Report from DamascusJuly 22, 2012
Iyad Khuder – SyriaOnline (Damascus) via nsnbc
Iyad Khuder reports about the results of the recent fighting in Midan, Damascus and about latest developments in the Media War on Syria.
The Situation in Midan, Dmascus
We arrived at Midan and went to the Police center. The police put us in an armored vehicle and committed some soldiers to accompany us. We drove into the heart of a popular area where streets are narrow and houses are traditional (with irregular shapes). The quarter was empty of inhabitants. Soldiers told us that the Syrian army helped them to evacuate the quarter before starting its operation. We saw traces of fights everywhere. Bullet shells were littered on the pavement. We wanted to see bodies of fighters of the so-called FSA (I write “the so-called” because the bodies belonged to non-Syrian nationalities). Answering a question of a journalist, soldiers said that most of the foreign fighters are Libyans, Afghans, Pakistanis and various other Arabic nationalities.
We saw a couple of bodies. One was an Afghani while the other could not be identified. The soldiers told us that there are a lot of weapons, equipments and dead fighters in a near mosque. We tried to reach the mosque but this wasn’t easy because the mosque was surrounded by booby traps. Soldiers were exploding these bombs to free the way toward the mosque, but one journalist decided that this is enough for him and he didn’t want to wait so we returned.
According to my friend who lives in Midan (in the modern area, not in the old town), terrorists took many houses as bases and the inhabitants as hostages. They forced people to demonstrate, killed many who didn’t obey, and took their properties. The FSA rebels terrorized the population.
Syrian TV, in its report from Midan, interviewed a man who was kidnapped by the militants: “They wanted to blackmail me for 2 millions Syrian Pounds (about 27,000 US$), they used to torture me every day until the moment I heard them saying: “Syrian army has come, Syrian army has come!” And it had come indeed and liberated me.” The man guided the Syrian soldiers to another guy who was also kidnapped. They freed him as well, but he was in a terrible situation and was unable to talk, his eyes were blue-red inflated, his hands were also damaged, especially at the wrists; traces of torture were clear to see at his back.
One man, a montage technician at Syrian TV with the name Ali Hassan, who has been kidnapped in Midan is still hidden in one of the remaining rebel pockets.
The Syrian army tried to avoid a military confrontation before entering Midan and offered to the militants through an intermediary free passage if they would leave their arms, but the militants answered that they only would accept to leave from Midan with their weapons. The Syrian army of course absolutely refused this demand. The rebels would now regret not to have taken the offer, if they would be still alive.
About the assassination of top Syrian leaders
According to a Syrian journalist and analyst interviewed at Syria News TV, a man in the Syrian government who was in fact dealing with the American embassy and may be a CIA asset, put a business bag with C4 high explosive material into the office of the meeting of national security on Wednesday, July 18, before leaving the place. This man, who’s identity is known to the Syrian government is now hosted at the American ambassador’s house!
In pursuing the plan that was known to Syrians several months ago, the administrations of NileSat and ArabSat have blocked Addunia TV on July 19. The very next day, Friday July 20, they took another step and launched a fake Syrian TV, a channel with the logo of Syria TV — the official TV broadcaster. This channel is broadcasting national songs. It seems that they want to block Syrian TV soon and then to broadcast the fake channel at the same frequency, so Syrians think they are watching Syria TV. Suddenly they will then broadcast news saying that the “opposition” controlled the headquarter of Syrian TV in Umayyad Square to make Syrians believe that Damascus has been under the rebels control.
As predicted by the Syrian government and published in Syrian media, there has been a plan to start a “psychological war” and a “virtual defeat” through the media. This plan seems to have been started with the “Zero Hour” that media began to talk about few days before the assassination of four Syrian leaders (the Minister of Defense, his deputy, and two others). It has become obvious that this terrorist attack of July 18, 2012 was well prepared and that the Western governments and the petrodollar governments in the Arabic monarchies were all aware of it before it happened, proved by the declarations of their politician (we remember the “catastrophic attack” Miss Clinton threatened with from Tokyo)
This plan consists of:
1) Stopping the transmission of Syrian Channels. Until now, the administrations of both NileSat and ArabSat (which cover the Arabic world) have indeed stopped the transmission of Addunia TV.
2) Creating “Fake copies” of Syrian channels. This phase of the plan has also started now.
3) Spreading false news that Damascus has been fallen and is in the hands of the rebels: This step has also started.
Example: I received a call in the evening from a friend in Italy asking me: “Where are you? I know that the rebels control Syrian TV at Umayad Square and gave the staff 30 minutes to evacuate the building.” I called my colleagues at Syria TV and laughter was their answer.
4) Showing reports of important institutions in Damascus controlled by rebels (including video clips fabricated by filming models of those institutions, constructed in Zubara, Doha. This phase has not been reached yet.
The general situation in Damascus
Security situation: The city of Damascus is completely under government control and the Syrian Army has retaken the neighborhoods of Tadamon, Qaboon, and Midan. There are still several pockets controlled by militants. Those pockets are limited areas in some quarters consisting of a few square kilometers each. Talking about “quarters controlled by militants” is not accurate and the Syrian army is continuing its operations to clean those spots from militants.
The security forces have stormed the Barzeh neighborhood and are searching for armed rebels. Fierce clashes between government forces and rebels are still being reported in the Mazzeh district on the outskirts of the capital. Government forces regained control of Damascus’ Sayyida Zainab district on Saturday after armed rebels, who had come under attack in other parts of city, had moved there and invaded it.
News about militants controlling Umayad Square last Thursday and calling the staff of Syrian TV to evacuate the building is a kind-of fiction and is a rumor in the context of the mentioned plan of psychological war (to block Syrian TV and broadcast fake programs).
Further media lies
As expected and predicted (alerted at Syrian TV many months ago), some media (TV channels and websites) broadcasted a fabricated speech by the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Dr. Bashar Al-Assad.
After an interview with the Russian ambassador in Paris a French TV channel broadcasted the news, that the ambassador said the Syrian president is ready to resign in a “civilian way.” This is also a lie and a violation of the ABC of professionalism and morals of journalism. The Russian ambassador in Paris held a press conference at rfi denying that he said this.
Another big lie in this tsunami of lies against Syria: Many media institutions reported that Miss Asma Al-Assad, wife of the Syrian president, arrived in Moscow. The Russian Ministry of foreign affairs denied the news and the Syrian TV commented that it is an immoral lie, given that Miss Asma is giving consolation to the president’s family and has no time to waste tracking such rumors.
Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian freelance political cartoonist. His works deal with globalization, capitalism, US military interventions, and especially conflicts in the Arab world. Here is his take on the Syrian war: