To understand the war in Syria it is important to understand that the Syrian people are having to fight a war on two fronts.
One is the front that gets the media attention. This is the fighting that goes on in Syria itself. It is being fought by Gulf Arab paid mercenaries who with the support of the US and its allies pour into Syria through the open borders of neighbouring countries – first and foremost Turkey – to kill innocent people and destroy peaceful life.
The other front is the one being waged against the Syrian people by the Western media. This is a war of propaganda where the weapons are mass deception, lies and distortion of the truth.
It is a profoundly immoral and reckless war, as devastating in its way as the armed conflict itself.
It is essential to understand that the one front – that of the armed conflict – could not be waged against the Syrian people without the other. It is the propaganda war that makes the actual war possible.
To take one example, consider the role of Turkey.
Turkey has become the way station for terrorists crossing back and forth into Syria. What that means is that terrorists not only go to Syria from Turkey. It means they return to Turkey for rest and supplies and to receive treatment in Turkish hospitals.
Some years ago, a Turkish nurse – identifying herself only as E.G. – working in a hospital in the Turkish town of Mersin on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast expressed her disgust that Daesh terrorists – whom she called “head choppers” — are being treated in Turkish hospitals. The Turkish paper “Zaman” exposed this as well.
“Zaman” has been a strong critic of President Erdogan’s. In March the Turkish authorities seized the paper, closing it down. CNN Turk reports that a number of other independent media outlets critical of the government are also being closed in Turkey.
“Zaman” showed great courage in exposing the direct role Turkey is playing in supporting and arming terrorists and smuggling them and their weapons into Syria. By doing so “Zaman” brought down on itself the wrath of Turkey’s new style “Ottoman Sultan” – President Erdogan – who retaliated by having it closed.
Where are the protests from Western governments and the Western media about this massive attack on free speech? When did the media in the West report or investigate the story of Daesh terrorists receiving treatment in Turkish hospitals? How would the public in the West react if it were told the truth?
Or take the constant drumbeat in the Western media calling for “solutions” to the “crisis” (actually the war of aggression against Syria and its people).
What do these “solutions” actually amount to? Basically they are nothing more than demands to bomb Syria and its people!
Various justifications are given for doing this. “Chemical weapons”, even though (as the West of course knows) these weapons were actually used by the terrorists against the Syrian people and army and not the other way round. Or “the fight against Dash” otherwise known as “The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq” or “the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” or as “The Islamic State” or simply as “Daesh” or by any number of other names. This even though Daesh is an entirely Western creation which would never have existed were it not for the Western aggressions against Iraq, Syria and Libya and the destabilisation the West brought about by the fake Western supported “Arab Spring” in Tunisia and Egypt.
The consequence of these “solutions” – ie. of more bombing – were it to happen would not of course be to “solve” the Syrian “crisis”. On the contrary it would simply make the situation worse, intensifying the aggression and increasing the killing and destruction in Syria even more.
Or take the phantom “Free Syrian Army” so beloved of Western governments and of the Western media.
In Syria fighters call themselves the “Free Syrian Army” or “Islamic state fighters” or Daesh or by any other name that suits them. There is nothing “magical” about this. It is just a kaleidoscope of names intended to cause confusion. In reality it is always the same people calling themselves by these different names.
The US and its allies of course know this. They keep up this game of names so that they can go on pretending that there are “moderates” in Syria who they can support in place of the terrorists they actually support, and that these so-called “moderates” are fit to form a transitional government in place of the legitimate Syrian government and can also be persuaded to fight Daesh. In Syria nobody is fooled by any of this.
The truth is that the Syrian people are being slaughtered by cold-blooded mercenaries. They may call themselves the “Free Syrian Army,” “Ahrar Al Sham”, “Ahlo Al Sonna”, “Jaish Al Esalm” or any of a myriad of other names all of which however simply designate factions affiliated with Al-Qaeda’s local franchise the Al Nusra front. They are however always the same cold-blooded mercenaries pouring into Syria from Turkey paid for the Gulf Arab states to commit aggression upon Syria’s people.
That the US and its allies know all this perfectly well and actually support these people is shown by the way the US, Britain and France recently combined to block a Russian proposal for a UN Security Council Resolution to designate groups affiliated to Jabhat Al-Nusra like Ahrar Al Sham terrorist groups. Though that of course is exactly what these people are, in order to protect them the Western powers blocked it.
The result was another massacre in Syria on May 12, 2016 by these self-same so-called “moderate” groups when they took advantage of the so-called ceasefire to storm the village of Zara in southern Hama province and murder its people. Entire families including women and children and old people were kidnapped and slaughtered. Zara lies in an area that is supposed to be covered by the ceasefire. What did Western governments and the Western media have to say about this murderous violation of the ceasefire by the so-called “moderates”? Nothing!
Or take what is happening to Aleppo – a historic Syrian city and the country’s industrial and commercial capital. Aleppo is being besieged by Erdogan’s foreign mercenaries to fulfil his “Ottoman dream” of annexing it to Turkey – just as his predecessors seized Iskenderun which was once a Syrian province.
A year ago the so-called “moderate rebels” launched missiles on Armenian residential neighbourhoods in Aleppo. How did the Western media react? It followed the line set by Saudi-funded Al Arabia which claimed absurdly that the missiles were launched by the Syrian government who were allegedly targeting children in their schools! In reality the schools in the Armenian districts were closed that day because of the holiday to celebrate the Orthodox Easter.
Aleppo continues to come under terrorist attack. The “rebels” control some neighbourhoods like Bani Yazid and use them to launch rockets targeting the rest of the city. These rockets are unguided and the attacks are indiscriminate inflicting terrible damage on Aleppo and its people. What do Western governments and Western media say about that? Again nothing! However if the Syrian Army bombs these terrorists in their strongholds to stop these rocket attacks the Western media accuses it of bombing its own people. The truth is turned on its head: the victims become the criminals and the criminals the victims.
The bombing and destruction of Aleppo and of most of Syria’s infrastructure, as well as the sanctions imposed on Syria, have made life ever more miserable for the Syrian people, who must suffer poverty and war, with no clear hope for the future.
All this only serves the project of creating a Greater Israel by destroying the one Arab country – Syria – that has led the Arab people’s struggle against Israel. Even as the war goes on Syria has had to endure more Israeli strikes on its military sites and bases on its own territory – again to the resounding silence of the governments and media of the West.
As for the terrorists, whenever they have come close to being defeated by the Syrian Arab Army they have been able to call on the help of their “friends” to keep the war going. They get this “help” at the diplomatic table in Geneva or through the deception that was the so-called “ceasefire” or through the sending of more weapons and of still more terrorists to Syria. It is the Syrian people who suffer and pay the price.
The writer is a Syrian journalist who regularly writes under the name Syrian Afra’a.