“Liberation” and the False Flag Thesis. The West’s Collusion with Islamist Terrorism in Syria and Iraq

On September 16, 2013, the UN published its evidence in response to the claim that president Bashar al-Assad of Syria used chemical weapons in an attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. Based on interviews with US intelligence and military insiders, Seymour Hersh, the journalist who revealed the role the United States played in the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, was unequivocal in his assertion that the incident on August 21, 2013, was a false flag attack that was exploited politically by Obama in an attempt to deceive the world in making a cynical case for war.

This assertion was supported in April, 2016, by former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, who argued that the Turkish government, at the behest of Washington, engineered the chemical attacks in Ghouta in order to draw the United States into Syria. McGovern stressed that one of the Turkish journalists who exposed Turkey’s involvement in the alleged false flag attack has (as part of president Erdogan’s crackdown on independent journalism), been imprisoned and charged with treason.

Journalist Serena Shim‘s sources in the Southern Turkish province of Hatay would appear to corroborate the false flag thesis. The journalist cited activists who claimed al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra Front insurgents transported chemical weapons to Syria from Turkey.

In its report entitled, The Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area, the UN did not, as the majority of the corporate media claimed, blame the Syrian president for the August 21, 2013 attack. One day after the incident, on August 22, 2013, the Guardian claimed there was not “much doubt” that Assad was to blame.

In an article for the same paper almost four years later (April 5, 2017), Jonathan Freedland, echoed the near-consensus view among the corporate mass media that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible for another alleged chemical gas atrocity, this time in Idlib province in the north of the country the previous day (April 4, 2017):

“We almost certainly know who did it. Every sign points to the regime of Bashar al-Assad”, he said.

What these ‘signs’ are were not specified in the article. Since the alleged attack over three months ago, there has not been a single piece of independently verifiable evidence that has been presented which alludes to Assad’s guilt.

Channel 4 News

Channel 4 News markets itself as a high grade impartial news broadcaster. On October 4, 2016, reporter, Krishnan Guru-Murthy described a rebel (Jihadist terrorist) “victory” in east Aleppo as “rebels fighting back against the forces of President Assad”. Guru-Murthy reported the battle from the narrow perspective of al-Qaeda and it was clear from his general tone to whom he intended his viewers sympathies to be aligned with.

Guru-Murthy’s embedded report also failed to mention that – as evidenced by the logo clearly displayed on a jacket of one of the individuals featured in the film – that the self-proclaimed ‘humanitarians’ depicted were in fact White Helmets inculcated with Harakat al-Nour al-Zenki, one of 22 brigades that operate in and around Aleppo that comprise one of many U.S. State Department-funded terrorist fighters.

Finally, the Channel 4 reporter omitted to mention that a video had surfaced shortly before the broadcast of the report in which Harakat al-Nour al-Zenki members were shown abusing and then beheading a child, Abdullah Issa, from a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Aleppo. Ten weeks later, on December 21, 2016, an observant commentator, Edward Lauranceinquired of Channel 4 News why it pulled its October, 4 film:

“Would be interested to know why this film has disappeared without trace”, he said.

Getting involved

According to the Pew Research Journalism Project, “the No. 1 message” on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and Al Jazeera, is that “the U.S. should ‘get involved’ in the conflict in Syria”. Although propaganda reports from the likes of Guru-Murthy are useful in terms of getting the public partially onside, they are on their own terms insufficient. A high level of public involvement is often achieved as the result of a singularly defining propaganda image or event. In terms of the first Gulf conflict, the event in question was the infamous nurse Nayirah affair. In relation to the 2003 Iraq invasion, it was the WMD debacle, and in Libya in 2011 it was the false claims of rape said to have been committed by Libyan government troops.

The image that probably more than any other captured the public imagination in relation to Syria, was that of a small boy, Omran Daqneesh, photographed covered in dust sitting on a chair which brought a CNN anchor to tears. The pro-regime change broadcaster, Al-Jazeera, produced what was clearly another piece of theatre, albeit far less convincing, in which the news anchor struggled not to laugh out loud live on air while interviewing the absurd figure, Abdulkafi Alhamdo, against a backdrop of a sound recording of explosions. This was reminiscent of CNNs “interview” with fake reporter and Western-funded propagandist, “Danny”.


The media propaganda intensified in late November, 2016, following the trouncing of the UK-US and Saudi funded and trained salafist mercenary terrorists by joint Kurdish-Syrian government forces. During this time, these forces began liberating vast swaths of territory in east Aleppo including the Sakhour, Haydariya and Sheikh Fares neighbourhoods.

In the wake of the liberation, at least 120 British MPs backed a petition calling for the UK government to carry out “life-saving aid drops” (euphemism for the implementation of a no fly zone) over eastern Aleppo. Among the MPs demanding the “aid drops” was Labour’s Emily Thornberry, who in the House of Commons cited the White Helmets as the justification for advocating this course of action. On the November 28, 2016 edition of Sky News, journalist Sam Kiley described the re-capture of a third of east Aleppo as a “so-called liberation”, in addition to uttering the trigger phrase “Assad regime”.

The persistent Bana myth

Kiley’s source for his ambivalent statement was Fatemah Alabed, mother of seven year old, Bana Alabed. Bana, in whose name a twitter account was set up in September, 2016, allegedly in an “unknown east Aleppo neighbourhood” – and whose tweets have consistently focused on anti-Assad and anti-Russian themes and the need to be saved from bombing – has been uncritically endorsed throughout the corporate media. Bana has garnered celebrity status, her most notable fan being the author, J K Rowling. Bana and Rowling share the same talent agent.

Bana’s mastering of English idiomatic expressions on twitter is indicative of somebody who is fluent in the language. But her prompted robotic responses to questions by Sky News presenter, Alex Crawford, clearly suggests otherwise. In addition, the various inconsistencies in Bana’s twitter feed narrative reinforce the notion that the seven year old’s account – given the number of tweets – is being run by others out of Aleppo for nefarious purposes. It’s clear that the Bana project, like the White Helmets, is an extremely well-funded propaganda operation. As Dr Barbara McKenzie puts it:

“There can be no doubt that the Bana project is a scam. The tweets are not the thoughts of a little Syrian girl wanting the world to save her from Russian bombs. Rather, they are the product of a sophisticated and well-planned operation designed to shape public perception of the Syrian and Russian operations, in order to justify Western intervention in Syria and facilitate regime change.”

Tormenting the liberated

The media strategy used in order to achieve this has been to depict the Russian and Syrian forces as tormentors rather than liberators. This has been the mass corporate media’s overriding narrative throughout six years of conflict. It’s an inversion of truth that also typified BBC reportage on the liberation of east Aleppo.

Articles by: Daniel Margrain

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