boy arrived, his pink face was blistered and raw. His father was also burnt and sat helplessly on a stretcher clutching his son as the staff rushed to help.
The carnage swept into the hospital at an alarming speed, as mostly children were brought in writhing in agony from what was said to be napalm-like burns. The scene was chaotic and confused according to Pannell as all around there were charred but still alive bodies, brutally disfigured faces, blisters forming all over the children’s bodies who were shocked and in immense pain.
Doctors Hallam and Ahsan, now the central characters in what had turned into a large-scale casualty attack quickly set about their work, as they “ripped open packets of saline fluid and poured the liquid over the victims.” Thick white cream was applied to the bodies and faces of the children to treat the burns.
Fearful this may be a chemical weapons attack coming hot on the heels of the Ghouta incident of 21 August a water tanker sprayed the crowd, desperate to wash away any chemicals before they could have their deadly effect.
Three days later as the House of Commons deliberated on a possible military action in Syria, BBC News at Ten broadcast the incident as a Syrian fighter jet dropping a bomb containing a “napalm-like” substance, causing the horrific injuries and distressing scenes the BBC duly showed shocked viewers. War depicts ugly images of death and suffering and nothing hits a raw nerve more than the sight of children, the most innocent of victims, writhing in agony and despair, parents helplessly looking on urging doctors and nurses to save their loved ones.
Surely had those on the side of the warmongering political fence in the House of Commons been at the TV screens seeing these images they would have used them to make the debates even more fiery, accusing the non-interventionists of standing by and watching Bashar al-Assad kill his people in the most barbaric ways imaginable. No matter though, as the politicians baying for blood had all the ammunition they needed after the Ghouta incident 8 days earlier. They were in no mood to wait for the exhausting examinations needed to determine who may be responsible for the incident. The push was on for regime change by a bombing campaign and such a trivial inconsequence as evidence and facts needed to be swept away in the raucous chanting for more war in the Middle East.
Robert Stuart, almost a lone voice questioning the events at Atareb Hospital, wrote an outstanding report on the incident titled, “Fabrication in BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’” Stuart, commenting on the timing of the event said on UK Column News, “The timing was certainly interesting. It was more likely designed to influence public opinion in the face of an anticipated yes vote than to influence parliament.”
As it turned out, the anticipated yes vote was an anti-climax, politicians, burned by the Libya disaster and not convinced that the UK should go to war, putting the brakes on the UK war machine hurtling guns blazing into Syria. So the shock value of provoking the public into angry approval for war, outraged by the suffering which they felt deep inside could be their own children largely went to waste. If we roll forward to 2017, it is just as likely that some of the crop of inept, reckless, corrupt and violent leaders such as Boris Johnson and Donald Trump (who already has bombed Syria several times) will be swayed by emotive footage to random acts of mass violence using their formidable military machines to vent their anger and unleash deadly revenge.
On 30 September 2013 the BBC released a documentary titled Saving Syria’s Children, which featured the footage of the victims at Atareb Hospital on 26 August. Contrary to the overwhelming majority of people who would accept what they saw at face value and would not watch it with a skeptical or analytical eye, Stuart identified and highlighted many discrepancies and inconsistencies in the documentary.
The contradiction starts right at the outset with the alleged first victim, the baby bought in by his father. Dr Ahsan, in an interview with the Australian ABC said that the first victim was a boy covered in “strange white dust”, who had a “huge laceration on the side of his face.”
As for the baby, he was said to have suffered burns to 80% of his body, yet the images show a baby appearing quite healthy and not in a state of distress. At one part of the video, he is “robustly handled by Dr. Ahan and the supposed father.” As for the father himself, both Doctor Hallam and Ian Pannell said he had suffered burns to his face and head and yet he appears in the video looking animated and uninjured.
Doctor Ashan appeared to suffer from bad memory lapses with her testimony riddled with contradictions. Stuart points out all manner of inconsistency, everything from Ashan changing the location of the incident from a hospital in one account to a school in another, through to saying one victim, a girl said to her “Do you think they can fix my face?” whereas in another account she says the girl’s mother said “Do you think they can fix her face?”
Another scene shows a room full of teenage boys who don’t appear overly distressed, yet suddenly all writhe in agony at once as if they have received a signal. They then are well enough for one to sit up and appear quite alert, while another calmly stands up with no obvious discomfort and sit down on a seat.
Then there is a woman in a black dress who was bought in reeling in agony on a stretcher, yet stands next to the reporter looking bright eyed, albeit with a face full of cream aimed at alleviating the suffering from burns she doesn’t seem to be suffering from. It is also difficult to explain how she managed to walk to the ambulance and get in and take a seat unaided.
Stuart consulted with a doctor experienced in the treatment of burn victims to gain their opinion. This doctor said they thought the scene of the children was an act and made observations including the following: Most victims:
- would be screaming the place down in agony. Even after treatment and with all sorts of pain drugs they still hurt and still scream.
- Many burns victims cannot even focus enough to follow instructions such as sit down and wait because of pain. This young boy, I found very odd (I don’t think it is a cultural thing as pain is pain and it can drive a person mad).
- would have difficulties with their airways, almost immediately, hence in the UK many are intubated and treated in ITU. This shows them able to speak and breathing very well no obvious signs of respiratory distress like coughing, shallow breathing etc. In such an attack the poisons are inhaled.
The above descriptions of people in severe pain with their lives in danger do not match the scenes in the documentary of people purportedly badly injured, yet seeming quite invigorated and moving relatively freely. Far from being burn victims screaming the hospital down in agony, these people seem calm, can be touched, and spoken to rationally. Where is the coughing, shallow breathing, and what about intubation?
Did the company Trauma FX have anything to do with the footage? They appear at the 35-minute mark of the video. They have a 10-year relationship with the British military. They specialize in fabrication of chemical, radiological, biological and nuclear weapons injuries for the purpose of training military medical professionals. Stuart asks if they could have fabricated the injuries in Saving Syria’s Children. Could they have traveled to Syria to film one of their role plays using actors to simulate horrific injuries? Doctor Ashan appeared on a BBC Newsnight report of 11 August 2014, where she described the simulation of injuries:
“The principle behind ‘macro simulation’ is that it’s as close to reality as possible. Actors and make-up artists mimic even the most severe of injuries”.
As for the motivations and allegiances of the “stars” of the documentary, Hallam is an open regime change operative. Following the rejection of the call for military intervention in the House of Commons, Hallam, continuing the pro-war collusion with the BBC Newsnight program, criticised opposition leader Ed Miliband for opposing raining bombs of death on the people of Syria in what would be a blatant war crime, saying, “I’d like him to spend a day in one of the civilian areas under constant shelling, watching the warplanes above us throw all sorts of weapons on to civilians, and fear for the safety of his family.” Spoken just like a slick regime change operative with the heart-tugging emotive descriptions we have come to expect from the likes of the White Helmets.
Hallam’s father is Dr. Mousa al-Kurdi. As for his position on the Syrian war, al-Kurdi told Al-Jazeera that the Syrian National Council is “the representative of all Syrians, the sole representative.” Al-Kurdi told Al-Jazeera that after the Friends of Syria summit in Istanbul in 2012 he caught the ear of the regime change protagonists of the US and Turkey, Victoria Nuland and Ahmet Davutoğlu, imploring them, “what are you going to do to prevent this from happening, you are not doing enough.” Either you defend us or you arm the Syrian Free Army to defend us – you have the choice.”
The Syrian National Council, set up in 2011 was promoted as the “biggest and most significant Syrian opposition grouping in exile, and the main point of reference for outside countries that support the opposition.” It was Muslim Brotherhood dominated, its Islamist leanings at odds with the modern secular Syria it sought to transform. The group quickly organised funding for the Free Syrian Army, demanded the establishment and protection of humanitarian corridors and the imposition of a no-fly zone over the whole of Syria. The centrality of Islamist dominated forces in the SNC, its funding through international backers of the Free Syrian Army and its demands for outside intervention —which is really code for imperial aggression— hot on the heels of the Libyan disaster is all the evidence needed that Al-Kurdi’s claims are no more than hollow words.
The neutrality of Hand in Hand for Syria does not stand up to scrutiny either, its partisan nature of being another slick regime change NGO becoming apparent with some basic revelations. Hand in Hand’s original three-star logo is plainly based on the flag adopted by the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian National Council. It is the flag of the French Mandate occupation, a flag rejected by the Syrian people ever since their liberation from colonial rule. In 2014 the charity removed the stars from its logo.
Until July 2014 the Facebook banner of Hand in Hand’s co-founder and chairman Faddy Sahloul read “WE WILL BRING ASSAD TO JUSTICE; NO MATTER WHAT LIVES IT TAKES, NO MATTER HOW MUCH CATASTROPHE IT MAKES”. This violent reference was removed just as the stars from the logo were when subjected to criticism which exposed the “charity” as part of the regime change NGO industrial complex.
We can be grateful to Robert Stuart for not letting go of his pursuit of the BBC in their dubious documentary. Like a dog with a bone he continues to hound the UK state propagandist into 2017, and as Jonathan Cook says, is, “a tenacious blogger, has been picking away at a scab the BBC would rather leave firmly in place.”
The lesson to be learned from the “napalm-like” attack of 26 August 2013 is that, just like the Ghouta attack, just like Khan Shekhoun and just like any number of a myriad of accusations against the government of Bashar al-Assad this incident simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
Peter Ford Vs Reza Afshar (and the BBC) on BBC Newsnight
Peter Ford on Newsnight 10 April 2017, 3 days after Donald Trump’s murderous chocolate cake layered cruise missile attack on Shayrat airbase in Syria and 6 days after the alleged chemical weapons attack at Khan Shekhoun, an incident where the facts are still not fully known. The man does not disappoint.
The host, Emily Maitlis talks to Peter Ford, the UK Ambassador to Syria from 2003-2006 and Reza Afshar from Independent Diplomat, which describes itself as a “unique, non-profit advisory group in the world of diplomacy.” Founded by British Foreign Office intelligence operative, Carne Ross, this ‘non-profit’ has annual funding of $1.8 million.
Maitlis says to Peter Ford “It’s a dwindling group now who still think Bashar al-Assad is the solution to Syria; you do.”
Who is in this “group’? Ford talks of it in terms of the Syrian people who do see Assad as the solution. The BBC’s “group” are the talking heads, the pundits, the intelligence controlled NGO’s and western governments who have not abandoned the idea of Assad going. People such as Afshar for example, whom Ford correctly describes as a paid lobbyist.
When confronted with the reality of the gradual ascendancy of Syrian government forces over the terrorist factions, Maitlis provocatively replies with, “You describe it as a distraction and a diversion to stop Assad using chemical weapons on his people.” Ford replies by stating the obvious, that no investigation has been carried out and questions why the US is so reticent for an impartial investigation to be conducted. Newsnight, just like the rest of the military industrial complex is faithfully swallowing the state propaganda line, a recurring theme for the duration of the war on Syria.
Afshar’s first contribution is a rather ridiculous, “the reality is that the Assad regime has bombed 500,000 people to death and he has used chemical weapons.” He sets the tone for the discussion with this shrilling statement, one designed to dumb down the debate and attempt to place people with balanced views on the back foot and paint them as “Assad apologists.” Afshar sees the criminal illegal airstrike of 7 April as a sensible policy which sends a message to the Assad government that if they are accused of killing civilians the US will repeatedly hit Syrian military facilities. With the litany of constant lies, this is an easy recipe for a no fly zone and violent regime change.
Ford makes the comment that the liberation of Syria was drawing near, but Trump’s intervention has halted the momentum. Elaborated on further we can say it has set the stage for partition and decentralization, primarily through the Kurds. An added danger to the reassertion of control of the state by the government is that the south east may be controlled by Islamist forces using the de-escalation zones to consolidate military and political control with supply lines kept open from Jordan and Iraq.
Maitlis makes a comment which assumes that Assad has used chemical weapons, she calls it a civil war, says it is a bloodbath and blames Assad for it, talks of the 500,000 dead as being his responsibility, as though the high toll justifies making the statement he is almost solely to blame. This totally absolves the Gulf States and NATO of all responsibility of declaring war on Syria through its proxy forces. This is the naked truth of the six year war on Syria: it was declared on Syria in 2011 after many years of planning to destabilize the country and implement a violent coup, replacing Assad with a western power and Gulf State compliant puppet.
Afshar defends the murderous intervention in Libya; quite a disturbing position to take six years after the country was plunged into death, destruction and despair thanks to France, UK and the US drastically overstepping UN resolution 1973.
Afshar’s employer, Independent Diplomat, see no shame in his track record in Libya, his bio on their website stating, “He was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work as lead negotiator on Libya in the UN Security Council. This work culminated in authorization for NATO’s military action in 2011.”
There is no shame, reprisal or career setback for the likes of Afshar, the BBC or any of the other MIC media when they manipulate for war, whether it be in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq or Syria. As John Pilger states in a 2014 article “War by media and the triumph of propaganda”:
In 2003, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the distinguished American investigative journalist. We discussed the invasion of Iraq a few months earlier. I asked him, “What if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and investigated their claims, instead of channeling what turned out to be crude propaganda?”
He replied that if we journalists had done our job “there is a very, very good chance we would have not gone to war in Iraq.”
That’s a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question. Dan Rather, formerly of CBS, gave me the same answer. David Rose of the Observer and senior journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous, gave me the same answer.
The BBC Boys embedded with Ahrar al-Sham
As if the footage from the Atareb hospital in BBC Panoramas “Saving Syria’s Children” was not dubious enough, astute observers picked up on the fact that the BBC crew were embedded with jihadi group Ahrar al-Sham during the filming of the documentary.
White pickup truck in convoy transporting BBC reporter Ian Pannell and cameraman Darren Conway on 26 August 2013 bears the former logo of Salafist militant group Ahrar al-Sham (Saving Syria’s Children, BBC1, broadcast 30 September 2013)
The reader can be left in no doubt of Ahrar al-Sham’s devotion to a headchopping Wahabbist vision for Syria’s future when the convoy the BBC crew travels with passes unhindered through an ISIS checkpoint.
It was able to do so because of the alliance between the Wahabbist groups at the time. This continued until late 2013 when fighting broke out between the two groups, culminating in a split in February 2014 when an ISIS suicide bomber killed a top Ahrar al-Sham commander Abu Khalid al-Suri.
Ahrar al-Sham, along with Al-Qaeda (variously known in Syria as Al-Nusra, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) and ISIS are the largest and most formidable groups fighting in Syria. They also happen to be among the most extreme, ruthless and competent, explaining the vast international backing they have received. Ahrar al-Sham has been backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, ensuring no shortage of weapons and funding in pursuit of the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad in favour of a government based on strict adherence to a sectarian society based on strict “Sharia” law.
Ahrar al-Sham is one of the groups that formed Jaysh al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) in 2015 which quickly overran Syrian government forces in Idlib, taking control of the province which it holds to this day, the last stronghold of the “rebel” groups. This alliance looks increasingly fragile, with Ahrar al-Sham and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham engaging in battles in recent days. Any internal divisions among the Salafist brigades is welcome news to the Syrian army and its allies as it focuses on campaigns in the south east, moving reinforcements to drive ISIS from Deir-EzZor and free the city from a 3 year siege and the vexing problem of a US foreign mercenary militia/Kurdish campaign to balkanize north east Syria.
Just to ram home who the intrepid BBC crew were going on a Salafist road trip with we can point out just a couple of their many bloody war crimes.
The Zahra Massacre
On May 12, 2016 as the village of Zahra lay sleeping, Ahrar al-Sham, along with Al-Nusra launched a bloody massacre of unarmed civilians, killing men, women, children, and in some cases whole families.
The target had no Syrian military presence, nor any strategic value. It was a genocidal attack on Syrians because they were not Sunni Muslim, so did not fit in to the Ahrar al-Sham vision of an Islamic state in Syria.
RT reported, “They perpetrated a massacre,” said another villager, Munzer Qasem. “I heard of two or three entire families killed. Abu Naval’s family was killed. He was an old man and was killed together with his daughters. They were slaughtered in their own house.”
The massacre occurred just after a Russian proposal to designate Ahrar al-sham a terrorist organization at the United Nations was defeated. Russia pushed to list it along with Jaish al-Islam as terrorist organizations, but London, Paris, Washington and Kiev opposed the proposal. Saudi backing of the groups, their formidable size and ability as regime change fighting operations and the need for the US to justify backing “moderate” opposition are the reasons why they remain Salafist terrorists in all but name only. The survivors of Zahra are certainly in no doubt that Ahrar al-Sham are bloodthirsty terrorists.
The Latakia Massacres
Ahrar al-Sham was a member of thousands of fighters of Al-Qaeda and Free Syrian Army groups that murdered at least 200 civilians in a number of villages in the Alawite dominated Latakia countryside in August 2013. The area had been relatively peaceful up to that point, but that was shattered by a gruesome orgy of violence unleashed by Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari backed terrorists, armed and facilitated passage into Syria through Turkey to carry out their sectarian atrocities and strike fear in the hearts of the Syrian population.
Lily Martin Sahiounie said on the massacre:
In August 2013, Radical Islamic terrorists entered at night the sleeping village of Ballouta … They went methodically from house to house killing men, women and children in their beds. They cut open the stomach of a pregnant woman and hung the fetus in the trees. Many survivors ran for their lives and later gave their eye witness reports of what happened. The Radical Islamic terrorists kidnapped 100 small children, and a few older females … [they were held] in a basement underground in the Syrian village of Selma.
The normally Washington friendly and anti-Assad government Human Rights Watch even released a lengthy report deploring the murder and kidnapping of civilians.
A doctor working in the National Hospital in Latakia who was receiving the dead and wounded from Latakia countryside told Human Rights Watch that they had received 205 corpses of civilians killed during the August 4-August 18 operation. The doctor showed Human Rights Watch a medical report the hospital prepared on August 26 stating that the, “[c ]ause of death in several of them [the bodies] was multiple gunshot wounds all over the bodies, in addition to stab wounds made with a sharp instrument, given the decapitation observed in most bodies…Some corpses were found in a state of complete charring, and others had their feet tied…” The medical report reflected that the amount of decay the corpses received by the hospital after opposition forces left the area exhibited was consistent with having been killed around August 4. An opposition activist who was present in the affected villages during the operation told Human Rights Watch on the night of August 4 that on that day there were “160 or 200 Alawite dead.”
The HRW report accused Ahrar al-Sham of the atrocities, along with Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, (ISIS) Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar and Suquor al-Izz.
It is worth noting that the civilians were kidnapped only 17 days prior to the false flag Ghouta massacre instantly and incorrectly blamed on Syrian government forces. The liars of the military industrial complex media mock those who say some of those kidnapped ended up as some of the victims of the Ghouta attack. However, would those who carried out the barbaric massacres in Latakia have any qualms in carrying out further atrocities in Ghouta and elsewhere? Over 3 years after their nightmare began, 58 of those kidnapped were finally freed in an exchange deal for terrorists held by the government.
The BBC and dusty boy Omran Daqneesh.
We all know the story of Omran Daqneesh, the little boy from Aleppo who the White Helmets told the western media was pulled from the rubble of his family home in Aleppo destroyed by a Syrian or Russian air strike. From there he was rushed by a brave White Helmets operative to a shiny looking orange ambulance and placed in a chair, sitting there bloodied, dusted and looking somewhat bewildered while photographers such as Mahmoud Raslan (who also likes to take selfies with terrorists who cut the head of 12 year old children off) happily snapped away, a warm and fuzzy feeling undoubtedly flowing through their bodies knowing how the western media would lap this psyops gem up. Curiously, missing from all these snaps was any one providing any medical attention to a reportedly injured boy, who was such a tragic site that he moved Kate Bolduan to tears on air.
The BBC jumped all over the story of Omran Daqneesh, the “dusty boy” of Aleppo.
It gave a platform to the repugnant Lina Sergie Attar, a dyed in the wool regime change operative to wax lyrical on the misfortunes of Omran in August 2016. Attar’s Twitter self-bio of “The revolution is an idea and ideas cannot be killed” should leave no doubt as to how she views the foreign war of aggression on Syria.
You can hear the violins playing in the background as Attar sets the scene with descriptions of, “For children like Omran, all he has known in his life is war.” “Omran is the Syrian icon of 2016.” And, “Once again, the world has been shocked by the image of a Syrian child,” — the same world who ignored the kidnapped Abdullah Issa, beheaded with a kitchen knife.
Attar leaves us in no doubt as to who plays the role of villain and who are the heroes in this tragic BBC tale: Omran was rescued with his family by the [fake] Syrian Civil Defence (also known as the White Helmets) after a reported Russian air strike hit his home in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Wednesday.
A few points of order if we could please Ms. Attar. First, the Syrian Civil Defence does not go by the name of the White Helmets, or any other moniker. Second the White Helmets are not the real Syrian Civil Defence. As Vanessa Beeley explains:
- The REAL Syria Civil Defence was established as an organisation, in 1953, some 63 years before the White Helmets were a glimmer in the eyes of CIA and MI6 operatives.
- The REAL Syria Civil Defence is a founding member of the ICDO (International Civil Defence Organisation).
- The real Syria Civil Defence does dig under the rubble of homes, schools and hospitals destroyed by terrorist mortars. They don’t however waste precious time staging elaborate photo ops and videos promoting their work, nor collude with slick Ivy League PR operatives from Wall Street. Theirs is dirty, dangerous work and comes without any glamour or western NGO or media admiration. They do however receive the gratitude of Syrian people thankful for their life saving work, all the recognition they need.
The real Syrian Civil Defence is the Syrian Red Crescent, which just received two ambulances from the Indonesian government.
Attar described the full array of horrors facing the Syrian children in this devastating war. “Chemical weapons attacks, mass displacement, barrel bombs, air strikes, forced starvation, torture: every vile act of war imaginable has directly affected Syrian children since 2011.” She does not label the Assad government with these accusations directly in this quote, but never mind, in the context of the article it is unmistakable that these accusations are squarely directed at the Syrian government.
As for a cure to all this suffering of the innocent children for which Attar is doing her level best to arouse rage and demands for action from western publics? An appearance on Democracy Now from April 2017 may give a clue. On the program she said, “And stopping that kind of support would bring the death toll down and would at least be able to create some kind of safe zone, some kind of place for Syrians to live, to not be afraid of what’s falling from the sky, targeting them and their families.” In other words, she is another one of the NGO industrial complex operatives hankering for war. In her version of a no fly zone perhaps children are miraculously all saved. If we remove ourselves from fantasy land however and take a look at the recent example of Libya, we will see an unmitigated disaster, one which NGO giants such as Avaaz urged for and cheered for from the sidelines.
The NGO complex/military industrial media complex/western political establishment axis of regime change death and destruction got a good 10 months of truth usurping propaganda out of the tale of Omran Daqneesh. But alas, tales are just that, fairy stories that seduce us as they tantalise our conscience and lure us on paths of bloodlust fueled by moral indignation.
But going in to June 2017, Omran’s father, Mohammad Daqneesh finally spoke out, revealing that the “rebels” and the western media had used the image of his son for propaganda purposes in efforts to expand the war on Syria. Daqneesh gave interviews to Syrian media, followed closely by an interview to western journalist Eva Bartlett.
Daqneesh said that Omran’s injury was only mild, but had been exaggerated by the rebels and the media who saw him as a golden opportunity for a propaganda campaign at a time the Syrian army had gained the upper hand on terrorist forces in Aleppo.
Daqneesh further said that the terrorists had attempted to bribe him with money, travel from Syria to Turkey, where he would gain citizenship, employment and health insurance if he said his house was destroyed by Syrian or Russian air strikes. He refused to lie however, unsure as to what struck his house. “We were at our home in the Qaterji neighborhood when the strike happened. What caused it, I don’t know – we didn’t hear any sound[s] of airplanes or bombing.”
The terrorists have resorted to threats against Daqneesh for speaking out against the lies spread across western and gulf media outlets. Luckily for the Daqneesh family, they, like thousands of others now living in liberated Aleppo in relative safety.
The Terrorists Wouldn’t Blow up Buses….But They Did
Finally, we move on to one of the most outrageous articles of an abominable act of terrorism, the scale of horror which words can’t comprehend.
In April, a Qatari brokered deal—showing they have influence over terrorists— arranged for the evacuation of civilians from the rebel besieged villages of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province, in exchange for ‘rebel fighters’ and their families to be evacuated out of government controlled areas near Damascus.
A delay in the evacuation of the Foua and Kefraya residents left them stranded at transit points in Al-Rashideen on the outskirts of Aleppo, giving the terrorists all the opportunity they needed to bomb the buses, killing at least 126 people, at least 68 of them children who had been enticed into danger by the promise of chips handed out by the terrorists.
For a start, the BBC didn’t even call it a terrorist attack. In one of the most shameful episodes of its existence, the British state broadcaster didn’t even acknowledge the sheer horror of the scale of the killing; the fact 68 children had their lives instantly ended, or the most grotesque, horrifying element of all, the fact that the terrorists lured hungry children to their death by offering them chips to eat.
Writing on this after the attack I said:
All you needed to do was present the story in the natural, raw way we would expect any news outlet with ethics and integrity to. Like you would if a terrorist attack happened on British or European soil. But no, you chose to suppress the emotions, and introduced ridiculous logic and intentional deception. Deception such as suggesting it is “not clear how the vehicle could have reached the area without government permission.” Permission from the government to take a vehicle through terrorist controlled territory, through a terrorist checkpoint, up to a group of children being led to their deaths by terrorists luring them with chips. What sort of fools do you think your readers are? You must think our stupidity parallels your immoral propagandising.
The BBC article in question claimed the terrorists had nothing to gain from bombing the buses and that it was unclear how the “vehicle could have reached the area without government permission.”
To this the response was:
And yet you said the terrorists had nothing to gain. You echo the depravity of CNN and the “Assad supporters” line. Did you call the victims in Khan Shekhoun “opposition supporters”? Or suggest Assad had nothing to gain in carrying out such an attack? Rhetorical questions, so no need to reply.
Your negligent journalist missed out on some crucial aspects to understanding how and why this attack occurred:
- The checkpoint was controlled by the terrorists
- The attack happened before the hand over into government controlled territory
- The terrorists let the car loaded with explosives through the checkpoint
The shameless BBC used a blood-less photo by Reuters, to fake report on the slaughter in al Rashideen. Note the use of a terrorist as “protector” of civilians, and the Bush II perfected Pontius Pilate passive tense.
They besieged the victims of this atrocity for 2 years, residents they shelled, killed and terrified. Life was a daily horror of shelling, car bombings, rocket attacks and denial of humanitarian aid. Can there be any doubt they would take the opportunity to carry out such a mass atrocity
The terrorists burned buses that were due to evacuate the very same residents in December 2016. Video footage shows them celebrating and saying, “We will burn every convoy trying to evacuate them. God willing they’ll only leave as corpses.”
These are innocent civilians that were killed. They were not “Assad supporters,” they were not intolerant sectarians and they most definitely do not deserve to have their deaths exploited to further the barbaric agenda against the wonderful country of Syria.
This is not a Shia/Sunni sectarian feud. These are terrorists who have a hatred for all those who don’t share their narrow, extreme Wahhabism. They are motivated by their fanatical ideology to carry out such atrocities.
With this disgraceful effort at “journalism” which should have united the world in outrage and condemnation, the BBC truly did cross a journalistic red line.
— Paul Mansfield