The Syrian people are suffering under the ‘moderate rebels’ and ‘opposition forces’ backed by the US, NATO member states and their allies in the Gulf states and Israel. Yet their suffering is largely ignored in the mainstream media unless it furthers the agenda dictated by the State Department.
This article is the first in a two-part series of one Western journalist’s journey to Aleppo, a city ravaged by an insurgency supported by the United States, NATO member states, and their allies in the Gulf states and Israel. In Part I, Vanessa Beeley lays out the mainstream narrative on Syria, revealing a neoconservative agenda promoted by NATO-funded NGOs. These NGOs paint the destruction of the historic city as being caused by the Syrian government under Bashar Assad, not the violent armed insurgents which receive arms, funding and training from Western governments and their allies.
Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives.
The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that whatever comes out is tailored to meet State Department requirements and advocacy for regime change. The propaganda mill churns out familiar tales of chemical weapons, siege, starvation and bombs targeting civilians–all of which are attributed to the Syrian government and military, with little variation on this theme.
The purpose of this photo essay and my journey to Aleppo on Aug. 14 was to discover for myself as a Western journalist the truth behind the major storylines in the U.S. and NATO narrative on Syria.
East and west Aleppo
Most Western media fail to highlight the “tale of two cities” playing out between eastern and western Aleppo. The east is occupied by a number of groups backed by the United States, NATO and their allies in the Gulf, like Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Civilians in the government-held area of western Aleppo describe these groups broadly as “terrorists,” often without noting any specific group.
Over 1.5 million civilians live in the government-held areas of western Aleppo, including 600,000 civilians who fled eastern Aleppo in 2012. Of the 200,000 to 220,000 people living in the terrorist-occupied areas in the eastern parts of the city, an estimated 50,000 or more are members of the so-called “rebel” factions and their families, according to the Aleppo Medical Association.
In most Western media reports, little mention is made of this division of Aleppo which was created by the incursion of factions of armed insurgents (or, as the mainstream media and U.S. government call them, “moderate rebels”) which drove hordes of civilians out of the eastern parts of the city into the safety of the Syrian government-held western area.