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During Syrian Conflict, Media "Cropped Images to Suit UK Regime" - Activist

© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the mediabankPresident of Syria Bashar al-Assad. (File)
President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. (File) - Sputnik International
The Times has released an article accusing top British academics of promulgating pro-Assad and Russian conspiracy theories. The report claimed that the founders of a self-styled Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media are spreading disinformation in relation to Syria. Radio Sputnik spoke with peace activist Vanessa Beeley about this issue.

Vanessa Beeley: A systematic smear campaign that has been running probably for the better part of the year that has included social media attacks, it has included smear piece from The Guardian written by a San Francisco technology expert, certainly not anybody that has ever been to Syria. 

From the Syria campaign which is the Amin Asfari funded PR agency for the White Helmets which is of course UK foreign office financed and Amin Asfari who funds the Syria campaign who wrote I think about a 46-page report trying to basically discredit our work on exposing the White Helmets has also financed the Tory government. 

READ MORE: UK PM May: We Acted in Syria Over National Interest, Not Just Following Trump

So this is exposing itself to be a web of intelligence operatives and people who are basically supporting the UK foreign office regime change war policy inside Syria and so it has basically escalated to the point where the Times wrote I think four articles. I sent a page photograph of myself with President Bashar al Assad. 

Now what is really interesting about this photograph in particular, the original photograph actually shows all members of the US peace council delegation with whom I came to Syria in July 2016, in an effort to fact find on the Syria conflict, to raise awareness on what was really happening on the ground and to build bridges between the Syrian government and peace activists and organizations in the United States. So a very important, in my view, mission of peace and what they have basically done is cropped the image to disappear the other members of the US peace council and in my view this is misleading journalism, again as they have pretty much done throughout the Syrian conflict. They have cropped the images or the narratives on Syria to suit the UK regime foreign policy, to fit it into the frame of the narrative that is required to support the foreign office policy inside Syria.

Sputnik: What about the response, do you think the tide is turning slowly with regard to the UK population because it does seem to be a sea change within the UK population now and their attitude towards the UK government and the media, they just don’t believe what the media is writing anymore, do they?

No, I really don’t think they do. I think the mainstream media is in complete free fall. We listen to in fact, one of your guests Professor Torry McCormack being interviewed by the Today program and they brought on an expert witness from the White Helmets, Amar al Salmu as a witness to the fact that the White Helmets are not affiliated to al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups. 

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Now, unfortunately for the BBC there are in existence archive photos of this very White Helmet member as an armed militant member of al-Qaeda, so this is the level to which these mainstream media outlets are being forced to drop to try and protect a narrative that was already unraveling, which is the Douma chemical weapon attack

Not only did we have the Russian military on the ground inspecting the site, we have a number now of civilian testimonies saying that a chemical attack never happened. We have the UN agency there in Damascus and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Damascus both saying that the hospitals had no patients coming in showing or demonstrating chemical weapon attack symptoms. 

So, you know, basically our government has carried out a criminal and unlawful act of aggression against a sovereign nation without getting permission from parliament, without a UN Security Council mandate, and based on, not even a dodgy dossier we hadn’t even got to the point where dossier had been completed. I mean this is even more extraordinary than the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. 

I am here in Damascus and I can tell you categorically that the Syrian government and the Russian organizations on the ground are doing everything they can to expedite the OPCW’s visit to the site. 

So we are being consistently lied to right now and the lies are being exposed in real time. We are actually living through a quite extraordinary time in history where I think we are seeing what I really believe now is an extended [cy-op]  in Syria by the British government, by the media, by the US intelligence and deep state and its aligned media, by a number of aligned think tanks, by the UN. 

We are seeing the entire narrative coming tumbling down like a pack of cards right now. Generally speaking, the mood here in Damascus, is they feel empowered. I mean, they think they feel they are pushing back against the tripartite act of aggression, criminal act of aggression was basically carried out only by Syria as far as we know Russia didn’t fire a single air defense against this attack. So basically what this has proven is that what is really relatively antiquated equipment, antiquated missiles or air defense missiles. The Syrian Arab Army has defended itself and its people against an attack from some of the most powerful nations on this Earth.  

For Syria, I think, this has been a tremendous turning point. I think now they feel empowered, they feel that they are able to defend themselves. I think the majority of the missiles didn’t hit any specific targets because the jamming systems that were being used by Syria were also very successful.

The views and opinions expressed by Vanessa Beeley are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

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