Aleppo. War and diplomacy. P-II

First part of the book is here. Recommended to check out before reading second part.

 

Again, a few basic rules:

ALAFF is going to post the whole translation by parts. In this post you will have second part — «Aleppo, information war and attempts to contain Russia«. Text will be supported by links and photos to enrich the submitted material. Some photos are originally from the book, some from other resources to illustrate material of the book. Feel free to follow the links, as well as click on the images for bigges size. The end of each post will contain footnotes and sources.

In some places there may be a personal ALAFF’ comment — it will be indicated as «ALAFF remark» and it will be highlighted in brown. Naturally, this comment(s) is a personal poin of view and it is not directly related to the book (i.e it is not presented in the book).


 

Structure of the book:

  • Introduction — p.10
  • Aleppo, information war and attempts to contain Russia — p.19
  • UN initiatives to rescue militants in Aleppo — p.48
    • Humanitarian pauses and humanitarian convoys — p.51
    • The initiative of urgent medical evacuation from the Eastern Aleppo — p.68
    • «Egeland’s plan» or blackmail of groupings — p.77
    • Evacuation of «civil activists» — p.89
  • Initiative of S. de Mistura on the withdrawal Jabhat al-Nusra militants from the Eastern Aleppo — p.93
  • Russian-American negotiation on Aleppo and issues of combating terrorism in Syria — p.99
  • A «narrow group» of interested states — a multipolarity or polycentric dualism? — p.163
  • Evacuation of militants from Eastern Aleppo — a unique operation of the Russian military — p.177
  • The liberation of Aleppo and the intensification of military-political efforts to establish an all-Syrian regime for the cessation of hostilities — p.187
  • «Lessons of Aleppo»: geopolitics of the Syrian crisis in the context of the transforming world order — p.213

 

Aleppo, information war and attempts to contain Russia.

The counter-terrorist operation of the Syrian Armed Forces with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces in East Aleppo was accompanied by an unprecedented surge of anti-Syrian and anti-Russian propaganda with the use of the entire arsenal of means available to the US and its allies. We are talking about the coordinated work of the media, various «human rights» NGOs and, unfortunately, the staff of the human rights and humanitarian structures of the United Nations, who joined the fanning of hysteria aimed at discrediting the actions of Russia and the Syrian government in Aleppo, replicating accusations against Moscow and Damascus in «bombing of civilian targets, destruction of moderate opposition and killings of civilians».

In order to adequately assess the degree of engagement and mendacity of the anti-Russian and anti-Syrian campaign, it is necessary to know some facts about the situation in Aleppo.

According to Russian experts, the total number of bayonets in the eastern part of the city occupied by militants was about six thousand people. At least 1,500 of them are terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra — a grouping, along with ISIS registered in the terrorist lists of the UN Security Council. However, this does not mean that the other fighters in the city were distinguished by «moderation». Among them were the odious «partners» of al-Nusra. This is Akhrar ash-Sham (2 thousand), whose militants along with the al-Nusra have been blockading the Shiite settlements of Fua and Kafrai since 2012, and in May 2016 they seized the Alawite village of Az-Zara (Hama), arranging there a slaughter; Nour al-Din al-Zenki (1,500) — the one that «under the camera» beheaded a Palestinian boy and shelled a primary school in West Aleppo; Fastaqim Kama Umirt (800 people), who in October 2016 made a tank shot at the UN headquarters in the Eastern Aleppo* (+ here and here). So the militants held in hostage 275 thousand people who were civilians in the eastern quarters of the city, and that was recognized even in the UN [1].

[1]


Excerpt from the Press-Conference by S. de Mistura and J. Egeland dated of October 6, 2016

In Eastern Aleppo there was a joint coordinating headquarters where the militants of the groups under the command of Jabhat al-Nusra were developing plans for operations against government troops. It was exactly al-Nusra who were not only the most battleworthy grouping in the city, but also the «ideological inspirer» for the other fighters.

Thus, the Russian-Syrian operation for the liberation of Aleppo had a counter-terrorist character. You don’t have to go far for the «parallel». With some delay, and then virtually simultaneously with the Aleppo events, the United States and its allies launched an operation for liberation Iraqi Mosul from ISIS terrorists. Both situations were absolutely identical: the jihadists held civilians hostage, and the authorities, the pro-government militia and external forces tried to liberate these cities from terrorists: in Iraq — the Iraqi army, the Kurdish «Peshmerga», the Shiite detachments al-Hashd al-Shaabi, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Kataib Hezbollah with the assistance of the US-led coalition; in Syria — the army of the SAR and allied groupings like Hezbollah, Liwa al-Quds, militia detachments «Desert Falcons» and others with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

However, it amazes how both the Western media, and, most importantly, the politicians hypocritically approached these two identical situations. Thus, the former US State Department spokesman M. Toner on the question about the difference in Washington’s assessments of counter-terrorist operations in Mosul and Aleppo, said the following: «In Mosul ISIS uses locals as a «human shield». There is a verified and planned destruction of ISIS in Mosul. In Aleppo, the Assad’s regime and Russia conducted airstrikes on civilians, civilian centers and civil infrastructure. The US does not see that regime and Russia are fighting against Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIS. Their attacks are aimed against the moderate opposition» [2].

[2]


Mark C. Toner’s press briefing dated of October 18, 2016.

The Western media did not lag behind. Newspapers, magazines and the Internet were inundated with stories about how Russia and Syria are leveling Aleppo with the ground and exterminating its population [3], how Syrian children are being locked in the «killzone» [4], how hunger threatens the city [5]. The hysteria continued anyway even since October 18, 2016 there was a moratorium on the use of Russian and Syrian aircraft in Aleppo and the planes did not approach the city closer than 10 kilometers. Despite the fact that the aviation was not used, the Western press presented the Aleppo operation as a «carnage» arranged by the «bloody regime» and Russia. The Western media stopped caring about their image. Having crossed all borders, they disseminated information that on the eve of the liberation of most of the city, Russian and Syrian aviation allegedly bombed the areas controlled by the militants [6].

Moreover, the authors of the relevant articles referred to the UN, which by the way had no presence in Eastern Aleppo (the headquarters of the World Organization was in the western part of the city under the control of the government).

ALAFF remark: * This point should be clarified to respect objectivity. Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva said in above: «…Fastaqim Kama Umirt (800 people), who in October 2016 made a tank shot at the UN headquarters in the Eastern Aleppo«. It follows that UN headquarters was based in the Eastern Aleppo. Most likely (99,9%) this was simply a mistake of the book’s editor or corrector (it should have been written Western, not Eastern Aleppo). Because after just a few paragraphs Khodynskaya-Golenischeva wrote: «…the headquarters of the World Organization was in the western part of the city under the control of the government…» — UN headquarters was based in the Western Aleppo, not Eastern. This is also confirmed by already mentioned articles — on SANA website, Morning Star, Reuters (not a best resource to trust, but still) etc., where it is clearly seen that we are talking about the UN headquarters exactly in the western part of the city, not eastern.

Some errors or misprints in the book (any book, not only this one) is a common, usual thing. Thus, in some place(s) of this book the name(s) of the mentioned person was indicated with an error (for example, surname was correct, but name was with some error). Naturally, not a special «evil intention», but the consequence of inattentive proofreading or editing. Of course these not «fatal» errors were corrected by ALAFF.

Here is a curious detail. On October 18, 2016 the West blocked the statement of the UN Security Council for the press with a greeting of the termination of air strikes on Aleppo and the call to divide the «moderate» opposition and Jabhat al-Nusra. The first thing was unprofitable, because it undermined efforts to create the image of Russia which «destroys the peaceful population of Aleppo», and the second thing the West simply could not do.

A separate issue is the «destruction of hospitals«, which, according to various media and «human rights activists,» there were hundreds, if not thousands, in Eastern Aleppo. The first message that the «last hospital» in the captured by militants part of the city was destroyed, appeared on June 10, 2016 [7]. Then similar injections about «last hospitals» appeared with enviable regularity. They did not stop even after a month(!) since the Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces ceased air strikes against Aleppo (we repeat, this happened on October 18, 2016) [8]. The propaganda machine worked «by inertia», reproducing itself and replicating fakes.

ALAFF remark: Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva mentioned that the first message about «last hospital» appeared on June 10, 2016. But it is possible to find even much earlier messages, rumours about the «last hospital«. For example this one, from february(!) 2016:

pic_-_last_hospital_01_[2016-02-03] copy

Then it goes mentioned by Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva news from 10 June, 2016 about the «last hospital«. Khodynskaya-Golenischeva in her book gave a link to this article, but this article is deleted on the site. «Moon of Alabama» gave a link to the article on the Palestinian.com website, but this article is deleted too (wonder why?). The thing is that 99% possibility that we are talking about one same article (the same topic, the same words in both articles («jets bomb last children’s hospital in rebel-held Aleppo«), the same date — 10 June, 2016). It was impossible to restore original article mentioned by Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva in her book, but it was possible to restore the article on Palestinian.com website. And here’s it:

pic_-_last_hospital_00_[2016-06-10] copy

Then it comes a few samples with «last hospital» issue dated of July 2016:

pic_-_last_hospital_02_[2016-07-24] copy

pic_-_last_hospital_03_[2016-07-31] copy

pic_-_last_hospital_04_[2016-07-31] copy

In the next fakes the authors mentioned that there’re a «few still functioning hospitals». Pretty strange, considering all previous news that there’re «no hospitals left»:

pic_-_last_hospital_05_[2016-09-30] copy

pic_-_last_hospital_06_[2016-10-01] copy

Then again we discover that there’re «no hospitals left». I remind once again, moratorium on the combat use of aviation in Aleppo started from 18 october 2016, and neither Russian Aerospace Forces nor the Syrian Air Forces were not used. So the following few samples (though it is just the tip of the iceberg) dated of November(!) 2016 a-priori are fakes (btw, Aljazeera mentioned again a «still functioning» hospital):

pic_-_last_hospital_06_[2016-11-19] copy

pic_-_last_hospital_07_[2016-11-21] copy

pic_-_last_hospital_08_[2016-11-28] copy

And this one is like a cherry on the cake. A cheap fake about the «last hospital» dated of 16 December(!!), 2016 — two months(!!) left after moratorium on the combat use of aviation in Aleppo started from 18 october 2016 and no aviation were used, the city is already entirely liberated (it happened on 15 December, 2016), but propaganda machine is still spreading fakes about the «last hospital». A nice one:

pic_-_last_hospital_09_[2016-12-16] copy

And a few «last hospital» compilations found in Internet:

aleppo_last_hospital_C0QhgJNUkAAuUqs

aleppo_last_hospital_Cz89glvVIAAYUTN

Unfortunately, UN’s humanitarian agencies and officials took part in this campaign. For example, in the report of the UN Secretary-General on the humanitarian situation in Syria of October 18, 2016 (let’s note «on the margin» that the final editing of such documents is carried out personally by the Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs S. O’Brien) it was stated that «there were at least two strikes at each hospital in the eastern part of Aleppo, which indicates the intentional nature of some of these attacks» [9]. S. O’Brien, whose employees have never been to East Aleppo (for reasons of security the UN staff is not sent to areas where intense fighting is taking place), did not even bother to check the authenticity of this information having all the signs of grotesque, drawing an apocalyptic picture: bloodthirsty Russian and Syrian aircraft «rush» in the sky over Eastern Aleppo solely to bomb the next hospital. The UN Secretariat could not stay aside, initiating the Secretary-General’s statement that the use of «incendiary ammunition and anti-bunker bombs» in Aleppo (traditionally no evidence was provided) could be qualified as a war crime [10].

Those who directed this information «wave» were quite succeeded to draw into this «wave» the UN, whose leadership consisted entirely of Westerners. The same S. O’Brien in the report of the UN Secretary-General on the humanitarian situation in Syria affirmed that «mostly people are killed as a result of air strikes» and that «the international community can not leave Aleppo to the mercy of fate like Srebrenica and Rwanda» (obvious parallel with genocide can be seen) [11]. As if terrorists did not boss the show in the eastern neighborhoods of the city, and the government waged war with its own population.

pic_-_doc_S-2016-873


Excerpt from the UN Document S/2016/873.

The goal is clear, and S. O’Brien, in fact, opened it in the phrase: «I urge the Syrian and Russian armed forces to immediately cease all air bombardment» [12]. So, in fact it was a question of unveiled execution by the UN’s humanitarian staff of a high level of instructions from their capitals (in the case of S. O’Brien, read, London and Washington) — to seek from the United Nations’ «angle» a suspension or, even better, a complete cessation of the operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces for the elimination of terrorists in Eastern Aleppo, appealing to the need to comply with international humanitarian law and human rights standards. In favor of this thesis is evidenced by the eloquent silence of the mass media, human rights activists and Western politicians about the Mosul, where the aircraft of the US-led coalition also bombed terrorists, but no one had any concern about the humanitarian and human rights «aspect» of the operation.

With the submission of S. O’Brien, UN humanitarian workers with perseverance worthy of a better use demanded that the Russian side obtain permission from Damascus to import surgical accessories to Eastern Aleppo. Russian diplomats did not receive a response when they asked about who will carry out surgical operations if there is no a single intact hospital left in the city (this is exactly what the West has declared, and from West’s submission — the UN too). In fact medical equipment was necessary for treatment and return of wounded militants to service. To this end, the territories controlled by the armed groups was specially visited by employees of various «humanitarian» NGOs working in Syria illegally and cooperating with the special services of the countries-adherents of the overthrow of the B. Assad’s regime (the author writes about it not for a witticism, but on the basis of the available evidence, including reports on such contacts, usually held in the Turkish Gaziantep).

Even the World Health Organization (WHO), known for its neutrality, has expressed itself on the topic of «hospitals» being under the powerful pressure of Westerners. Thus, on November 20, 2016 WHO made a statement in which it noted that as a result of the indiscriminate attacks on hospitals in Aleppo — a city with 250,000 people — there were no medical facilities left [13]. When Russian diplomats in Geneva tried to find out from the WHO staff where they get such information if they do not have a presence «on the ground», there was no intelligible answer. However, despite this incident, it is nevertheless worth paying a tribute to WHO — on the whole this organization has shown itself as a responsible structure, trying to stay away from political intrigues.

Here we must note that in addition to traditional sources of information, which were mainly located in abroad, one organization still did work inside the country, supplying data «from the fields» for Western media. These are the so-called «White Helmets» («Syrian Civil Defense Station»). The structure deserves a special attention. «White Helmets» is a pro-Turkish NGO. It was established in March 2013 in Turkey. Originally it was headed by British security and intelligence specialist James Le Mesurier, although later the official founder was named Syrian oppositionist R. Saleh. Its activities are coordinated by the so-called «Syrian Company» — a British NGO, seeking to exclude the Syrian government from the decisions chain to conduct humanitarian operations on the territory of the country [14]. Funding is provided for grants from the US, UK, and Denmark. The emigrant «National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces«, as well as the United States Agency for International Development allocate funds (only in 2015 it transferred to «White Helmets» 16 million dollars, and this, according to some sources, half of the organization’s budget). The United Kingdom has financed this structure for 32 million pounds sterling since 2013, of which 12.5 million was allocated in 2016.

«White Helmets» position themselves as an organization that saves wounded people from under the rubble. However, as the history of the Syrian conflict has shown, in fact it is engaged in documenting the «crimes» of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic. According to some experts, members of the organization undergo special training under the guidance of British instructors in Turkish territory. «White Helmets» interact with the headquarters of armed groups located in Turkey, as well as with persons in Syria accused of terrorism. The NGO provides logistical and material support to a number of terrorist organizations and members of the families of militants. Some sources affirm that «White Helmets» volunteers are involved in the executions of supporters of the Syrian authorities on the territories controlled by terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra [15]. It is characteristic that the headquarters of the «White Helmets» based not somewhere, but in Idlib — the capital of Jabhat al-Nusra. The organization worked only in the captured by militants quarters of eastern Aleppo, and now — in Idlib [16]. «White Helmets» were not interested in saving people from under the rubble in areas controlled by the Government (they were subjected to daily shelling from the eastern part of the city).

At the same time, the «White Helmets» were actively supported by Western leaders. The head of the organization R. Saleh and the head of the opposition «local council» of Eastern Aleppo H. Brito, for example, were awarded a reception at the highest level in Paris on October 19, 2016 (they met with French President F. Hollande and Foreign Minister J.-M. Ayrault).

French President Francois Hollande attends a meeting with Raed Saleh, President of Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets and a delegation from Syria at the Elysee Palace in Paris


R. Saleh and H. Brito met with F. Hollande and J.-M. Ayrault, October 19, 2016, Paris.

The former head of British diplomacy, P. Hammond, after a meeting with representatives of the «White Helmets» in Adana (Turkey), accused Russia that it is purposefully hitting those who extract the wounded people from the wreckage. Allegedly Russian military aircraft, striked the hospital or school, go into the second round and carry out bombing of volunteers heroically saving people from under the rubble [17]. It is clear that the «White Helmets» not accidentally enjoyed such generous political and financial support from abroad. They served as a powerful propaganda tool. By the way, after the attack on the humanitarian convoy in Urum al-Kubra on September 19, 2016 (then the humanitarian column of the Syrian Red Crescent Society was destroyed), it was exactly the representative of the «White Helmets», «accidentally» passing by at that time in a white helmet and in full equipment, who acted as the first «witness» of the tragedy and gave the videocamera evidence that, he says, it was exactly the air strike. «White Helmets» also actively helped the Westerners and at a certain stage the Turks to promote the project for the introduction of a «no-fly zone» over the Syrian sky.

«White Helmets» completely discredited themselves when a staged video appeared in the Internet in which «humanitarian workers» stage a rescue of a human from under the ruins of a building. «The victim of an air strike» — a young man — was bloodied, covered with dust and moaning. However, they forgot to turn off the camera, and after the end of the staging both the «rescuers» and the «victim» began to talk and laugh [18] (in February 2017, the movie about the «White Helmets» received an Oscar for Best Short Film… As the saying is, no comments).

NGO «White Helmets» is just one of the sources of fabricated information about the situation in Aleppo and «on the ground» in general. During the Syrian crisis, the West and some countries in the region, including the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, created a whole network of various so-called «statistical» and «human rights» offices which regularly supplied the Western media and politicians with false information «from the fields» — naturally with a sharp anti-Russian and anti-government bias. These are: «Syrian Network for Human Rights» (Doha), «Syrian Observatory For Human Rights» (London), «Physicians for Human Rights» (New York, Boston, Washington), «Syrian Human Rights Committee» (London). Evidently, all these structures were located outside Syria, in countries that sought to overthrow the regime of B. Assad. It is not difficult to guess which agenda these offices served.

How did the international community react to the liberation of Aleppo from the terrorists? Did «human rights fighters» and «activists» pay attention to the fact that it was possible to purge the city of jihadists without bloody assault and street fighting — as it was, for example, in Iraq’s Fallujah, which in 2016 was liberated quarter by quarter for more than a month?

ALAFF remark: It is worth to remind that the uniqueness of the operation for the liberation of Aleppo consisted of several very important points:

  • Creation of a whole series of humanitarian corridors for civilians to leave areas captured by militants (precisely in order to minimize damage and avoid unnecessary casualties among civilians). Russian Defence Minister announced the creation of humanitarian corridors on July 28, 2016;
  • Detailed instructions for the population on leaving the city through humanitarian corridors (repeatedly dropped from helicopters);
  • Use of videocameras (UAV drones) to monitor the situation, and online(!) broadcasts of the process of exit of civilians (and militants) through humanitarian corridors to provide maximum transparency;
  • Joint special operations (in case if translator is not working — a screenshot) conducted by the Syrian army and Russian military advisers on the withdrawal of civilians from territories controlled by terrorists (for example, this one: videotext);
  • Prompt delivery of humanitarian aid to the newly vacated territories (as of December 2017, the total weight of delivered humanitarian aid was more than 2,300 tons);
  • An agreement with the militants to stop the shootings and taking out them (along with their families) on buses to the province of Idlib;
  • The announcement by the B. Assad authorities of the amnesty to militants who agreed to lay down their arms and return to peaceful life;
  • The Russian side deployed mobile medical hospitals in the liberated territories to help the affected civilian population (+ few more examples: here, here, here, here, here, here…). Russian doctors, risking their lives, worked for free, providing assistance to thousands of citizens (as of December 2017, more than 66,5 thousand citizens have been provided with medical care);
  • Many Syrian children, affected by the Syrian conflict, were taken to Russia for treatment (naturally, for free);
  • Large-scale demining (+ here, here, here) by Russian sappers of the liberated territory — again, to avoid possible casualties from civilians (demining was carried out not only in Aleppo, but also in other cities of the country — Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor and others);
  • It is necessary to note a tremendous work of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties. Thanks to the efforts of the Russian military, more than 2,300 settlements (as of December, 2017) joined the armistice (in case if there was no such Center, all these — or at least most of them —  settlements most likely would be involved in the war);
  • Regular briefings of the Russian Ministry of Defense for the press with detailed reports — concrete numerals, photos, videos, maps, statistics etc.
  • Russian Ministry of Defense showed maximum openness and transparency, and repeatedly brought foreign press (and domestic too, of course) to Syria, gave journalists the opportunity to see everything with their own eyes, while providing security and access to the necessary places. The amount of work with the foreign/domestic press really amaze: one (22 October, 2015); two (11 November, 2015); three (16 December, 2015); four (18 December, 2015); five (20 January, 2016); six (21 January, 2016); seven (22 January, 2016); eight (7 April, 2016); nine (8 April, 2016); ten (4 May, 2016); eleven (5 May, 2016); twelve (13 September, 2017)…
  • The famous concert in Palmyra. In its significance and symbolism, it was akin to the legendary military parade in Moscow on 7 November, 1941. The concert in Palmyra showed motivation, persistence, confidence in victory, strength of spirit and will. It was one of a kind humanitarian, humanistic action.
  • Not directly related to the settlement of the conflict, but not less important — the unique 3D model of the city of Palmyra, created by Russian scientists and free-donated to Syrian scientists. It is rather difficult to imagine that a «bloody aggressor» (as Western media and politicians portrayed Russia) who only dreamed of destroying another «last hospital«, would worry and spend its time, energy and resources on creating such a 3D-model, and then give it to the injured party for free.

Considering all this, just compare it with «liberation» of Mosul by US-led coalition. Any humanitarian corridors to save citizens? No. Hundreds tons of humanitarian aid? No. American or European physicians and medical care for citizens «in the field»? No. Online monitoring (available for international society) of the situation in Mosul? No. Amnesty or any other agreements with militants in order to prevent civilian casualties? No… Although, the «agreements» were indeed — the US-led coalition has repeatedly allowed terrorists to freely leave Iraq and go to Syria for battles with the Syrian army. And what about work with press — does the coalition invited foreign journalists to cover its work at least once? No — what the coalition showed is just total information blockade (this means they really had something to hide). Or maybe some Syrian children were transported in USA or in European capitals for treatment? No. And there’s even no need to talk about large-scale demining in Mosul or theoretically possible «American Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties» which could be very useful in Iraq…

To begin with, on the eve and during the evacuation of militants and civilians from Aleppo, a powerful information injection was organized by the UN, aimed at discrediting the operation through its criticism in the human rights field.

Thus, on December 13, 2016, now the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted a statement in which he condemned the line of the government of Syria and its allies to capture Aleppo. Terminology is of particular importance. In the same statement, the UN Secretary-General also talked about Mosul and Raqqa. One phrase deserves a special attention. Discoursing that the Syrian crisis still «will not end — whatever happens on the battlefield in the coming days» (a sort of UN’s «advice» to Syria and Russia to stop the fight against terrorists in Aleppo), the Secretary-General draws a parallel — just as ISIS and its ideology will not be completely defeated when Mosul and Raqqa will be finally liberated (thus, the legitimacy of attempts to eject ISIS from Mosul was not put in question) [19]. However, «to stop the slaughter» the Secretary-General demanded exactly in Aleppo, and not in Mosul. And only with reference to Aleppo he reasoned that civilians were the victims of the bombings of the «unprecedented level» (looks like the UN Secretary-General has forgotten that a moratorium on the combat use of aviation in Aleppo was effective since October 18, 2016), as well as «extrajudicial executions carried out by pro-government forces». On the same day, the Secretary-General spoke separately about «atrocities against a large number of civilians, including women and children» in Aleppo. Responsible for violations of international humanitarian law Ban Ki-moon «appointed» the government of Syria and its allies (read — Russia and Iran) [20], although the rules of IHL must be fulfilled by all parties of the conflict.

By the way, there were no the UN staff «on the ground» who could provide the Secretary-General with relevant data, and Ban Ki-moon was satisfied with the reports of local pseudo-humanrightsfighters and pseudo-activists, kindly giving them the UN «shield». This is confirmed by the fact that the «collection of evidence» about the «crimes» of the government and its allies in Aleppo was carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) — the most odious and engaged UN organization, which in fact undisguisedly, in alliance with Western «human rights» NGOs serving the foreign policy interests of Western countries. It was OHCHR who, from the submission of the anti-Asiad states, began to promote the theme of «executions», which allegedly carried out by pro-government forces in Aleppo during raids on houses. Failed human rights fighters lamented that «activists» are leave the records with their last words and wishes on the Internet (which, by the way, at that time did not work in East Aleppo) [21] (indeed, there were many such «words and wishes» in Twitter and Facebook, written in English [22]).

The topic was traditionally picked up by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights himself, who on December 14, 2016 emotionally complained about the «massive bombardments carried out by the Syrian government and its allies in Aleppo», which can be equated with war crimes [23]. But the main «human rights defender» of the United Nations did not say a single word about militants who fired the humanitarian corridors, executed dissidents and generally terrorized the local population [24].

And finally, the Independent Commission of Inquiry — also the UN «human rights» institution, which collected information on human rights violations in Syria (usually in favor of the opposition and its sponsors). It was established in August 2011 by a decision of the UN Human Rights Council, where at that time the dominance of the anti-Asad camp was clearly seen [25]. The commission also accused pro-government forces of committing «numerous violations, including mass executions, arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, kidnapping, disappearances and forced recruitment in army» [26]. The commission did not find similar crimes by militants. Experts also condemned the «ruinous» bombing of Aleppo, again forgetting that since October 18, a moratorium on the combat use of aviation was introduced in Aleppo.

Even after the liberation of the city, attacks and attempts to discredit Russia’s actions in East Aleppo were continued with the help of various NGOs and international structures. Thus, in February 2017, «human rights fighters» from Human Rights Watch published material criticizing Moscow for allegedly refusing to investigate «deliberate air strikes» which killed at least 141 people [27] (no evidence other than the data of some «eyewitnesses» and volunteers from the notorious «White Helmets» as usual was not provided).

Inertial thinking continued after D. Trump won the presidential elections in the United States. An example is a custom scientific propaganda of the analytical center «Atlantic Council«, which in February 2017 — two months after the liberation of the city — released a report «Breaking Aleppo» on the need to punish Russia for its actions in Aleppo [28]. It is clear that the publication of the report was an attempt to influence the new American administration, to convince it that it must not cooperate with Moscow. However, the fact that the opponents of establishing interaction between the United States and Russia took the Aleppo’s plot as the basis, is very typical. It is curious that «the Atlantic Council» did not find «alternative sources of information», and, in the words of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the document was based on the annual reports on the spent budgets of «downed pilots», its authors: Bellingcat, «Aleppo Media Center«, «Syrian-American Medical Society«, «White Helmets» and others. That is, those «activists», «human rights fighters» and «volunteers» whom the Russian officers of the Center for Reconciliation were taken out on buses from Eastern Aleppo and released them out of harm’s way — to Idlib, to al-Nusra [29].

It is clear that such a powerful information «volley» on the part of various international structures that the Western philistine was accustomed to trust, flavored with anti-Russian and anti-Syrian campaign in the media and «human rights community», impressed the unsophisticated reader and spectator. As for the United Nations, only those who were in direct contact with the intra-UN «kitchen», who knew the cadre of the secretariat and the nationality of the personnel, who had an idea of what instructions were given at internal meetings by UN chiefs (most of whom are representatives of Western countries), could know how this system actually works, and especially its humanitarian and human rights segments, how clearly and well-regulated they serve the agendas of the respective states.

But the truth still became known. But became later, when the propagandistic flurry around this or that plot subsided, when a certain «hot topic» was worked off and all about it was forgotten.

Thus, for example, it is indicative case when after the liberation of East Aleppo, warehouses with medicines and medical supplies, including equipment for hemodialysis, were found. On some boxes the marking of the «Syrian-American Medical Society» was visible. These reserves would be enough for many months. However, they did not reach the local population. At the same time, militants, activists of «local councils» and people close to them did not refuse anything to themselves.

And now it is enough to recall that October, November and December 2016 actually passed under the sign of a hysterical Western and UN campaign under the provisional title «Eastern Aleppo urgently needs medicines and medical evacuation». The countries of the West, and from their submission the UN too, literally beat the alarm, demanding that Russia urgently stop the counter-terrorist operation in a city with no medicines left, to deliver medicines there (this will be discussed next).

The UN staff prepared a report in which the fact of finding a large number of medicines in East Aleppo was recorded. However, the UN staff of middle-level did not dare to inform the head of the World Health Organization M. Chan about the contents of this document. Eventually, M. Chan was surprised to learn that Eastern Aleppo is not experiencing a deficit in medicines from «extraneous» people.

Also, the truth has become known about the crimes the militants committed in the areas of Eastern Aleppo they captured. Thus, for example, the report of the UN Secretary-General on the humanitarian situation in Syria of January 20, 2017 confirmed: armed groups took active measures to prevent civilians from leaving the areas that they managed to capture: in the area of Bustan al-Qasr opened fire on people who were trying to move to the government-controlled area of Masharik, kidnapped or killed civilians if they asked militants to leave [30].

Some Western politicians were able to make certain themselves in the mendacity of Western media and politicians who for many months claimed that the city was completely destroyed, and that its population was exterminated by the regime and Russian aviation. For example, the French deputies led by N. Dhuicq, who visited Aleppo in January 2017. According to their testimonies (ALAFF remarkif there’s no translation and the result is 404, refresh till it will be OK), in reality there were 15-20% of the city in ruins, another 10-15% were severely damaged. About 60% of the buildings practically were not damaged. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in Aleppo, 35-40 thousand people died — a terrifying numeral. But this is not more than 2% of the pre-war population of the city. In the western part of the city, as a result of shelling by militants, over 18000 people were killed, whom the Western media «forgot about».

pic_-_french_deputy_aleppo


Excerpt from the interview with french deputy T. Mariani after his visit to Syria in January 2017 (original article with full interview is here, in Russian).

But all this data was published only after some time, after the interest in distributing of these stories disappeared. Neither report on the warehouses with medicines found in the city, nor the facts in the report of the UN Secretary-General on the crimes of militants got no publicity, the information contained in these facts did not attract the attention of the Western media and human rights activists, this information were not represented on the pages of newspapers and in the reportages of the leading western television channels.

ALAFF remark: It is worth noting that all of this information (warehouses with medicines that militants left in Aleppo; huge stocks of weapons of foreign production (including American and European) that militants left after leaving the city; stories of locals about what actually was happening in the areas of the city captured by militants; numerous evidence of the crimes committed by terrorists… and much more) was covered by Russian television, including the main federal TV channels. This is concerning the question of the reliability and objectivity of information…

Thus, the war in Syria and, in particular, in Aleppo was not only «on the ground». The real struggle was waged for the minds and souls of people. Through tamed human rights fighters and controlled UN staff the anti-Assad camp literally created an alternative reality in Eastern Aleppo, trying to promote absolutely distorted, deceitful information about the situation in the city, completely forgetting the rights of tens of thousands of citizens caught in the radicals’ hostages.

This pursued a dual task. First, to justify its own policy of supporting militants led by Jabhat al-Nusra through promoting the image of the «bloody regime of B. Assad and its supporter Moscow, who kill civilians». Secondly, to reinforce the line of restraining Russia, preventing our country from pursuing an independent foreign policy, which would express, in particular, in convincing victories over terrorism. The already achieved success of the Syrian army and the Russian Aerospace Forces in fighting against jihadists had to be smoothed out, having presented a counter-terrorist campaign in Eastern Aleppo as a «brutal massacre» but not liberation.

On how effective was the campaign to blacken Russia’s policy in the region and to discredit our actions in the fight against terrorism, the statement of the Financial Times analysts indicates: «As a result of success in Syria… Russia sends a signal that it returned to the region as a fully fledged player» [31]. In other words, the dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.


[1] Transcript of the Press-Conference by UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, and UN Senior Adviser, Mr. Jan Egeland, Geneva, 6 October 2016
// https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/note-correspondents/2016-10-06/note-correspondents-transcript-press-conference-un-special

[2] U.S. Department of State. Daily Press Briefing. October 18, 2016 // https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/10/263258.htm

[3] The Agony of Aleppo // The Economist. 2016. 1 October.

https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21707937-americas-ceasefire-deal-russia-never-stood-chance-agony-aleppo

[4] Gladstone R. The Children of Aleppo are Trapped in Killzone / R. Gladstone // The New York Times. 2016. 29 September

www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/world/middleeast/syria-aleppo-children.html

[5] De Young K. United Nations: Aleppo Faces Widespread Starvation Without Humanitarian Aid / K. De Young // Washington Post. 2016. 10 November

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/united-nations-aleppo-faces-widespread-starvation-without-humanitarian-aid/2016/11/10/883b2d28-a77a-11e6-ba59-a7d93165c6d4_story.html?utm_term=.591a58137cf5

[6] Lema L. Les Defenses d’Alep-Est s’effrondrent / L. Lema // Le Temps. 2016. 28 Novembre

https://www.letemps.ch/monde/2016/11/28/defenses-dalepest-seffondrent

[7] Newborns Evacuated From Incubators as Jets Bomb Last Hospital in rebel-held Aleppo. 10 June 2016 // http://breakingnewslive.net/news/newborns-evacuated-from-incubators-as-jets-bomb-last-hospital-in-rebel-held-aleppo?uid=28476

The article is deleted from the site!
The analoguehttp://www.palestine.com/2016/06/jets-bomb-last-childrens-hospital-in-rebel-held-aleppo/
But this one is deleted too. Check out restored version here.

[8] In Oct, the Last Remaining Hospital in Aleppo Was Bombed Beyond Repair. These 3 Chicago Doctors Spent Time There. 17 November 2016 //
https://mobile.twitter.com/guardian/status/800037061126406144

[9] Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014) and 2258 (2015). 18 October 2016. UN Document S/2016/873-P.1.

http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/873

(or search for the Document S/2016/873 here)

[10] Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secrtary-General. New York. 24 September 2016 // https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2016-09-24/statement-attributable-spokesman-secretary-general-aleppo

[11] Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014) and 2258 (2015). 18 October
2016. UN Document S/2016/873-P.19.

see note#9 — http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/873

[12] Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014) and 2258 (2015). 18 October
2016. UN Document S/2016/873-P.19.

see note #9 — http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/873

[13] Eastern Aleppo Without Any Hospital for More Than 250.000 Residents. 20 November 2016 // http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/aleppo-without-hospitals-syria/en/

[14] Taking Sides: The United Nations’ Loss of Impartiality, Independence And Neutrality in Syria / The Syria Campaign. 14 June 2016 (14.61 490 (E) 021014)
// http://takingsides.thesyriacampaign.org/

[15] Anderson T. Syrian Women Denounce USAID Funded «White Helmets» in Syria / T. Anderson // Global Research. 2016. June 9.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/syrian-women-denounce-usaid-funded-white-helmets-in-syria/5529985

[16] Beeley V. «White Helmets»: New Breed of Mercenaries and Propagandists, Disguised as «Humanitarians» in Syria / V. Beeley // Global Research. 2015. September 2.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/white-helmets-new-breed-of-mercenaries-and-propagandists-disguised-as-humanitarians-in-syria/5473381

[17] Wintour P. Russia Accused of Deliberately Targeting Civilians in Syria / Wintour P. // The Guardian. 2016. 15 January.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/15/russia-accused-of-breaching-norms-of-war-by-targeting-civilians-in-syria

[18] Fake News Alert: CNN Finally Admits «White Helmets» Staged Fake Video. 27 November 2016 // http://www.globalresearch.ca/fake-news-alert-cnn-finally-admits-white-helmets-staged-fake-video/5559164

[19] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in Aleppo. New York, 13 December 2016 // http://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2016-12-13/secretary-generals-briefing-security-council-situation-aleppo-syria

[20] Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in Aleppo. New York, 13 December 2016 //
http://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2016-12-13/secretary-generals-briefing-security-council-situation-aleppo-syria

[21] The letter of OHCHR dated December 12, 2016 addressed to the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Syria S. de Mistura, sent to the Permanent Mission of Russia to the United Nations in Geneva.

[22] Peopleare sending their final goodbyes from within Aleppo // http://mobile.twitter.com/i/moments/808393997353816065

[23] Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zaid Ra’ad al Hussein, Geneva, 14 December 2016 //
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21035&LangID=E

[24] The implementation of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2258 (2015) и 2332 (2016). Report of the Secretary General. The document of the UN Security Council. January 20, 2017. S/2017/58 P. 14.

http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2017/58

(or search for the Document S/2017/58 here)

[25] Situation of Human Rights in the Syrian Arab Republic. Resolution Adopted by the Human Rights Council at its Seventeenth Special Session. 22 August 2011
// UN documents S-17/1

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/CoISyria/ResS17_1.pdf
http://lib.ohchr.org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?sourcedoc=%2FSPdocs%2FCountries%2FSY%2FA-HRC-S-17-2%2Edoc&action=view

[26] Statement by the Independent International Comission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic on the Situation of Civilians Affected by the Capture of
Aleppo. 14 December 2016 // http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21031&LangID=E

[27] Russia: Broken Promises for Investigations. February 19, 2016 / Human Rights Watch. 19 February 2017 // https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/02/19/russia-broken-promises-investigations

[28] Breaking Aleppo. Atlantic Council Publications. February 2017 // http://www.publications.atlanticcouncil.org/breakingaleppo/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/BreakingAleppo.pdf

[29] The Ministry of Defense: the accusations of the Russian Federation in the report of the «Atlantic Council» on Aleppo have long been refuted. February 14, 2017 // http://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/4021540

(english version here)

[30] The implementation of Security Council resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2258 (2015) и 2332 (2016). Report of the Secretary General. The document of the UN Security Council. January 20, 2017. S/2017/58 P. 14.

see note #24 — http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2017/58

[31] Hille K., Solomon E., Saleh H. Russia’s Regional Influence Grows With Syria’s Success/ K. Hille, E. Solomon, H. Saleh // Financial Times. 2017. 19
January.

https://www.ft.com/content/c131d7c2-dda7-11e6-9d7c-be108f1c1dce

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