We hear a lot about crimes in Aleppo, but not about crimes in Mosul. We hear much less about the planners and the perpetrators of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, of the destruction of Libya, of the US via Saudi Arabia war against Yemen, of the foreign help with arms to the revolt in Syria which changed radically its character and of the alleged contribution of USA, of Israel and of their allies to the creation of ISIS. That is we hear much about isolated and very tragic incidents, but we are not still debating in the West who and how has put in motion the most powerful western machines with one and very simple and obvious goal: to destroy the Arabs and their states, reversing the results of the Arab national revolts of the past and pushing them into the most retrograde forms of religious extremism.
While decrying “massacre” in Aleppo, US steps up bloodshed in Mosul
By Bill Van Auken
Even as columns of green buses were ferrying the last of the Western-backed Islamist “rebels” out of eastern Aleppo Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry took the podium at a State Department press conference to describe the situation in the northern Syrian city as “unconscionable” and to denounce the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out “nothing short of a massacre.”
Kerry’s denunciations, which extended to Syria’s allies, Russia and Iran, expressed the growing anger and desperation within US ruling circles and Washington’s military and intelligence apparatus over the debacle of the five-year-old regime change operation in Syria. With the driving out of Aleppo of the Al Qaeda-linked militias that have been armed and funded by the CIA, the so-called “rebels” have lost their last foothold in a major urban area, and the prospects of these proxy forces toppling Assad have largely evaporated.
Kerry was reduced to demanding a “cessation of hostilities” in Aleppo under conditions in which a cease-fire brokered between Russia and Turkey—with no apparent prior notification of, much less participation by, Washington—appeared to be holding on Thursday as the orderly evacuation of both “rebels” and civilians proceeded.
Kerry vowed, “The fall of Aleppo, should it happen, does not end the war. It will continue.” The statement amounted to a threat, under conditions in which the Obama administration recently issued a waiver of the US Arms Export Control Act to allow the CIA to funnel in more weapons to “irregular forces” in Syria. Even with these arms, however, it is difficult to see how the “rebels” can regain the offensive.
The hypocrisy of the US denunciations of the brutal methods employed by the Syrian government and its allies in eastern Aleppo has been underscored by the unfolding of a similarly savage siege being directed by the Pentagon against the far larger urban population of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. As many as 1.5 million people still live in that metropolitan area, which the Iraqi army surrendered to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in June 2014.
With the US-backed offensive against Mosul now nearly two months old, conditions for the city’s residents are growing increasingly desperate, while the number of civilians killed continues to mount.
Scattered reports from media in the region provide a glimpse of the carnage unfolding in Mosul. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported that an entire family of nine was wiped out on Tuesday in a US drone missile strike against a house in Mosul’s al-Falah district. “Nine family members were killed in the attack,” an Iraqi police officer told the agency.
And The New Arab (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed) reported Thursday: “At least 40 civilians have been killed including women and children and dozens of others injured in air raids and artillery fire in the east of the Islamic State group [IS] bastion of Mosul, local and medical sources have said. The civilians were killed early on Wednesday with many of the injured still trapped under rubble…”
While similar accounts of human suffering in Aleppo have received non-stop coverage in the Western media amid official denunciations of Syria and Russia, reports of the slaughter in Mosul have been effectively blacked out.
Instead, what reports there are concentrate on the terrorization of the local population by ISIS, which is described as preventing civilians from leaving besieged districts so as to use them as “human shields,” employing identically brutal tactics as those used by the Western-backed “rebels” against the civilian population in Aleppo, whose plight was blamed entirely upon the Syrian government.
Appearing at a joint news conference with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at the Qayara air base earlier this week, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top US commander in Iraq, estimated that the US-backed forces had “killed or badly wounded over 2,000” ISIS fighters since the launching of the offensive on October 17.
No such estimates have been offered as to the number of civilians who have been killed, but given the tactics that are being employed, using special forces units to call in airstrikes and artillery and tank fire against houses in urban neighborhoods believed to be occupied by ISIS fighters, it is inevitable that more civilians are dying than combatants.
The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that in the week ending on December 11 alone, 685 civilians were wounded by the fighting. This figure is only a fraction of the real toll, given that victims inside areas still under ISIS control are not recorded by the agency.
Doctors and nurses in the city are working under impossible conditions, without access to medicine, clean bandages and even water and electricity, which have been cut off to most of the city as a result of airstrikes.
The government has reported that 100,000 people have been displaced by the siege, including at least 35,000 children. Preparations are reportedly being made for 500,000 civilians to be ultimately driven out of the city.
With winter weather having set in, temperatures are falling below freezing under conditions in which the population is left without the ability to heat or light their homes, and those who have fled are living in tents. Food supplies, meanwhile, are running low, with prices soaring. In the end, the assault on Mosul may claim more victims through exposure, starvation and disease than by means of bombs and bullets.
Despite the barbaric conditions that have been inflicted by this siege, which is backed by US and allied airpower as well as an army of 10,000 US and NATO troops and military contractors, no one in the West is talking about “war crimes,” much less advocating a ceasefire in Mosul, as they are in Aleppo.
In their brutal siege against the Iraqi city, the US and allied imperialists are asserting their interests and hegemony, while in Aleppo, they confront a stunning setback in their attempt to pursue the same interests by other means, using CIA-armed and Al Qaeda-affiliated proxy forces. That is what determines the stark contrast in the media’s reaction to these two human catastrophes unfolding barely 300 miles apart.
Meanwhile, the London-based monitoring group Airwars estimates the minimum number of civilians killed by US-led airstrikes since Washington launched its intervention in Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014 at 2,013, with the real number thought to be considerably higher. Thus far, the Pentagon has acknowledged killing only 173 civilians in the campaign, which has involved over 16,500 airstrikes.
Journalist Eva Bartlett DESTROYS Mainstream Journalist Over Syria, Aleppo
Having spent a number of months on the ground in Syria, traveling all across the country and, specifically, Aleppo, journalist Eva Bartlett has finally returned to the Western world with yet another round of firsthand knowledge of the Syrian Crisis. Bartlett has traveled to Syria a number of times, each time carrying back a story widely different from that peddled on the mainstream corporate press of NATO countries.
Bartlett has been regularly posting articles and videos regarding the truth in Syria on her own personal website, In Gaza, and through publications on other websites like The Duran, Global Research, Mint Press, and through her interviews with channels like RT and other alternative media outlets. I encourage every reader to access and read her article, “Aleppo: How US & Saudi-Backed Rebels Target ‘Every Syrian’: War Diary By Western Journalist Eva Bartlett On The Truth About Aleppo” as well as the other excellent reporting on her website.
After having left Syria, Bartlett took part in a press conference organized by the Syrian mission to the United Nations. After giving a brief statement about what she has observed in Syria and how she is aware firsthand of the Western media’s deception in terms of coverage of the crisis, she was questioned by a Norwegian journalist, Christopher Rothenberg, who challenged her claims that the Western media was lying.
“You talk the corporate media, the Western media, the lies, and all of this. Could you explain what might be the agenda from us in the Western media and why we should lie,” Rothenberg asked. “Why the international organizations on the ground should lie? Why we shouldn’t believe all these absolutely documentable facts that we see from the ground? These hospitals being bombed. These civilians that are talking about the atrocities that they have been experiencing. How can you justify calling all of us liars?”
Bartlett’s epic response can be viewed here:
She begins by admitting that there are “certainly honest journalists among the very compromised establishment media.” Bartlett then addresses Rothenberg’s second question first, by asking him to name one international organization on the ground in Eastern Aleppo. Rothenberg, of course, could not answer the question; so, after a long pause of silence, Bartlett proceeded to point out that there are none. She then dismantled the reliability of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (staffed by one man in Coventry, UK on the Internet) and the notorious terrorist support group known as the White Helmets.
“These organizations are relying on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR], which is based in Coventry, UK, which is one man. They’re relying on compromised groups like the White Helmets. Let’s talk about the White Helmets: They were founded in 2013 by a British ex-military officer, they have been funded to the tune of $100 million by the US, UK, Europe and other states.”
She pointed out that the White Helmets “purport to be rescuing civilians in eastern Aleppo and Idlib…no one in eastern Aleppo has heard of them; and I say ‘no one’ bearing in mind that now 95% of these areas of eastern Aleppo are liberated.” At the same time, “The White Helmets purport to be neutral, and yet they can be found carrying guns and standing on the dead bodies of Syrian soldiers.”
She added, “their video footage actually contains children that have been ‘recycled’ in different reports; so you can find a girl named Aya who turns up in a report in say August, and she turns up in the next month in two different locations.”
Bartlett then addressed Rothenberg’s second question.
“As for…the agenda of some corporate media: it is the agenda of regime change,” she said. “How can the New York Times…[or] Democracy Now…maintain until this day that this is a civil war in Syria? How can they maintain until this day that the protests were unarmed and non-violent until say 2012? That is absolutely not true. How can they maintain that the Syrian government is attacking civilians in Aleppo, when every person that’s coming out of these areas occupied by terrorists is saying the opposite?”
Bartlett also fielded questions from another journalist who asked about the differences between Western and Russian/Syrian media reporting of the situation in Aleppo, including the fact that terrorists have repeatedly mined areas once they have retreated as well as the Russian-Syrian cooperative effort to evacuate civilians from “rebel”-held territory.
Sputnik covered the interaction in this way:
“You ask why we aren’t seeing this,” Bartlett chimed in. “This relates to the other gentleman’s question about why most of the corporate media are telling lies about Syria. It’s because this is the agenda; if they had told the truth about Syria from the beginning, we wouldn’t be here now. We wouldn’t have seen so many people killed.”
“In fact,” she noted, “what the Russian media…is [showing] is exactly what the Syrian media is saying, and it shows what independent people in Syria are saying.” With regard to other flaws in mainstream media coverage, including the sensitive topic of alleged Syrian and Russian air force attacks on hospitals, Bartlett offered another example of media manipulation. “They have manufactured stories, and I can give you a precise account,” she said. “In April this year,” there was a story about “a hospital called the Al-Quds Hospital – which in a concerted effort all media said was attacked, targeted and badly damaged by either the Syrians or the Russians. In fact the Russians had satellite imagery showing that this hospital was in the shame shape that it was in in October 2015. No difference; it was not attacked.”
Continuing, Bartlett recalled that “months later, the Guardian, a prominent British newspaper, actually said that the Al-Quds hospital that it had alleged months prior to be attacked and destroyed, was treating victims of so-called chemical weapons attacks. So even the media that is lying is inconsistent in their lies.” In the meantime, she added, unfortunately, Western governments and the media have ignored real attacks on hospitals throughout Syria by anti-government rebels and terrorists.
The entire press conference can be viewed here
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 850 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.