Al Jazeera’s American debut: Hyping a dubious chem-war attack in Syria

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By Wayne MADSEN, Opinion Maker

Just as Americans were led astray by the cable news media about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction prior to the disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, once again, viewers of cable news channels are being subjected to another information warfare campaign. This time it is an alleged Syrian government chemical attack on “thousands” of civilians in the Ghouta region outside of Damascus.

Syrian rebel sources, trained in the art of disinformation by CIA, MI-6, and Mossad advisers, claim between 1000 and 1300 Syrian civilians were killed in a chemical weapons attack. However, the dubious reports are not merely imprecise of numbers of civilians killed but are even inconsistent in what type of chemical weapon was used. Some reports claim it was mustard gas and others say it was nerve gas.
The Syrian attack was said to have occurred as UN chemical weapons inspectors arrived in Syria, certainly an unwise time for President Bashar al Assad’s forces to use chemical weapons on civilians.

What proof do the rebels provide of the attack? Suspiciously, they only offer up video footage taken by the rebels themselves and some statements by rebel-supporting “eyewitnesses.”

The timing of the report of the attack and the video footage coincided with Al Jazeera America’s (AJAM) debut on four U.S. cable services — Verizon Fios, Direct TV, Comcast, and Dish Network — previously denied to the Qatar-based news network. In fact, AJAM’s first news reports for its American audience featured the scenes of dead Syrian civilians, including a number of children, provided, of course, by the very same rebels supported militarily and financially by Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood-supporting government.

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Report: Syrian Rebels Responsible for Houla Massacre

Eyewitness accounts and admissions from supposed collaborators say Sunni rebels tried to frame the Assad regime

The massacre of over 90 Syrians which caught the world’s attention and renewed calls for war against the regime of Bashar al-Assad may have been carried out by rebel fighters, according to a new report.

A new report in one of Germany’s leading newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and most of the victims killed were members of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad. The reports cites anonymous opponents of Assad who admitted their involvement in the massacre.

According to the report, rebel fighters attacked Syrian army road-blocks in a 90 minute battle, in which dozens were killed on both sides.

“According to eyewitness accounts,” the FAZ report continues, “the massacre occurred during this time. Those killed were almost exclusively from families belonging to Houla’s Alawi and Shia minorities. Over 90% of Houla’s population are Sunnis. Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Members of the Shomaliya, an Alawi family, were also killed, as was the family of a Sunni member of the Syrian parliament who is regarded as a collaborator.”

The report continues: “Immediately following the massacre, the perpetrators are supposed to have filmed their victims and then presented them as Sunni victims in videos posted on the internet.”

Initial eyewitness accounts of the massacre, relayed by major western media outlets and Human Rights Watch, described the massacre as having been the work of Syrian forces and their heavy artillery. But other eyewitness accounts, like those from members of the Monastery of St. James in Qara, Syria, said the attack came from Sunni militants who then tried to frame it as a massacre by the regime, presumably in the hopes that it would provoke a foreign intervention to unseat Assad.

Source: Antiwar