Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Russian Warships Enter Syrian Waters To Prevent NATO Attack

In Activism, Human Rights, Military, NATO, Russia, Syria, World News on November 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Moscow in aggressive move to stop another “humanitarian intervention”

Warships Enter Syrian water to prevent NATO-led attack

Russian Warship

Russian warships have entered Syrian territorial waters in an aggressive move designed to prevent any NATO-led attack on the country under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.

“Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest,” reports Haaretz.

Russia has stepped up efforts to defend Syria in recent days, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keen to frame the violence in the country as a civil war in defiance of claims by western powers that President Bashar al-Assad has overseen a bloody crackdown on innocent protesters.

As we saw prior to the attack on Libya, which was also framed as a “humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as this week’s raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex that killed or wounded 20 security police.


U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejects Russia’s claim that Syria is in a civil war, stating, “We believe it’s very much the Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation, and repression against innocent protesters.”

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Of course, we heard similar rhetoric even as NATO-backed Al-Qaeda rebels were commandeerng fighter jets and firing rocket-propelled grenades in Libya, actions also undertaken by “innocent protesters,” we were told at the time.

As we have previously reported, despite overwhelming speculation that Iran will be the next target of a military assault, Syria is the likeliest target for the next salvo of NATO-backed regime change.

Continue reading article ‘Russian Warships Enter Syrian Waters To Prevent NATO Attack‘, at Global Freedom Technology Firm.


Donkeys Take Over From DSL as Syria Shuts Down Internet

In Activism, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Society, Syria, World News on June 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm


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Qalaat al-Shmammis

Image by CharlesFred via Flickr


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The Facebook revolution has retreated from this dusty Jordanian town on the Syrian border.

In a bid to quash a rebellion now entering its third month, the Syrian government, perhaps one of the world’s most Internet-unfriendly, has shut down pretty much all electronic communications inside the country and to overseas. Cut off from the World Wide Web, protestors, journalists and human rights activists have resorted to communications networks from another era.
And for that, Ramtha, a Jordanian town of about 100,000 people 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the capital of Amman, has become a virtual switchboard for news coming out of Syria, not to mention a swarm of refugees seeking to flee the carnage that has taken some 800 lives across the country, according to a United Nations estimate released last Friday.
Facebook and other social media have been widely lauded as the fuse that lit the unrest exploding across the Arab world. But Internet use in Syria has always been severely constrained and the number of people with access to it is very small – about 17% of the country had it in 2010, according to Internet World Stats – even if the government dropped its long-standing ban of Facebook weeks before the unrest broke out.


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Just across the border from Ramtha, the Syrian town of Dara’a is the birthplace of the Syria rebellion. That began in mid-March when dozens or more youths were detained by security forces for spraying anti-government graffiti. Since then, despite the massive presence of troops and attacks on the city’s main mosque, Dara’a remains in turmoil.
To get the news outs, activists have been smuggling videos to Jordan through the desert and across a nearly 80-kilometer border Jordan shares with Syria. Some risk approaching the border with Jordanian cellphones to report to the outside world and send clips. It’s a dangerous task because the Syrian and Jordanian armies traditionally have the area under heavy surveillance to prevent the smuggling of drugs and weapons into the kingdom or further to the Gulf states.
But desperate Syrians have been using a helping hand from smugglers to cross the border, either by walking or on the backs of donkeys, according to residents from Ramtha. Locals have centuries if not millennia of experience eluding officials.
“The two cities are connected more than anyone could think. For hundreds of years, the residents of Ramtha and Dara’a have been moving between the two towns easily through the farms and desert area. Now they rediscovered these ancient routes,” says Ahmed Kareem, a Jordanian taxi driver from Ramtha.
Kareem says several Syrian families escaped the wrath of the military by walking for nearly 24 hours before they were received by residents from Ramtha. The majority are being housed in a public school for the sake of their safety, and away from prying eyes of the media.
“We prepared the schools to welcome as many refugees as possible, but the problem is that many want to come but are unable due to the closure,” said Kareem.


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Syria says it has been forced to close the border to prevent foreign elements, who it has blamed for inciting violence, from infiltrating into its territory. Syrian officials indirectly accused Jordan of facilitating entry of foreign elements to stir the public against Bashar al Assad regime. Syria also accused Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood movement of coordinating with its Syria’s counterpart to topple the al Assad regime.
Those allegations have yet to be proven, but the closure limits the flow of news about what has been taking place in Dara’a, said Abu Abdullah, a Syrian rights activist who spoke to the Media Line by telephone from the city.
Syria refuses to allow foreign press into its territories, while those who leave refuse to go on camera for fear of retribution. Last month a Reuters correspondent was arrested after he was found covering the uprising in Dara’a. Dorothy Parvaz, an Al-Jazeera television correspondent, was detained by Syrian authorities and has since reportedly been transferred to Iran.
As a result, scores of journalists have flocked to the border point near Ramtha in the hope of catching news on the military operation taking place. But it is not proving to be easy, according to journalist stationed near Jordan’s border point.
Syrian activists who try to reach the outside world take a serious risk. Abu Abdullah, who asked not to be identified by his real name, uses a Jordanian mobile number to place calls, but to do so he has to get close to the Jordanian border at the risk of getting killed. Among the Jordanian cellular operators, activists say Umnia has the best reception in Dara’a.
“As I talk, people are trying to protect me from snipers by holding barrels and other items. This is very dangerous. We are unable to tell the world what is happening,” Abdullah said last week as he gave an account of an attack on civilians, including women and children.
“As I walked to this spot, I saw three people dead — a woman, a man and a girl. Nobody was able to save them because of the snipers stationed on rooftops,” he said.
Activists in Jordan say Syria has arrested a number of Jordanians as they tried to cross into its territories through the regular border crossings. Abdullah Zubi, a Jordanian driver arrested three weeks ago on the border, says Syrian police had one idea about the events.
“They asked me to confess that Jordan’s intelligence service is behind the attacks. They prepared a confession about role of Jordan’s secret service and wanted me to sign it,” he told The Media Line a day after he was released on May 11.


According to Zubi, Syria has arrested dozens of Jordanians during the past weeks as part of its crackdown on Dara’a.
Ramtha residents are concerned that the crisis will have severe economic implications for a city reliant on trade. Ramtha sees dozens of vehicles crossing into Syria or coming into the kingdom laden with goods heading to the kingdom’s market or to the oil rich Gulf states. The border crossing has helped thousands of Jordanians make a living.
But since Syria sealed the border with Ramtha, the city’s streets are void of traffic. It’s a double-blow for Ramtha residents, who are also feeling the impact of higher food and energy prices and a slowing Jordanian economy.
Many residents say they will have to look some where else to earn a living. For a start, this week, the government has now allowed taxi drivers from Ramtha to operate in other routes in light of continued closure of the borders.




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Reporters Without Borders protests against crackdown on media in Syria

In Activism, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Military, Society, Syria, World Government, World News on May 5, 2011 at 12:16 am

Reporters Without Borders activists gathered outside the Syrian embassy in Paris at 11 a.m. today, World Press Freedom Day, to protest against the Syrian government’s crackdown on the media.

Chanting “Huriyat Al-Sahafa fi Suriya!” (Freedom of the press in Syria), the demonstrators threw buckets of blue paint at the embassy’s perimeter walls and used the paint to write: “It is ink that should flow, not blood.” Police detained 30 of the press freedom organization’s activists for a few hours.

“Syria is the country that worries us most at the moment,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said. “No one knows what is going on there. How many of the demonstrators have been killed? How many have been wounded? No one knows because journalists are being prevented from working. Foreign reporters cannot get visas to go there and local journalists are all being jailed or forced to remain silent.”

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Julliard added: “Defending freedom of information in Syria above all means defending the Syrian people’s right to know what is going on in their own country. The government must end this news blackout. Acts of violence are almost certainly taking place at this very moment in Syria but nothing is being reported because the media are banned from going there. This is unacceptable.”

Reporters Without Borders hails the release of Khaled Sid Mohand, an Algerian journalist who had been detained in Syria. It shows that all the demonstrations on his behalf in France and Algeria paid off. Journalists nonetheless continue to be targeted in Syria, as they have been since the start of the wave of protests there. Arrests, physical attacks and deportations are all being used to ensure a complete news blackout.

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The crackdown is continuing. Yesterday, the Syrian writer and journalist Omar Koush was arrested on arrival at Damascus airport after participating in a conference in Turkey, while Al-Jazeera announced that it had lost contact with one of its journalists, Dorothy Parvaz (who has US, Canadian and Iranian citizenship), since her arrival in Damascus on 29 April. Al-Jazeera previously announced on 27 April that it was suspending all activities throughout Syria until further notice because of the many threats and acts of intimidation against its crews.

Three other journalists are currently known to be held by the Syrian authorities. They are Fayez Sara, a Syrian journalist and writer who was arrested on 11 April; Mohamed Zaid Mistou, a Norwegian journalist of Syrian origin, who was arrested on 7 April; and Kamal Sheikhou, a Syrian blogger who was arrested on 15 March.

At the same time, there has been no news of the journalists Akram Abu Safi and Sobhie Naeem Al-Assal since 24 March.

As part of its actions marking World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders today released the 2011 version of its list of Press Freedom Predators, this one with 38 heads of state and warlords who sow terror in the media. The most important changes in this year’s list have been in North Africa and the Middle East, where dramatic and sometimes tragic events have taken place in recent months.


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Media Distorts Truth To Propagandize For NATO-Backed War On Syria

In Activism, Big Business, Human Rights, Military, Society, Syria, World Government, World News on May 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm


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Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
April 26, 2011


Just like Libya, a civil war fought between a desperate regime and a western-backed force of Islamic militants is being misrepresented as a genocide against “pro-democracy” protesters in order to lay the groundwork for another contrived “humanitarian” war.

Despite the fact that western media is completely cut off from entering Syria and therefore unable to verify reports of hundreds of murders carried out by security forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, grainy and often misconstrued YouTube videos have been cited as proof positive that Assad is overseeing a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, but a whistleblower living in Syria has contacted us to express his disbelief at such claims, dismissing them as little more than fabricated fairy-tales designed to law the groundwork for yet another NATO-backed military intervention based on contrived “humanitarian” grounds.

Although there is no doubt whatsoever that Syrians are being targeted by Assad’s security forces, their characterization by the western media as being “pro-democracy protesters” is beginning to bear remarkable resemblance to how Libyan militants, aided by Al-Qaeda terrorists, were portrayed as “innocent protesters” by the global establishment media even as they were commandeering tanks, flying fighter jets, and carrying rocket-propelled grenades.

Despite the vacuum of reliable information emerging out of the country, corporate media outlets, while in one breath conceding that accounts by dubious human rights organizations are not verifiable, have nevertheless blamed Assad for the massacres of hundreds of innocent people.

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The evidence indicates that such atrocities are being wildly exaggerated, just as they were before the air strikes were launched on Libya. For instance, a clip used by numerous western media outlets to depict Syrians being beaten to death by Assad’s security forces turned out to be a video of Iraqis from the 1990′s.

In addition, Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, documents how AFP, the Guardian and other media outlets completely misconstrued a video that purported to show Syrian soldiers being shot by Assad’s security forces as a punishment for refusing to gun down protesters.

“The video does not “support” the story that the Guardian says it does,” writes Landis. “The soldier denies that he was ordered to fire on people. Instead, he says he was on his way to Banyas to enforce security. He does not say that he was shot at by government agents or soldiers. In fact he denies it. The interviewer tries to put words in his mouth but the soldier clearly denies the story that the interviewer is trying to make him confess to. In the video, the wounded soldier is surrounded by people who are trying to get him to say that he was shot by a military officer. The soldier says clearly, “They [our superiors] told us, ‘Shoot at them IF they shoot at you.’”

Landis also highlights how a document purporting to be an order for Syrian intelligence agents to shoot on army officers and security agents in order to “deceive the enemy” is “clearly a fake.”

“What army, after all, would survive even days if its top officers were publishing orders to shoot its own officers?” asks Landis.

Further evidence of outside intervention comes in the form of reports that snipers are shooting at both protesters and Syrian security forces from rooftops. Iran’s Al-Alam News Network claims that the men, working on behalf of Saudi and US intelligence agencies, are killing protesters in order to radicalize them and fan the flames of unrest.

The video below purports to show a sniper being driven by a motorcyclist to a building before he takes up position on the roof and begins firing on demonstrators. Syrian security forces surround the building and a shootout allegedly ensues.

American-Syrian Eddie Sansoul, who is currently living in Syria, writes to us to express his shock at how events in his country are being completely misreported by the western media.

Sansoul claims that media coverage of events has been dominated by “false eyewitnesses,” “faked videos” and staged events, carefully broadcast to give the impression that the vast majority of Syrians are rebelling against President Assad, when in reality the malcontents represent a tiny minority of Islamic extremists.

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“Syrians in major cities such as Damascus and Aleppo are trying to campaign alongside Bashar Al Assad to spread awareness about the plans to destabilize Syria for the favor of Israel and US’s interests in the region,” writes Sansoul, dismissing the influence of the so-called protesters as non-existent while claiming that western media outlets are showing images of demonstrators in Egypt and Yemen and claiming the pictures are coming out of Syria.

“The heart of the problem remains in a small city called Daraa which counts about 1 million in population and among them a few thousand who are Jihadist or extremists who are creating all the news you see in the mainstream media,” he states, characterizing the so-called protesters as “an organized Mafia paid by US intelligence to carry out attacks on the Syrian people,” as a pretext for a US-UN backed regime change.Like the aforementioned footage out of 1990′s Iraq which is being erroneously broadcast as evidence of Syrian security forces beating civilians to death, Sansoul warns that years-old footage of torture victims from different countries is being released as false evidence of Assad-ordered brutality.

It would be remiss of us to forget that the western media has routinely been caught misreporting and even outright inventing humanitarian crises in the past that have been exploited by NATO powers to launch wars, namely the first Gulf War and the attack on Serbia in 1999.

UK foreign secretary William Hague, a prominent warmonger who has vehemently propagandized for the NATO bombing of Libya, today condemned the killings of Syrian “civilians who are expressing their views in peaceful protests,” while Assad’s government claims the so-called protesters are in fact part of an Islamist-inspired uprising, which as we have seen unfold in Libya, is being backed by the west.

As Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, recently revealed, 5,000 so-called “activists” from numerous middle eastern countries, including Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria, were recently involved in training sessions organized and paid for by the US government. “They went back and there’s a ripple effect,” Posner said of the wave of unrest now sweeping the region.

Once again, the evidence clearly indicates that the United States, Britain and other NATO powers are using their Al-Qaeda allies to destabilize Syria in order to launch yet another war under the manufactured pretext of humanitarian aid, despite the fact that the prolonged bombardment of Libya has already cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

While there is undoubtedly violence occurring in Syria on both sides, it comes as a result of a regime trying to cling to power battling against a militant opposition backed by western forces. Just like Libya, this is a civil war, it has little to do with “pro-democracy protesters,” and a lot to do with leaving Syria vulnerable to be swallowed up by the globalists as their next acquisition in the course of the “Arab Spring” wave of unrest that they helped to promulgate and direct in the first place.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.


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Syrian soldiers shot for refusing to fire on protesters

In Activism, Human Rights, Military, Society, World News on April 14, 2011 at 12:49 am

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President Bashar al-Assad blames conspirators

President Bashar al-Assad blames conspirators for the unrest sweeping Syria. Photograph: AFP-Getty Images

Witnesses claim soldiers who disobeyed orders in Banias were shot by security services as crackdown on protests intensifies

Syrian soldiers have been shot by security forces after refusing to fire on protesters, witnesses said, as a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations intensified.

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Witnesses told al-Jazeera and the BBC that some soldiers had refused to shoot after the army moved into Banias in the wake of intense protests on Friday.

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Human rights monitors named Mourad Hejjo, a conscript from Madaya village, as one of those shot by security snipers. “His family and town are saying he refused to shoot at his people,” said Wassim Tarif, a local human rights monitor.

Footage on YouTube shows an injured soldier saying he was shot in the back by security forces, while another video shows the funeral of Muhammad Awad Qunbar, who sources said was killed for refusing to fire on protesters. Signs of defections will be worrying to Syria‘s regime. State media reported a different version of events, claiming nine soldiers had been killed in an ambush by an armed group in Banias.

Activists said not all soldiers reported dead or injured were shot after refusing to fire. “We are investigating reports that some people have personal weapons and used them in self-defence,” said Tarif.

The reports came as a leading Syrian opposition figure said pro-government gunmen had attacked two villages close to Banias, 25 miles south of Latakia, which has become the latest focus of violence since protests on Friday. Haitham al-Maleh told AP attackers were using automatic rifles in Bayda and Beit Jnad.

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Human rights organisations said at least five protesters in Banias had been killed since Sunday including one on Tuesday. In Bayda witnesses reported that security thugs had beaten up men in the central square, and rights groups said hundreds of people had been arrested, including students who took part in an unprecedented rally at Damascus University on Monday.

Violence in the port cities of Banias and Latakia has become increasingly messy as locals report the involvement of pro-government thugs and private militias. One witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “shabiha” (pro-government thugs) had attacked in cars decorated with photos of the president, Bashar al-Assad, on Sunday. Residents of Banias said there was a shortage of bread, and electricity and communications were intermittent.

Syria’s leading pro-democracy group, the Damascus Declaration, urged the Arab League to impose sanctions on the regime and said the death toll from more than three weeks of unrest had topped 200.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against Assad’s authoritarian rule. Assad blames the violence on armed gangs and has vowed to crush unrest. He has made a series of overtures to appease anger, including sacking officials and granting Syrian nationality to thousands of Kurds, a long-ostracised minority. But the gestures have failed to satisfy protesters, who demand political freedoms and an end to the decades-old emergency laws that allow the regime to arrest people without charge.

On Tuesday Human Rights Watch condemned security forces for barring access to medical care. UK citizens were warned against “all but essential” travel to Syria and all travel to Banias, where residents are now holding a three-day strike.


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