War Propaganda Camouflages Western-Imposed Barbarism in Syria (Revised)/ By Basma Qaddour

Ubiquitous, well-funded, Western war propaganda fabricates consent for terrorism and wars of aggression using myriad strategies. 

Common strategies include “colonial” nomenclature, corrupted information sources, and censorship.

These strategies are well-illustrated in the following interviews with two long-time Syrian residents, Pierre Le Corf and Lilly Martin.

 French humanitarian Pierre Le Corf, who has been in Aleppo for 9 years, explains the fallacy of referring to internationally-declared terrorist groups as rebels: “The armed groups that are operating in Syria are recorded in Interpol and the EU Terrorist List (sic). They are not “rebels”. This is a very important point to put your finger on as it proves the hypocrisy of the West.”  

He made it clear that there are 3 kinds of people in terrorist-held areas: First, legal opposition ( which exists in any country in the world and it is against the government  and it includes the people who have their political opinions). Second, terrorists, and third,  people in the middle who actually do not want anything but just to keep their family alive and to keep going on in their life and protecting their houses. So many families in Idlib right now who hope to escape somehow did not do that because they know that the day they leave their houses, the terrorists will occupy them.  

“The other point,” explains Le Corf,  “is that when the people in middle try to leave Idlib, they might be caught in danger as they might be accused of  supporting the government. I am putting points as they came from my experience I have hear and from what I see and from what I lived in the past 9 years.”  

Le Corf describes the corruption of information sources by explaining that many foreign correspondents in terrorist- held areas are training the people on the ground on what they have to say to share their stories outside. “There are billions of dollars that have been invested to make sure that any story that does not fit the western narrative does not go out.”  

Le Corf lists some of the “information gate-keepers” that control the information out of terrorist-held areas: “ There are a lot of organizations. From the French side, we had AFP ( the French Media Organization) which is working here in Aleppo and it is training terrorists and the opposition, which is working with terrorists against the country, against the government and against the people. It is  delivering them cameras, satellite phones, data… There is another one called Aleppo Media Center (AMC). And now we have Idlib Media Center (IMC). Those are international media organizations controlled but with local organizations which receive all equipment : Cameras, phones…etc to continue to send contents outside of Syria. And they are using that against the people. They go out with Focal cameras, while people have no food at their homes for months . They did not have goods to survive, while the other people had the best types of cameras and satellite connection!!?” 

al Qaeda Flag. Entrance to Aleppo. Photo Credit: Pierre Le Corf, June 2016.

“Those who are working with terrorists are receiving millions of dollars and they are hoarding food and medicine . I spent a lot of time searching for French names that support terrorists to stop them, and I found one called ” Souria Houria” which was working with White Helmets, Jabhat Al-Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria), and it was the main communication factor in France…. It is really well-organized operation. They spent a lot of money to have agents in Syria. If the White Helmets do not make videos, they are not paid,” asserted Le Corf. 

In 2017, Le Corf wrote a letter to François Hollande, President of the French Republic:  

” Every single day, I had to face death as everyone else in this city. The mission I gave myself led me to visit families living close to the ones we have been labeling as « opponents » since the beginning of the conflict. However, the only elements I witnessed were black flags – and I have pictures – on all of the front-lines. These signs are the symbols used by the groups that France (claims) it has been fighting against for years. 

Today, the Syrian people stands united to fight not against the government but against terrorist groups, no matter what we call them to hold them accountable for their actions or the reason they have to exist. These armed groups are named Al-jaïch al-hour (Free Syrian Army), Jabhat al-Nosra (or Fatah al-Cham, branch of Al-Qaïda), Jaïch al-Islam, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, Brigade Sultan Mourad, etc. An anti-governmental opposition exists, as for every government. This opposition is more or less pacific but represents a minority of the population. Since the beginning of the conflict and until now, almost all the forces on the ground that have kept bombarding Aleppo are armed fighters belonging to terrorist groups.  

I use the term « terrorist » because there are no rebels in Aleppo, at least nothing that could allow us to consider them as such. It is irresponsible to continue qualifying them as rebels in Syria while we list them as terrorist organizations in France. The jihadists have been forced out with their weapons following agreements with the government and « all » went to Idlib, an area now almost entirely occupied by fighters and their families. However, many of the fighters left Idlib to come back to Aleppo to resume bombings and suicide attacks, here as everywhere else in Syria.  

I have evidence for everything I am writing. For months I have been gathering the testimonies of civilians on video and on paper, independently of their religion or political opinion and without any member of the military or government around. I publish these testimonies and occasionally give them to a UN Commission of Inquiry in charge of studying « opposition » attacks and crimes, while putting the commission in contact with witnesses. 

We have directed the attention of the public opinion and the bombing of zones in which were a minority of opponents but a majority of jihadists. Civilians were dying every day in these zones, without us saying that the majority of civilians in Eastern Aleppo could not run away because they were held back by the terrorists. It is by trying to run away by using the humanitarian corridors organized by the Russian and Syrian governments that many civilians were targeted and killed by armed forces (corridors indicated one to two days earlier, with precisions on the time of opening by a text message directed to all mobile phone owners using the Syrian networks MTN and Syriatel, including me). Thankfully, thousands of civilians were able to make it out alive by using alternative routes, sometimes even passing through mined zones.” 

Le Corf met civilians who were displaced within the borders of the country, and their testimonies were unanimous.  

“In Eastern Aleppo, Sharia law was enforced through the so-called « Islamic courts » ( Which has nothing to do with real Islam) conducted by fighters and Sheikhs who felt free to detain, torture, execute arbitrarily, and marry children relying on the most appropriate fatwa (religious decree) for the occasion. After the liberation of Eastern Aleppo, it became clear that the terrorists had an enormous food stock available. I saw piles of humanitarian kits and packages that would have been enough for a year-long siege. Families can testify of the fact that they were not able to access them, and they had to go through a period of famine, due to the siege of the city by the army. However, the main responsible for the famine were the monopoly of prices and the harsh trocs (1)put in place by the armed groups that could go to 50 times the normal price. Those accepting to fight with them had a preferential treatment. However, as some of their sympathizers who chose to stay in the eastern part of the city recently told me: ‘we do not like this government, but if someone criticizes the fighters of the Free Syrian Army or other armed groups, he gets killed. Where is the freedom? ‘  

He made his letter in 7 languages: Spanish, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, French and English. 

“My letter was appreciated by the people, but for France it was not. I had a problem with the French intelligence which told me to stop publishing articles and to come back to France. I was just sharing the stories of people,” explained Le Corf .

The French humanitarian worker appealed to the Western leaders in general and to the President of his country to stop condemning the population of Syria remotely and to stop encouraging terrorist groups and not to side with or support armed forces who hope to lead a revolution to go back to an age of ignorance.  

He concluded  by saying: “Mr. President, with all my heart, I call and beg France, which values I have grown up with and make me continue my action here everyday, to lift sanctions against Syria. They harm the population, not the government. I beg France to start finding alternative diplomatic solutions to this war, solutions that would represent peace for the Syrian people but also for us, French people, who risk being the target of backfires as an entity supporting armed forces who spread terror and violence, and whose ambitions are clearly international.”  

In the same context, Lily Martin Sahiounie, an American citizen, who has been in Syria’s Lattakia over 30 years ago, told us: “The US and its allies hate terrorists inside their own countries, but they use terrorists as an asset abroad when they need to. They are willing to use and support terrorists Like Hay’et Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib because this gives the West and their ally, Turkey, a reason to remain in Syria. HTS treats women as inferior and oppresses them in Idlib.  By comparison, the West complains about how the Taliban treats women, but in Syria they chose to ignore it.” 

She went on to say: “I have been in Lattakia over 30 years. Women are treated the same as men and have the same opportunity for education and career. I do feel sorry for the women in Idlib who are prevented education, career, income, and independence. Some are widows and can not work because of HTS.” 

Dr. Declan Hayes, author of “The A to Z of NATO’s War on Syria’s Widows and Orphans” , (Published in 2017) further deflates Western slogans about “democracy and freedom” by explaining that, 

“women in Idlib are oppressed, the normal school curriculum has been abolished, minorities have been banished or slain and NATO supports all of that not only through Turkey and the Gulf States but through its proxies as well”. (2) 

A report by Syrians for Truth and Justice, published in 2023 that child marriage rates have increased in the past few years in Idlib governorate, reaching the unprecedented rate of 73 percent of the total number of marriages in the governorate.(3) 

All of this deflates the Western war propaganda that Washington’s dirty war against Syria is about freedom, democracy and human rights.

Another report, (this one clearly slanted in favour of illegal occupiers)  asserted nonetheless that the lack of a unified curriculum threatens the education system. 

“School curricula differ depending on the region, the ethnic groups present in the region, and the political factions that control these regions. In Idlib and its countryside, and in the villages of the northern Aleppo countryside affiliated to the HTS (Termanin, Darat Izza, and Atarib), a unified curriculum is adopted for both private and public schools. It is the same Syrian curriculum from before 2011, minus deletions related to the Assad “regime” or contradicting the Islamic Sharia.”  

 As for the schools in the northern countryside of Aleppo (from Afrin to Jarabulus), an English language teacher working in these areas, said that these schools fall under the so-called “Turkish supervision,” as they are directly linked to the Turkish directorates of education. The schools of Afrin, Jandiris, Bulbul, Sheikh Hadid, and Sharran are linked to the Directorate of Education in the Turkish state of Hatay, while schools of Azaz, Soran, Mare’a, Akhtarin, and Al-Rai are linked to the Directorate of Education in the Turkish state of Kilis, and the schools of Al-Bab, Bazaa, and Qabasin, Ghandura, and Jarabulus are linked to the Directorate of Education in the Turkish state of Gaziantep. The changes that occurred in the teaching curricula in these regions can be summarized as such: the Turkish language was introduced for all academic levels and is considered a main subject, while mathematics and physics were added as subjects to the literary secondary school, an automated system for exams was adopted, and the Turkish education directorates supervise the development of exam questions in these schools.  

The difference of curricula has become much more apparent between the different Syrian regions, as the Syrian government has its own curriculum, and the Autonomous Administration of the northeast has its own as well.  

But the Syrian Arab families in the governorates of Raqqa , Dei Ezzour and Hasaka want their sons and daughters to study Syrian governmental  curriculum to get official certificates and degrees that would allow them to continue their studies later in governmental universities.  

No one in the world recognizes the Kurdish/  Autonomous Administration curriculum which promotes the communist ideologies of Abdullah Ocalan.  

The Kurdish SDF militias changed all Arabic names of villages, towns and schools, giving them Kurdish names.  

Syria Times e-newspaper quoted Abu Muthana, a 50-year-old father of three sons who are studying in a private institute in the city of Raqqa, as saying that he  refused to go to the Autonomous Administration -run schools. (4) 

The will of the people of the governorates, their steadfastness, and their adherence to their national school curriculum were a message of challenge to those who are wishing to spread ignorance, backwardness, and division among the sons of the country to serve the occupier. 

The child, Raad, and his sister, Raghad, who came from the Aziziyah neighborhood in Hasakah on foot, traveled a distance of approximately 3 km to reach their school, noting that the school which is near their house was closed by militia gunmen several years ago. 

The father of the pupil Heba came with his daughter on foot from the neighborhood of Gweran, which is adjacent to the center of the city of Hasakah, said that the “SDF” militia closed all the neighborhood’s schools near their houses with the aim of spreading ignorance and backwardness to control the ignorant youth and employing them in the service of its plans and the plans of the occupation.(5) 

He pointed out that the majority of the neighborhood’s children reject the militia’s measures and bear the burden of traveling to the city center schools which are affiliated with the Education Directorate to teach them the curriculum of the  Syrian Ministry of Education. 

The teacher Abdullah declared that the children of the neighborhoods that are surrounding the city’s center record stories of steadfastness and defiance through their adherence to the curriculum of the Syrian Ministry of Education and the rejection of non-national one. 

He called on international institutions and organizations related to childhood to pressure the “SDF militia” to return the schools it seized to the Directorate of Education and to ensure the stability of the educational process in the governorate. 

The voices of such people must reach the public opinion  in the west in order to know that Syria, the civilized country, has faced a dirty war  which targets its innocent people,  infrastructures, education, culture, heritage and economy. Yet all of these voices are heavily censored. 

The book entitle “Voices from Syria” by Mark Taliano and the video entitled “Crimes Against Syria” are documentaries refuting the  narrative of the main stream media on what has happened in Syria.  

Basma Qaddour/ Mark Taliano  

  1. At that time armed groups were hoarding the goods, which they were receiving from the international organizations, and they were selling them in black market. They are receiving cigarettes, goods and medicines and they were selling them for 10 time the price . So they had their own black market. [Le Corf’s explanation] 
  2. Dr. Declan Hayes, author of “The A to Z of NATO’s War on Syria’s Widows and Orphans” , (Published in 2017), page 165. 
  3. Aamer Al-Mustafa, Education System in Northwestern Syria a Long Road Ahead, June 2023,  (https://timep.org/2023/06/09/education-system-in-northwestern-syria-a-long-road-ahead/), accessed 18 April 2024.
  4. Obaid Hamad/ Inas Abdulkarim, SDF Militias Willfully Obstruct Access to Schools in the Governorate of Hasaka, October 2022, (http://syriatimes.sy/sdf-militias-willfully-obstruct-access-to-schools-in-the-governorate-of-hasaka/ accessed 18 April 2024.
  5. Basma Qaddour, SDF Militia Prevents Hasakah’s Children from Reaching Schools Affiliated to the Ministry of Education, (http://syriatimes.sy/sdf-militia-prevents-hasakah-s-children-from-reaching-schools-affiliated-to-the-ministry-of-education/, accessed 18 April 2024. 


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