From Fort Russ
April 8, 2017 – Fort Russ News
Russian Ministry of Defense
From Fort Russ
April 8, 2017 – Fort Russ News
Russian Ministry of Defense
By Robert Stuart
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.
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.  
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.
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’  – Dr al-Kurdi is “involved politically with the Syrian National Council”. 
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”.
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).
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. 
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.
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).” 
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.
 This Facebook account has since been deleted.
 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.
 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.
 “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
 Further images of the same child and others attached to the same militia unit can be found here.
 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.
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:
From New Eastern Outlook
by Henry Kamens
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.
“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.”
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
“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.”
Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
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.
In autumn 2016 SAA performed a range of operations which resulted in full liberation of Aleppo by mid-December.
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.
ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4
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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
From Fort Russ
February 18th, 2017 – Fort Russ News
– Al Mayadeen – translated by Samer Hussein –