22 May 201912:11

Misinformation in US media regarding Idlib, Syria

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On May 6, 2019, The Washington Post published an article titled “Escalating Syrian and Russian airstrikes in rebel-held Idlib stoke fears of a final showdown,” accusing the Russian and Syrian military of intentionally targeting with airstrikes “hospitals and other civilian infrastructure” in Idlib Province, Syria. The authors try to shock their readers, suggesting that a humanitarian disaster is inevitable and pointing to the massive outflow of civilians from the area of the alleged hostilities. The article contains unsupported claims that about 200,000 people fled to the north of Idlib, where the situation is relatively calm.

It is telling that apart from the usual technique of citing anonymous sources, which has become all too common for Western propaganda, this article went further by omitting some facts. Its authors from The Washington Post did not say a word about what actually caused all this distress in the Idlib Province, a region that is ruled by international terrorists, recognised as such by the UN Security Council as well as US national law. This relates primarily to the successors of Jabhat al-Nusra from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Its fighters have not joined the ceasefire that was established under the Astana agreements, regularly shelling communities across the perimeter of the de-escalation zone, including residential neighbourhoods of Aleppo, causing multiple civilian casualties, and attacking Syrian army checkpoints. The terrorists have used drones and multiple rocket launchers on numerous occasions to target Russian military sites in Khmeimim. However, Washington prefers to turn a blind eye to these embarrassing facts that are left out of the “journalist investigation.” The same applies to the statements made by the Russian and Syrian military, which firmly refute the accusations of damaging civilian infrastructure in retaliatory action to eliminate the terrorists who have crossed all possible lines.

It can be argued that the misinformation campaign we are currently witnessing has been initiated by the US government. As a matter of fact, keeping the so-called Idlib enclave intact would benefit Washington. The goal is quite obvious: to tie up a substantial part of government troops along the perimeter of the Idlib de-escalation zone and prevent Damascus from restoring control over the entire territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. The United States is trying to artificially slow down the elimination of international terrorists in Syria, prolong the armed confrontation and put the brakes on the settlement and normalisation processes. In doing so, the US gets a pretext for maintaining its own military presence in the country, preventing the legitimate Syrian government from accessing the rich natural resources on the other side of the Euphrates and creating obstacles for the free movement of people and goods along the international road linking Damascus and Baghdad, since it goes through the US-occupied Al-Tanf region.



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