80 Russian military doctors come home after treating 13,000 Syrians from Aleppo

From Fort Russ

 April 8, 2017 – Fort Russ News
Russian Ministry of Defense

More than 80 military physicians of the Eastern military district, who had been providing assistance to Aleppo’s citizens, returned to Khabarovsk.
According to Chief of Staff – First Deputy Commander of the Eastern military district, Lieutenant General Alexander Lapin, the military doctors have completed all tasks assigned to them.
The military physicians have provided medical assistance to nearly 13,000 of citizens of Aleppo since December 2016.

“Hand in Hand for Syria” shares Syrian opposition “aims and objectives”, financially benefitted from Alan Kurdi tragedy

By
Global Research, September 10, 2015
Fabrication in BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ 9 September 2015

Hand in Hand for Syria, the UK registered charity at the heart of the controversial 2013 BBC Panorama programme Saving Syria’s Children, is receiving all the proceeds from a new fund established in honour of Alan Kurdi, the three year old who drowned along with his mother and brother as his family attempted to reach Greece from Turkey on 2 September 2015.

The Guardian reports that the Aylan Kurdi Fund was set up within 24 hours of the circulation of photographs of the boy’s body.  As of 9 September 2015 the fund had received over £50,000 in donations.

According to Saving Syria’s Children, Hand in Hand for Syria “helped set up” the largest refugee camp in Syria – Atmeh on the Turkish border.

In the documentary, two doctors volunteering with Hand in Hand visit Atmeh and check up on hospitals run by the charity, including Atareb Hospital, Aleppo, where the BBC Panorama team filmed the dramatic arrival of alleged victims of an incendiary bomb attack on a school playground in nearby Urm Al-Kubra.  These scenes – first transmitted just as the UK parliament voted on military intervention in Syria – have become the subject of worldwide scepticism.

The UK Charity Commission’s website states that Hand in Hand for Syria exists for “the advancement of health or saving lives”.  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”.  The image was removed shortly after it was commented on publicly. [1] [2]

fsfbbanner

Image: Facebook banner of Hand in Hand for Syria’s co-founder Faddy Sahloul, deleted July 2014

Also on Hand in Hand’s executive team is Dr Rola Hallam, one of the two medics featured in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.  The documentary tells us that “Rola’s family is from Syria and she lived here as a child.  Now she’s an intensive care doctor in London, specialising in paediatric medicine.”

On 30 August 2013, the day after the BBC’s initial report on the alleged Aleppo incendiary bomb attack, Dr Hallam appeared on BBC’s Newsnight programme expressing her profound disappointment at parliament’s rejection of a military strike against Syria.

Picture2

Image: Dr Rola Hallam, Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013, being interviewed as alleged victims from an incendiary bomb attack on a school in the village of Urm al-Kubra arrive (Panorama Saving Syria’s Children, BBC One, 30 September 2013, http://bit.ly/1wO3p2w)

Dr Hallam’s father is Dr. Mousa al-Kurdi.  According to a 2013 article by Dr Saleyha Ahsan – the other Hand in Hand for Syria volunteer medic featured in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ [3] – Dr al-Kurdi is “involved politically with the Syrian National Council”. [4]

In an interview for Al Jazeera Dr al-Kurdi passionately advocates for the Syrian National Council’s recognition as the “sole representative” of all Syrians and relates how, following his address to the Friends of Syria summit in Istanbul in 2012 – attended by Hillary Clinton – he personally told Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu “You’re not doing enough” and demanded of Professor Davutoğlu and several other foreign ministers present, including the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland, “either you defend us or you arm the Syrian Free Army to defend us – you have the choice”.

At a Save the Children event in London in November 2013 Dr Hallam stated that her father “is certainly not a member of the Syrian National Council; he is a gynaecologist, who like most Syrians has taken an interest in what’s happening in his country”.

Picture1

Image: Dr Mousa al-Kurdi, Dr Rola Hallam’s father, is interviewed on Al Jazeera soon after he addressed the Friends of Syria summit in April, 2012. (http://bit.ly/1gal7vh) Hillary Clinton, then US Secretary of State,
is seen arriving at the meeting.

If Hand in Hand for Syria’s affiliations were not abundantly plain from the above, the Director of the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit has, in the course of correspondence about ‘Saving Syria’s Children’, observed that:

I think it was implicit that the charity was working in an area of Syria controlled by the opposition and would therefore be likely to share its aims and objectives (as opposed to supporting the Syrian government).[5]

However, should it be required, there is further evidence.

A nurse seen treating the alleged incendiary bomb alongside Dr Saleyha Ahsanin ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ was subsequently photographed at Atareb Hospital wearing a Hand in Hand for Syria tunic and ostensibly tending to the injuries of a child “rebel” combatant.  The web article which hosts the photograph overtly celebrates the fifteen year old’s supposed battle prowess[6]

Nurse3

Image: The nurse on the left appears at 31:17 in Saving Syria’s Children (http://bit.ly/1wO3p2w) in scenes filmed at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013. Dr Saleyha Ahsan is wearing the checked shirt.

Picture2

Image: This site boasts of the supposed fighting prowess of fifteen year old “Mujahid Omar”.

It has been suggested that the Hand in Hand for Syria nurse appears to be of Central Asian, rather than Syrian, origin.  A January 2015 International Crisis Group Policy Briefing observes that “Growing numbers of Central Asian citizens, male and female, are travelling to the Middle East to fight or otherwise support the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS).” [7]

Many more questions about Hand in Hand for Syria are posed in adossier compiled by peace activist Dr Declan Hayes and in two You Tube videos:Inside the BBC’s Uprising: Hand in Hand for Propaganda and WANTED: Evidence Hand in Hand for Syria is Really in the Business of Saving Lives.

Notes

[1] This Facebook account has since been deleted.

[2] Mr Sahloul’s bloodthirsty sentiments were “liked” on Facebook by Hand in Hand for Syria co-founder Fadi Al-Dairi.  Along with Mr Sahloul, Mr Al-Dairi is listed as one of Hand in Hand for Syria’s Trustees on the Charity Commissionwebsite.

[3] Dr Ahsan is a former British Army Captain who served in Bosnia and now works as a freelance filmmaker, a medic and more recently as a BBC presenter.  Dr Ahsan is the subject of this complaint currently lodged with the corporation.

[4] “The Syrian National Council (SNC), which was set up six seven [sic] months after the uprising against the Assad regime erupted in March of 2011, was the biggest and most significant Syrian opposition group in exile until November 11, 2012, when it joined the broader National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.”  http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=48334

[5] BBC Editorial Complaints Unit Provisional Finding, 23 April 2014 (see p10 ofdownload).

[6] Further images of the same child and others attached to the same militia unit can be found here.

[7] It has been suggested that other individuals who feature in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ and in other footage from Atareb Hospital on 26 August 2013 also appear to be of Asian, rather than Syrian, origin.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/uk-charity-which-shares-syrian-opposition-aims-and-objectives-benefits-from-alan-kurdi-tragedy/5475090?print=1

White Helmets/al Nusra bases in east Aleppo and M10 hospital still standing — what the mainstream news won’t tell (VIDEO, AUDIO)

Global Research, March 18, 2017
21st Century Wire 15 March 2017

The US and its allies have spun a web of lies about Syria over the last 6 years. After West and Gulf-backed terrorists were driven from their stronghold in eastern Aleppo this past December, the West’s propaganda facade has been gradually disintegrating. 

On a recent SUNDAY WIRE episode, host Patrick Henningsen conducted a live interview with French humanitarian Pierre Le Corf, who has been based in Aleppo for the last year. In this incredibly segment, Le Corf gives details about the the current safety situation in the city, as well as new evidence which reinforces previous reports regarding the US and UK funded White Helmets’ obvious terrorist affiliations.

Listen to Le Corf’s interview segment here:

Le Corf’s video completely dismantles the corporate media’s deceptive White Helmet narrative which the west has been promoting intensely over the last 3 and half years.

Pierre Le Corf writes: “As a French citizen, I refuse to support my country’s criminal foreign policy. Please read my letter to the President of the French republic where I outline my objections very clearly. In less than two hours I have gathered images of two hospitals that are still operating, claimed to have been destroyed. I have walked past tonnes of medicines reserved for the various terrorist groups and prohibited for civilians. I have passed by the remains of the buildings under the control of Jabhat Al Nusra and the Free Syrian Army, next door to the White Helmets building, which as civilian testimony shows us, mainly helped terrorists not civilians.”

Watch this stunning video walk-through of former White Helmet and Al Nusra (al Qaeda) encampments in war-torn East Aleppo:

The original source of this article is 21st Century Wire
Copyright © Patrick Henningsen and Pierre Le Corf, 21st Century Wire, 2017

http://www.globalresearch.ca/terrorism-with-a-human-face-white-helmets-were-al-qaedas-next-door-neighbours-in-aleppo/5580274

Dead children, the Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS) and its friends

From New Eastern Outlook

by Henry Kamens

24/08/2016

In civil war situations, such as the conflict in Syria, sides routinely make conflicting claims. It is hard to see who is telling the truth unless you have access to actual intelligence and a front row seat. But it becomes easier to see what is really happening by watching the mainstream news and comparing it to reality.

Let us take the recent Democracy Now interview with Dr. Zaher Sahloul, the former President of the Syrian American Medical Society. This accompanied the global media coverage of the bombed, bloodied and beaten little boy from Aleppo, apparently rescued from what was left of a makeshift refugee camp. At one time Democracy Now was a respected alternative media site. Unfortunately, this article and the circumstances of its writing suggest that it has bought into the system it once stood up to.
Gut ruling head
The article includes this quote, designed to be as emotive as possible:
“I’ve just had to watch a woman lose three of her children, who were killed—OK?—and crying over their dead bodies. Thirty people just got killed not far from here in place called Shaar [inaudible]. We were just there yesterday. In a marketplace, 30 people just got killed. So, we’ve had so many dead bodies. You can hear what’s going on here. So, my dear brothers and sisters … We need to get the message out right now: Hospitals are being targeted; People are being killed. OK? And war crimes are being committed. We need a no-fly zone in Syria. We need everybody to start voting for a no-fly zone. This is a massacre going on. This is genocide.”
These sort of reports are emerging daily from Syria. But the wave of recent killings of children by Saudi forces is overlooked. Why? For the same reason that all these reports don’t mention how the war in Syria started and how the hodgepodge of antigovernment fighters and terrorist groups which have escalated are funded.
The article fails to mention why the Syrian government is fighting terrorists in the first place. The questions the doctor is asked are also revealing, as is the use of key terms such as barrel bombs, WMD, no fly zone, UN, etc, which never used to be a hallmark of Democracy Now coverage. Like others, the article is designed to get us so upset that we don’t want to look any further. It uses dead children as a means of stifling any debate about why they are dying: we are expected to get angry at those we are told to get angry at, to prevent us getting angry about anyone else.

This interview raises many flags, firstly in its timing, during the countdown to the US presidential elections, and then in the context of Iran and Russia now closely collaborating in the war on terror. An agreement has recently been reached for Russia to make bombing raids against US-backed terrorists in Syria from Iranian territory. This is what the West says it wants, fight terrorism, but in reality does everything to prevent. Getting us angry about “foreign bombers” killing children is merely another way of trying to prevent the War on Terror, which the US started, ever actually taking place.

Not shooting the messenger

Dr. Zaher Sahloul was a classmate of Bashar al-Assad in medical school but is now a critical care specialist in Chicago. He has visited Aleppo five times since the war began, but is observing the situation from a US vantage point.
This smooth-talking humanitarian seems happy to recount horrific stories of maiming and killing in graphic detail, as long as he can blame Assad and the Russians. Last week he addressed the UN Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, making the same points. In the US doctors are often scared of making public statements, much less prescribing medicines, for fear of malpractice suits. So if a US doctor makes a public statement someone is watching his back.
Dr. Sahloul works in the US, which has a vested interest in the Syrian conflict. Is it conceivable that he would be called to address the UN Security Council if he wasn’t spouting an agreed line?
Sahloul’s Democracy Now interview was conducted CNN-fashion, meaning that he did not respond to questions posed on the spot but released a carefully scripted text which the questions were adjusted to fit. The details about babies being tossed from incubators in Kuwait, and those not killed by barrel bombs surviving on cat food and grass, are revealed in such a way that they are unlikely to be spontaneous recollections. Nor do these “memories” remind Dr. Sahloul of the beheading of innocent children by the IS, which they might be presumed to do if child welfare was his concern.
If Dr. Sahloul wanted to stop the killings he would question who stands behind this terrorism – the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – but he does not do so. It can be assumed that he is interested in ending all the killings as he has addressed the UN Security Council, which claims a peace promotion remit. But there is no mention anywhere of stopping the terrorists, only of stopping Assad, thus allowing terrorist atrocities against children to continue unabated.
Mouths we are fed
CNN has responded to the Democracy Now interview by claiming that the killing of children in Aleppo was done by a pro-regime militia force made up mostly of Palestinians. It is also CNN which is parading that poor little boy all over the media, apparently in confirmation of Dr. Sahloul’s claims.
We are used to seeing CNN reports exposed as manipulation. Unfortunately for this little boy, these reports appear to be part of this tradition. There is ample evidence that much of the reporting on Syria by “legitimate sources” is carefully manipulated.
For instance, CNN is quoting the Syrian-American Medical Society as claiming that US-trained doctors are being harassed when they return to Syria. This is denied by even the US Embassy, which says there have been no reports of this, and by a Wikileaks cable.
In fact the US medical establishment has continued to support the maintenance of bilateral relations with the Syrian medical community, in spite of the war and this alleged harassment. Dr. Sahloul’s comments, which are entirely consistent with the US political position in that conflict and obscure the humanitarian concerns which emerge from the behaviour of both sides, give us a clue as to why. The US is using this open access attitude of the Assad government as a means of getting MDs into the country to conduct intelligence and PR work. This is borne out by the use of Syrian doctors to obtain evidence of Assad’s use of chemical weapons, as reported by the Guardian.
SAMS claims to be an apolitical, non-profit organisation founded by American medical professionals of Syrian descent. Its alleged objective is to share best medical practices with local hospitals and medical schools and donate medical care to needy Syrians. This work necessarily involves going into secure facilities in conflict zones.
As the work of other US aid agencies has long demonstrated, such aid is ultimately designed to secure allegiance to the US. Providing such aid buys the US a green light for whatever it wants to do, rather than serving its ostensible humanitarian purpose.
According to its own website SAMS is provided with full support by the US State Department, millions of dollars’ worth of it. The website even includes a video by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers, hailing SAMS as one of her “personal heroes.”
Furthermore, Dr. Sahloul is said by those who know him in Chicago to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself. His alleged medical work would be the perfect cover for providing support to terrorist organisations which seek to divide and destroy Syria. All he has done with his Democracy Now interview is confirm that repeating the State Department’s unfounded narratives regarding “barrel bombs” and the use of “chlorine gas” by the Syrian government is a tactic used by the US to further this end.
Assad knows very well that these medics are working for US intelligence. He also knows the headlines that would follow him if he refused them entry. He calculates that whatever the doctors can do will harm him less than denying them access would. This is very embarrassing for the US, as it demonstrates Assad doesn’t have as much to hide as the US wants to think, and so he is happy to continue allowing these “revelations” to take place, while real doctors actually treat the war victims on a daily basis.
What’s in a name?
At least on the surface, Dr. Zaher Sahloul believes in what he is doing. However there is further reason to doubt that his actions are prompted by either medical considerations or support for his native or adopted country.
In 2009, before this war began, Syria embarked on a process of “economic liberalisation,” as favoured by the US, and “previously disallowed businesses” were suddenly permitted and encouraged by the Syrian Government. According to an article published in The National on February 9, 2009 one such business had just been founded by a certain Zhouheir Yassar Sahloul, described as “the most powerful rogue trader in Syria.”
As the head of the country’s largest money changing enterprise, Sahloul was the link between Syria’s struggling, isolated economy and its huge diaspora, which still remits billions of dollars a year to families back home. In a country saddled with strict foreign exchange laws, it was Mr Sahloul’s agents who ensured Syrian merchants were supplied with enough hard currency to do business with partners overseas.
At the same time Yassar Sahloul and Sons were licensed as foreign exchange traders, Dr. Sahloul and his SAMS were building hospitals in Syria, on the basis of the same “regulatory relaxation.” This might explain why Yassar Sahloul also established a more formal mechanism for handling capital inflows, an Islamic bank with a capital base of US$100 million (Dh367m). It also chimes in with his reported ambition to make Yassar Sahloul and Sons the holding company for a diversified concern including “shipping and property investment assets as well as banking and finance,” as hospitals are valuable properties whose worth only increases the more customers they serve.
These two Sahouls may or may not be immediately related. What we know about the one who stayed behind is his present business address, which is in Aleppo, and that in 2006 he was an Informal Financial Intermediary who participated in a “Feasibility Study to develop new options for private sector investment financing in the Syrian Arab Republic.
A Zuher Sahloul Construction Company was active during the lead up to the war in Syria. According to a Wikileaks cable:
“As Washington policy makers consider ways to pressure the regime, one possibility would be to go after President Assad’s money-men. Four individuals Assad uses to make and move money are Zuhair Sahloul, Nabil Kuzbari, Assad’s uncle Mohammad Makhlouf, and his father-in-law, Fawas Akhras. Each is important to Assad and each plays a somewhat different role in facilitating regime graft.”
In short, “(S) Sahloul (AKA Abu Shafic) is the most important black-market money changer in Syria. When the Syrian Pound (SYP) devalued precipitously in the fall of 2005, the SARG gave Sahloul an office in the Central Bank and access to its hard currency reserves so he could intervene in the black market to stabilize the currency. NB: Sahloul was surprisingly effective, and within weeks the SYP appreciated 20 percent, allowing Sahloul in the process a handsome profit for both himself and a handful of regime-insiders. End note.) Sahloul moves Assad’s money using his own network and his access to Hawalis worldwide. A Sahloul intimate bragged to us recently that Sahloul could move ten million dollars anywhere in the world in 24 hours.” 
If Washington insiders are dealing with someone called Sahloul, from Syria, who is involved with the regime they have targeted they are not going to let someone else called Sahloul address the UN Security Council, or build hospitals in Syria, without conducting background checks. It is not an unusual surname, but not a very common one either. Whatever the US knows about the good doctor it knows he is not going to compromise its dealings with the other Sahloul, the one in Aleppo. He is, at the very least, a safe person to send to face the press.
End of the line
There is a lot more to the story of the little boy from Aleppo than meets the eye. But we are being encouraged not to look further, and rely on our emotional response. We are led to look for someone to blame, and then, by coincidence, told exactly who without any complications entering the picture.
The victims of Aleppo deserve better than to suffer for the sake of a set up. So does everyone who sees this story. But given that Yassar Sahloul was one of those promoting the protests in Damascus which led to the civil war, is it any wonder things are turning out how they are?

Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
http://journal-neo.org/2016/08/24/dead-children-the-syrian-american-medical-society-sams-and-its-friends/

Syrian children sing «May there always be sunshine» in Russian (VIDEO)

From RusVesna.su

January 27, 2017

Children at one of Aleppo schools learnt popular Russian song «May there always be sunshine» and sang it in Russian.

Children in one of Aleppo’s schools are beginning to get back to regular classes, which include an educational programme about Russia. Footage from the school shows pupils drawing the Russian and Syrian flags together as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

Aleppo is Syria’s second largest city and the biggest industrial and economic centre — since 2012 it was partially under terrorists’ control.

READ ALSO: Russian sappers and Syrian children: touching footage on Engineering troops Day in Aleppo — «Russian Spring» exclusive rep (VIDEO, PHOTO)

In autumn 2016 SAA performed a range of operations which resulted in full liberation of Aleppo by mid-December.


http://rusvesna.su/news/1485546756

UN committee’s bogus Syria “human rights” report ignores evidence. Co-author’s blatant conflict of interest

[Co-author] Karen AbuZayd is a director of the Washington based Middle East Policy Council, itself a strong supporter of the US-led dirty war on Syria. Other MEPC directors include present and former US military, intelligence, oil industry and other US corporate figures.
Global Research, March 03, 2017

A UN committee has produced another one-sided, bogus ‘human rights’ report on last year’s liberation of Aleppo, Syria’s second city. Co-authored by US diplomat Karen AbuZayd and Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, the report attacks both the Syrian Army and the al Qaeda groups (UNGA 2017).

However its stronger condemnation of the Syrian Army is notable, as part of constant attempts to delegitimise the Syrian people’s struggle to liberate their own country from the NATO-backed terrorists. This report follows similar partisan attacks from ‘watchdog’ groups embedded with the US State Department, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty USA.

None of these groups have condemned the anti-ISIS operation in Mosul (Iraq) in the way they did the anti-al Qaeda operations in Aleppo (Syria).

The principal effect of the one-sided and bogus ‘human rights’ reports on Syria is to prolong the war and embolden foreign powers who, in open breach of international law, arm and finance all the al Qaeda groups in Syria and Iraq.

Although the latest AbuZayd-Pinheiro report is poorly referenced it follows much the same method as other US-backed ‘human rights’ denunciations: (i) speak to a number of anonymous al Qaeda ‘victims’ and their families, mainly in Turkey but some also by phone in the al Qaeda occupied parts of Syria, (ii) collate the latest claims from US-funded and jihadist-linked groups, (iii) make no visit to Syria nor communicate with Syrian organisations (e.g. there is no sign the committee tried to speak with the 4,000 member Aleppo Medical Association) and then (iv) present a thoroughly one-sided judgement.

The western media mounted furious propaganda resistance to the Syrian Army’s operation to take back Aleppo, claiming there were ‘indiscriminate’ airstrikes, and so on. Syria and Russia denied these accusations and the AbuZayd-Pinheiro report has backed them all.

Notable features of the report include: obviously false assertions about supposed ‘daily airstrikes’ on Aleppo city, the suggestion that al Qaeda makeshift clinics were the only ‘hospitals’ in Aleppo, and the baseless claim that Syrian-Russian airstrikes destroyed a humanitarian convoy.

The report claims that “Syrian and Russian air forces conducted daily air strikes in Aleppo throughout most of the period under review”, that is July-December 2016. On this basis the committee adopts the armed groups’ claims that eastern Aleppo was subject to constant ‘barrel bomb’ and chemical weapons attacks (UNGA 2017).

However, unlike the AbuZayd-Pinheiro report, much of the western media did report that air strikes on the city were halted in mid-October, as humanitarian corridors were established for the evacuation of civilians. When Russian air strikes resumed several weeks later, in mid-November (despite efforts by the New York Times on 16 November to fudge this detail), they were on al Qaeda and ISIS groups in rural Idlib and rural Aleppo; not on the city. The liberation of Aleppo between October and December was almost entirely through Syrian ground forces smashing resistance street by street. So the ‘daily airstrikes’ on Aleppo city, spoken of in the AbuZayd-Pinheiro report, is an obvious falsehood.

On hospitals, the report names several armed group makeshift clinics in eastern Aleppo, none of which were marked and registered hospitals. (Clinics lose their protection under international law when they become covert military support installations.) By contrast there is not one single mention of the large hospitals of western Aleppo (Dabbit, Ibn Rush and al Razi), which were bombed by the al Qaeda groups in 2016.

The attack on a UN humanitarian convoy on 20 September (just days after the 17 September US-led airstrike massacre of 80 Syrian soldiers fighting ISIS in Deir Ezzor) was blamed squarely on a Syrian or Russian airstrike, it seems on the basis of evidence from anonymous ‘witnesses’. There is no plausible motive for this. Syria and Russia were and remain the largest providers of services and humanitarian aid to all Aleppo communities.

The report fails to mention the fact that the armed groups in eastern Aleppo had emphatically rejected humanitarian aid, holding a demonstration just one week before the burning of those trucks. A UN spokesperson at the time claimed the armed groups were blocking the delivery of aid for “political gain” (Sanchez 2016). Further, the Russian military had observed that there were no craters on the road nor destruction of the trucks’ chassis, as would be the case with aerial bombing (RT 2016). The area had been occupied by al Qaeda groups who have a record of murder of civilian drivers and burning trucks; they did this two months later when civilian trucks traveled through Idlib to the besieged Shi’a villages of al Fouaa and Kefraya (Pasha-Robinson 2016). The AbuZayd-Pinheiro claims about Russian-Syrian airstrikes on this convoy and therefore baseless and contrary to the known evidence.

The AbuZayd-Pinheiro committee is the same one which, from Geneva, fabricated a report on the terrible Houla massacre of May 2012, in which over 100 villagers were killed by the NATO-backed Farouq Brigade (FSA). At least 15 independent witnesses identified Farouq brigade (FSA) leaders (Abdulrazzq Tlass and Yahya Yusuf) and local collaborators (Haitham al Housan, Saiid Fayes al Okesh, Haitham al Halq and Nidal Bakkur) for the massacre (see Anderson 2016: Ch. 8). The AbuZayd-Pinheiro committee, however, tried to blame un-named “shabiha” militia loyal to President Assad. No motive was given. Some of these villagers had participated in the recent National Assembly elections, over which the jihadists had demanded a boycott. The obvious partisan nature of the Houla report led Russia, China, India and others to withdraw their support from this and future UN Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Karen AbuZayd is a director of the Washington based Middle East Policy Council, itself a strong supporter of the US-led dirty war on Syria. Other MEPC directors include present and former US military, intelligence, oil industry and other US corporate figures. On simple conflict of interest principles she should never have been appointed to such a committee, as a diplomat from one of the warring parties. Former UN Secretary general Ban Ki Moon was responsible for this error. Washington, for its part, has been too absorbed in hubris to notice that it is unseemly to pretend to be both assailant and mediator.

UN special envoy Stefan di Mistura, despite being ‘appalled and shocked’ that the armed gangs were targeting and killing ‘scores’ of civilians in western Aleppo by ‘relentless and indiscriminate’ rocket attacks (BBC 30 October), nevertheless proposed an ‘autonomous zone’ in eastern Aleppo to protect the al Qaeda controlled areas. The proposal was emphatically rejected by the Syrian Government (Reuters 20 November), which went on to eject all the al Qaeda groups from Aleppo in late December 2016.

Purchase Tim Anderson’s book “The Dirty War on Syria” directly from Global Research Publishers

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4

Year: 2016

Pages: 240

Author: Tim Anderson

List Price: $23.95

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Sources:

Anderson, Tim (2016) The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, Montreal

Barnard, Anne and Ivan Nechepurenko (2016) ‘Airstrikes on Aleppo Resume as Russia Begins New Offensive in Syria’, New York Times, 16 November, online: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/world/middleeast/syria-aleppo-russia-airstrikes.html

BBC (2016) ‘Aleppo siege: UN envoy Mistura ‘appalled’ by rebel attacks’, 30 October, online: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37816938

Pestano, Andrew (2016) ‘Aleppo airstrikes resume after 3-week pause’, UPI, 15 November, online: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/11/15/Aleppo-airstrikes-resume-after-3-week-pause/8561479211543/

Pasha-Robinson, Lucy (2016) ‘Buses used to evacuate Syrians from villages ‘attacked and burned’’, 19 December, online: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-crisis-aleppo-what-is-happening-villages-buses-attacked-and-burned-a7482736.html

Reuters (2016) ‘Syria foreign minister says no to east Aleppo autonomous zone’, 20 November, online: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-aleppo-idUSKBN13F0J1

RT (2016) ‘Russian, Syrian Air Forces did not strike UN aid convoy in Aleppo – Russian MoD’, 20 September, online: https://www.rt.com/news/359990-russia-denies-aleppo-strike/

Sanchez, Raf (2016) ‘UN says armed Syrian groups blocking Aleppo aid for ‘political gain’, UK telegraph, 14 September, online: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/14/un-says-armed-syrian-groups-blocking-aid-to-aleppo-for-political/

SOTT (2016) ‘Keeping their word: No Russian or Syrian airstrikes on Aleppo for 7 days, humanitarian corridors open’, SOTT News, 25 October, online: https://www.sott.net/article/332069-Keeping-their-word-No-Russian-or-Syrian-airstrikes-on-Aleppo-for-7-days-humanitarian-corridors-open

UNGA (2017) ‘Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic’, 34th session, A/HRC/34/64, 2 February, online: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/026/63/PDF/G1702663.pdf?OpenElement

Syria: ISIS attempts to flood eastern Aleppo; Russian bombers strike ISIS with cruise missiles in Raqqa, Syria

From Fort Russ

February 18th, 2017 – Fort Russ News
– Al Mayadeen – translated by Samer Hussein –

In a statement published on Saturday, Russian Defense Ministry announced that the bombers “Tu-95 MS” delivered directed blows against ISIS positions in Raqqa province, after taking off from the Russian territory and flying over Iran and Iraq. The bombers destroyed the training grounds and camps belonging to the terrorist group ISIS. According to the statement, all targets were successfully destroyed.

The mission was supported by Su-30 SM” and “Su-35 S”, the two Russian fighter jets stationed at Humaimam base. The jets provided the aerial coverage.
After their mission was successfully accomplished in Syria, the bombers returned to their bases.

In the meantime, the Syrian Army was able to successfully expand its operations in the Eastern side of the Homs province. According to the military source provided to SANA, the army also restored the security to the village of Al Kilabiyah.

The Syrian Army and its allies also made advancements towards Palmyra as they have moved closer for about 2km.

Earlier on Saturday, ISIS began to pump large quantities of water from Euphrates river through Al Babira station located in the eastern part of Aleppo province in order to cause flooding in the villages and destroy utility stations and agricultural areas in the countryside of the Aleppo province’s eastern regions. The Aleppian municipal authorities have already sent out a team of experts who will work on redirecting the flooding waters.

In Aleppo province the Turkish armed forces are continuing their incursions. The latest Turkish shelling in the eastern parts of Aleppo city resulted in 4 civilian deaths, bringing the death toll to about 50 in the past 4 days of the Turkish operations.

Since September 2015, the Russian armed forces are successfully destroying ISIS targets in Syria. The Russian counter-terrorist activities are coordinated with the government of Syria.