Skip to Content

Syrian children; Tulsi Gabbard

‘It’s a war between terrorists and the Syrian government’

In a second report from Aleppo by Turkish journalist Fehim Tastekin, more doubts about the truthfulness of Western coverage in the Syrian war have emerged.

Published: January 26, 2017, 10:38 am

    Read more

    Tastekin’s latest findings were revealed in Al Monitor. His report on Aleppo since the end of the fighting contrast sharply with Jeremy Bowen’s disappointing coverage on the BBC.

    Based on interviews Tastekin has contradicted Western claims that the Syrian conflict is a “religious civil war” pitting President Assad’s Alawite regime against Syria’s Sunni majority.

    Contrary to the BBC’s reports, Syria is not divided. Analyst Alexander Mercouris says that despite sectarian campaigns and clashes by jihadis financed with money they received from the Gulf, Syrians did not split along sectarian lines. “There was no sectarian divide between the Syrian army and the people, as some said. When you carefully observe the internal dynamics, you can see it was not a war between Alawites and Sunnis or Christians and Muslims.”

    Only in Homs, where short-lived sectarian divides visible, but have since dissappeared.

    In Aleppo, Sunni religious figures were killed because they were against the army rising up to overthrow president Assad.

    Sunni’s were constantly under threat for not joining the war, Tastekin’s reporting has uncovered. “The most annoying question you can ask soldiers on the Aleppo front is whether they are Sunni or Alawite. Nothing angers Syrians as much as this question.”

    “My own experience in dealing with many Syrians is that the fact the country’s leader – whether Hafez Al-Assad or his son Bashar – was from an Alawite family was always of much more interest to outsiders than it was to Syrians themselves,” Mercouris notes about the second report.

    Over the course of the war President Bashar Al-Assad has grown considerably more popular, as Syrians have rallied behind the strong leadership he has given, Tastekin has revealed.

    There is currently no serious debate on Assad’s presidency and his legitimacy. Only the foreign-supported opposition hold Assad responsible for the bloodshed, while those identified as legitimate internal opposition see Assad as the guarantor of the country’s integrity.

    Tastekin notes the respect and gratitude towards Russia and Hezbollah, but considerable suspicion of Syria’s other ally Iran, which most deem to have an interventionist attitude.

    Many Syrians prefer an alliance with Russia because they believe Moscow is not interfering in their domestic affairs. Moreover, Al-Monitor was told that Iranians’ overbearing, arrogant attitude especially annoys the Syrian army.

    But Iranian-funded Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is as popular in Syria as is Assad. In Damascus, Homs and elsewhere — even in Aleppo, with its prominent Sunni identity — Nasrallah’s posters are displayed everywhere, and affection for him among Christians is obvious.

    Street vendors sell lapel pins, cigarette lighters and wallets with photos of Assad and Nasrallah, Tastekon says.

    As Tastekin suggests, Russia intervened in Syria in order to save the country from being overrun by Jihadi terrorists, whereas for Iran Syria might only be a pawn in its greater geopolitical play.

    Meanwhile Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called on the US to put an end to the “illegal war” she believes it wages in Syria after visiting Damascus and Aleppo, RT reported.

    During her trip, she spoke with civilians, religious leaders, opposition leaders, and President Assad.

    Gabbard described her privately-funded seven-day trip to Lebanon and Syria as a “fact-finding mission” to learn the truth about the war by speaking directly to the Syrian people.

    She met with a number of religious leaders, including The Grand Mufti of Syria as well as the head of the Syrian Catholic Church of Aleppo.

    Gabbard also met with several leaders of the Syrian opposition who spearheaded anti-government protests in 2011. She says some of them believe that the originally peaceful uprising was hijacked by jihadists “funded and supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, the United States.”

    Contrary to the official US narrative that terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front could be “separated” from the moderate opposition which fights by their side, Gabbard said that the Syrian people she talked with do not distinguish between the various militant groups.

    “Their message to the American people was powerful and consistent: There is no difference between ‘moderate’ rebels and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra) or ISIS — they are all the same,” Gabbard said, describing the essence of the Syrian conflict as “a war between terrorists under the command of groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Syrian government.”

    The itinerary was kept secret until Gabbard’s return to the US for security reasons.

     

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Middle East

    Mass protest against US presence rocks Baghdad

    BaghdadThe Iraqi capital city of Baghdad was rocked by mass protests on Friday, as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched against the presence of American troops in the country.

    Manipulated OPCW report on Douma exposed in UNSC testimony

    New YorkOn November 23, WikiLeaks published information from an OPCW employee, a member of its fact finding mission to Douma, Syria, expressing “his gravest concern over intentional bias introduced to a redacted version of the report he co-authored”.

    Trump could face ‘strong’ war-crimes case over Soleimani’s murder

    Iran has indicated that it will pursue war-crimes charges against President Donald Trump at the International Criminal Court in the Hague over this month's assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

    US lured Soleimani into Irak ‘to discuss peace’ — regional media

    On January 3, the United States killed Iran's most important commander, Qassem Soleimani. According to Kuwaiti media, which cite Iraq's prime minister as a source, Soleimani was invited by the prime minister at the request of the United States to mediate with Iran. When Soleimani left Baghdad's airport, he was bombed by a US drone along with the entire receiving Iraqi delegation. The United States then announced that it would stop fighting the Islamic State and focus instead on the forces with which it had been allied in the fight against IS. Iraq's parliament has voted to expel the US from Iraq, something the US refuses to obey.

    Christians in Syria mourn the death of Iranian general

    AleppoThe US "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran has surprised at least one blogger, an American analyst who is knowledgeable about the Middle East and speaks Arabic fluently.

    Iraqi parliament votes to eject all foreign troops from its soil

    Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has publicly declared that he can no longer guarantee the security of foreign troops on Iraqi soil. It is therefore likely that foreign troops will leave soon.

    Washington fails to convince allies of its latest scheme in Syria

    WashingtonAt the high-level State Department meeting in Washington this week, diplomats from 35 nations and international organisations expressed confusion over the Trump administration’s policy in northeast Syria.

    Lebanon faces a ‘crisis of the system’

    BeirutLebanon is currently being shaken by public mass protests against the government. Lebanese political scientist and author Dr. Jamal Wakim offers an insight exclusively for FreeWestMedia.

    Saudi ground forces destroyed

    The Houthi movement, which has been fighting the Saudi-led military intervention of Yemen since 2015, has carried out a large-scale ambush on the border with southern Saudi Arabia, resulting in massive losses to Riyadh and its allies. Thousands of Saudi-led coalition soldiers were killed, injured and captured. It occurred less than two weeks after the Houthis' devastating air attack on September 14 against two very important oil plants in Saudi Arabia, which at stage halved the oil dictatorship's exports. Western media have chosen to ignore or downplay the historical news.

    Oil wars: Iran responds to British seizure of oil tanker

    When the British military seized an Iranian oil tanker, its Marine commandos came on board the vessel by helicopter. Iran has now demonstrated that it can act on the same operational level as Britain, says a military analyst.

    Go to archive