SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION
The Ministry of Information in the Syrian Arab Republic extends to your Excellency all esteem and respect, while it encloses with this letter its informational message concerning the events in Syria for clarifying the reality of what is going on, and not what is falsely and untruly presented by certain media for achieving goals that have become well-known, a matter that has made such media, under legal and political concepts, an accomplice in the crimes committed against the Syrian state and the Syrian citizens.
The Ministry of Information in Syria, in cooperation with regional and international organizations, is seeking to document that through all different documentation means and tools, and it will supplement its message with a copy of the film-documents collected under the supervision of a committee of activists specialized in the field of human rights and information.
We hope to circulate our present message over those concerned in the career of information, press and television and workers in the diplomatic corps to enable them all to have a true and realistic reading of the scene, away from lies, fabrication and falsification.
With thanks and esteem.
Ministry of Information
Starting from joint legal and moral responsibility of shouldering the sublime message of information embodied in professionally and objectively transferring truth to the public opinion away from the unilateral vision associated with political agendas, and strongly believing in the importance of working together as media institutions which work is regulated by media honor charter and the ethics of profession for a subjective information oriented towards national and nationalistic issues realizing glory and dignity of Arab people, rounding up their views and unifying their stances, it is important to state that Syria, since the beginning of the crisis it is passing through, is subject to a major media misleading campaign assumed by both Arab and foreign information media that have dedicated themselves as an information arm for the armed terrorist groups covering up their terrorist attacks against the Syrian people, both civilians and soldiers, and coordinating with them in fabricating and photographing massacres committed by those armed groups against Syrian citizens with a view to accusing the Syrian Arab army, order-keeping forces and the government, without any consideration of the circumstances, backgrounds and aims of committing such crimes, and to whom interest and within what contexts they have been committed, only for the purpose of defaming Syria and damaging its stances on Arab, regional and international levels.
Despite Syria’s respect for its vows concerning the political process aiming at ending the crisis, its persistence in finding a political outlet for it within the framework of political multiplicity and under a comprehensive reform program led by Syrians of all specters and slices, its acceptance of the monitors’ mission sent by Arab League, and up to reaching an agreement on the plan of the UN Envoy, Kofi Annan on 25 March 2012, such armed terrorist groups have continued violating all political plans and endeavors through resorting to terrorism and armed violence against the state, citizens, members of the Syrian Arab army and the order-keeping forces; such violations of the UN Envoy’s plan have exceeded 10600 breaches resulting in hundreds of both civilian and military victims, not to mention the sabotage operations causing damages of infrastructures, such as power nets, oil and gas pipelines, hospitals and schools.
Even schools have not been survived by terrorists holding obscurant thought supported by Gulf oil moneys and the faithless Turkish weapons: more than 1700 schools, with losses of about 500 million Syrian Pounds, have been devastated, besides targeting the teaching staff that has lost 40 martyrs murdered by the treacherous terrorism wanting to take Syrian citizens back to the ages of ignorance and backwardness.
The health sector, rendering services to the Syrian citizen free of charge, has not been saved from terrorism: hospitals as well as health centers have been robbed, spoilt and burnt out, besides assaulting their medical cadres performing their humanitarian duty. More than 38 hospitals and 132 health centers have been attacked and damaged by armed terrorist groups, of which 25 hospitals have been rehabilitated, and the losses of the health sector have exceeded 3.5 billion Syrian Pounds. The same applies upon the sector of electricity, oil and gas, a matter that has negative influences upon the living conditions of the Syrian citizen and the provision of such services supported by the state by billions of Syrian Pounds each year.
Meanwhile, the suspicious matter lies in the fact that the destructive attacks against the service and infrastructure sectors by terrorists come concurrent with the unjust economic sanctions imposed by Western countries and some Arab states upon economic sectors taking care of securing the daily living needs of the Syrian citizen, including heating fuel, domestic gas, and medicines for some chronic diseases and other necessary needs, with negative effects upon the citizen’s life and the ability to secure his needs, in an endeavor to agitate the Syrian public opinion against its government and to accuse the state of failing to provide such basic services for its citizens. Nevertheless, the Syrian government is persistently keeping on securing such needs and repairing damages inflicted upon the sectors of health and education services, the electricity networks and transport of fuel and gas, in addition to confronting the terrorism it is facing.
Yet, such huge amount of daily terror against Syria and its citizens has not won the due interest of most Arab and international media; and in case of dealing with it, they focus on its effect upon the collapse of the state, and not upon the nature of such denounced destructive and criminal terrorist act, a matter considered as an encouragement for further devastation and terror.
Any one pursuing this matter needs little contemplation to realize the duality of criteria in the political and information dealing with what is happening in Syria on one part, and the involvement of some Arab and Western media in covering up the terror of the armed groups and their participation in shedding more Syrian blood on the other. Recalling all massacres perpetrated in Syria, we find them either concurrent with or preceding the meetings of the UN Security Council, the General Assembly or the Human Rights Council on Syria just for rallying the international society against our country and for politically utilizing them for issuing extreme positions and condemnations against it in the international circles. We have only to remember the dates of those massacres and the international stances against Syria that followed them to be sure of the contexts within which they have been committed and for what purpose, and thus we can reason out the actual perpetrator.
Also the matter that attracts one’s attention is the prompt Western and Arab condemnation of those massacres, especially by states and powers involved in financing and arming terrorists, securing a safe haven for them and facilitating their entry into the Syrian territories; and such statements are ready and coordinated for accusing and condemning the Syrian state, and for moving quickly to get a resolution issued against it under the Seventh Chapter and thus opening the door for military intervention in its internal affairs, while the same countries pass over the terrorist blasts committed by the terrorist groups against the Syrian citizens and the infrastructures and service facilities securing the daily living needs of the Syrian people. This fact raises questions and actual doubts about the link between those states and their media and the terror and sabotage Syria is witnessing.
What happened lately in Al-Traimseh village in Hama Countryside on 12.07.2012 and the cheap utilization of that event by the bloody information media was a springboard for ready international positions, some of which were hastily made without any real scrutiny into that event, but only depending upon what was broadcast by channels sharing in shedding the Syrian blood and channels inciting sedition and violence.
Such biased stations talked about using heavy weapons, tanks and helicopters and killing about 250 civilians based upon questionable video sections that lasted few seconds as broadcast by armed groups. But the international political circles immediately adopted that story without any verification, while the Syrian state had ascertained that only light weapons and RPG’s were used in chasing terrorists and storming their dens, a matter that resulted in killing 37 terrorists and the death of two civilians, besides finding out large quantities of weapons and ammunitions in the terrorists’ hideouts, ranging between machineguns, RPG’s, automatic shotguns, hand-made rockets and explosives. The UN Observer Mission visited Al-Traimseh village to check what had happened and after examining the place it stated that clashes occurred between the government forces and armed persons situated in the village, but there was no massacre.
The most important question here is the following: Why do such media hasten to speak about a supposed or fabricated massacre simultaneously with the meeting of the Security Council considering extending the period of the UN Observer Mission in Syria? Doesn’t that aim at pressuring the Council and especially those countries that reject external intervention in Syria’s affairs and trying to embarrass them? What is the benefit for the Syrian state from committing such massacres under the sight of the UN observersand while the Security Council is looking into the status of the Mission in Syria? All these are questions needing no much scrutiny to reach their answers.
Al-Houla massacre in Homs Countryside on 25 May 2012 with dozens of victims, children and women in particular, murdered in cold blood also occurred just before a scheduled visit of the UN Envoy, Kofi Annan, to Damascus on 29 May 2012. Some media and the external opposition rushed to accuse the Syrian Arab Army of committing it through shelling the area with heavy weapons and so the victims were killed by that shelling fire. When it became established that most victims were killed through liquidation operations from a near distance, they started to talk about “Shabbiha” and other stories that did not withstand facts revealed later. The conclusive evidence showed that terrorists committed that massacre when they killed three or four peaceful pro-state families rejecting devastation, and some of them belonged to the family of Abdul-Muti Meshleb, member of the Syria People Assembly. Here one may reasonably ask: who is the beneficiary and what is the aim of the massacre? The reason is certainly very clear: it is deranging that visit of Annan and deviating the course of talks in a direction servicing those planning to strike Syria.
As for Al-Qbeir massacre in Hama countryside committed on 06.06.2012 against civilians, including children and women, it was arranged and planned by armed terrorist groups and their regional and international sponsors to come just before a meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East on 07.06.2012, and for exploiting the blood of Syrian to the interest of Western political agendas.
The focus of the Western Media and political circles upon those massacres while overlooking all the ugly terrorist operations and blasts committed by terrorists against the Syrian people, besides targeting, devastating and burning infrastructures, such as hospitals, schools and other service facilities, including means of transporting fuel and gas and the electricity networks, is a complicity in the crime and an encouragement for terrorists to go on perpetrating that terror against the state and against the Syrian people for whom those channels and states are pretending to shed tears, while they are trading with their bloods and rights only for achieving political gains to the special interest of those Arab, regional and Western countries.
Here we should stress the active role of some regional countries, especially Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in smuggling, financing and arming Arab and foreign armed persons to fight against the Syrian state under the slogan of “Al-Jihad”. Some of them, bearing various nationalities- such as Libyans and Tunisians- were arrested and they confessed how they entered the borders through Turkey and how they got trained in training camps, besides getting other kinds of support for such terrorists in Syria.
The daily events confirm the involvement of some neighboring countries in the terror Syria is facing through securing a safe haven for armed terrorists, providing them with training camps and financing and arming them under the cover of hosting refugees. Such terrorist set out from those camps and launch attacks against the border-regions in Syria, besides trying to sneak into those borders. Each day, the Syrian border-guard forces deal with several trials of those armed persons to penetrate and smuggle arms from Turkey in a manner that simply denotes the existence of coordination between that country, or through some political or security leaders in it, and the armed groups, in addition to a lot of attempts of infiltration and smuggling arms from Lebanon and Jordan. The border-guard forces in those countries have not prevented many attempts of infiltration and smuggling arms into Syria, a matter that forms a violation of the international law and the anti-terror world laws.
Does any state accept its neighboring countries to become centers for training armed persons associated with Jihadist organizations adopting the ideology and thought of Al-Qaeda, such as Al-Nosra Front which had acknowledged carrying out several terrorist blasts in Damascus and Aleppo? (Al-Nosra Front acknowledged carrying out the two blasts at Al-Qazzaz in Damascus on 11 May 2012 resulting in more than 55 martyrs and 300 casualties, the two blasts at Al-Qassa’a and the Customs Circle in Damascus on 17 March 2012 resulting in martyring 27 citizens, the blast at Al-Midan Quarter in Damascus on 27 April 2012 resulting in the death of 9 persons, and the two terrorist blasts in Aleppo on 10 February 2012 resulting in martyring 28 citizens, besides adopting blasting off the site of the Syrian Al-Ekhbariya Channel (Syria News) near Damascus on 27 June 2012)? Doesn’t that form a kind of partnership with terror which those same countries claim having fought it throughout years, besides having waged wars and occupied countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, under the slogan of fighting it?
Moreover, each day we see how some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, backed by US and the EU countries, rush to legitimize the terror Syria is facing in the international circles and platforms of the UN and the General Assembly; thus, Saudi Arabia presented a draft resolution on 3 August 2012, under Clause 34 of the General Assembly Charter on preventing the outbreak of armed conflicts, a matter that forms a clear contradiction between what those countries are practicing, secretly and in public, in kindling the crisis in Syria and transforming it into an armed conflict, through financing and arming the armed terrorist groups, and their claims in putting forth that resolution. We much regret that those countries, through misleading and the lies practiced by its media, have been able to pass the draft resolution in the General Assembly, a matter forming a violation of the principle of the sovereignty of countries for which the international organization was created to defend, besides transforming the UN General Assembly, under the political, financial and information pressure of those countries, into a cover for spreading the terror culture in the world and wrecking stability and security in it.
The terror Aleppo is recently facing and the plans laid for it by regional and Western countries truly unmask those pretending concern and interest in pretending the Syrian people and their rights, and that comes within the political context adopted by anti-Syria countries. Thus, Aleppo is being punished today for its non-uprising against the state, and for that purpose thousands of armed persons, terrorists and Jihadists of all different countries of the world have been massed across the Turkish borders and supplied with advanced and heavy weapons- as stated by the spokeswoman of the UN Observer Mission, Sawsan Ghosheh, who has admitted that the “armed opposition” has heavy weapons in Aleppo- for striking the Syrian state and creating a pretext for external military intervention in it, as those countries have already consumed up all their internal tools in the face of the Syrian people’s determination to preserve their state and reject the culture of ravage, murder and terror.
Despite revealing and disproving a lot of the information fabrications made by armed groups about false shelling operations or even about committing massacres- the method of fabricating and devising such events against the state and the Syrian Arab army has been later revealed through details and real photos derived from cameras of those armed persons, those information channels and their sponsors keep on practicing information misleading, sectarian instigation and calls for killing, especially targeting the Syrian media workers doing their jobs in the state media.
All remember the story of the young Syrian, Zeinab Al-Hosni, reported murdered by those biased media that bade farewell to her and specified pages for her on the social communication sites, thus making her a symbol of those calling for freedom. Later and by concrete evidence, that Zeinab appeared alive on the information media telling how she had run away from the cruelty and oppression of her brothers. We also remember the story of the child, Sari Saoud, and the famous video section showing his mother embracing him while passing away after being shot dead by terrorists who photographed that scene and claimed that the Syrian Arab army did that. Later and as proved by his own mother’s sayings, the terrorists themselves killed her child and photographed her while crying out in grief for him. Such fabricated stories are not everything in the sphere of information misleading adopted by the channels of sedition and terror; rather, they are only samples sufficing anyone resorting to sound reason and insight to take a stand for history.
Recalling the story of the French reporter, Gilles Jacquier, working for France 2 TV, who was killed by a mortar shell fired by armed terrorist groups on media teams while making a field tour in Homs city on 11 January 2012, we remember how the Arab and Western media and their political sponsors in France rushed to accuse the Syrian state and the Syrian Arab army of killing him, despite the fact that the initiative of the Syrian government to form an inquiry committee with the participation of a representative from France 2 TV where Jacquier was working. Neither that channel sent its representative, nor the French government wanted to reveal the truth about his death; the French President then, Nicolas Sarkozy, only was interested in utilizing that crime for making more international pressure upon Syria. The report of the Arab monitor’s mission confirmed that Jacquier was killed by the “armed opposition”, and that was reconfirmed by the French Le Figaro which stated, according to sources in the French Ministry of Defense, that intelligence information and the study of the motion of the shell that killed Jacquier showed that it was fired from an area where the “armed opposition” was based.
Targeting intellectual and human qualified persons, such as media-persons, university teachers, physicians and enlightened religious scholars, is part of the nature of armed terrorist groups that adopt the obscurant Al-Qaeda thought which refuses others, whether a native living in the same homeland or a foreigner living far away, only for being intellectually disaccord. Those armed terrorist groups have killed a lot of physicians, university teachers, enlightened religious scholars and creative Syrians; yet, such criminal acts have not affected the feelings of those in charge of the foreign policy and decision-makers in the Western countries and Arabs under their command, a matter that forms connivance denoting complicity in the crime.
Such informational misleading has not been enough for those planning to target Syria; thus, they have resorted to try to silence Syria’s voice and conceal any image or scene disclosing their plans and ugly acts. So and in the meeting of the Arab League Council in Al-Doha on 02.06.2012, some Arabs decided to ask the administration of the Arab Satellite (Arabsat) and the Egyptian Satellite Company (Nilesat) to take the necessary measures for stopping the broadcasting of the official and non-official Syrian satellite channels, following the steps of the US and European sanctions against the Syrian media (the broadcasting of Addounia TV Channel through Nilesat and Arabsat was stopped on 19.07.2012).
That decision and other Western decisions against our national information have been as an operational order for the armed terrorist groups to target the Syrian information media and media personnel, a matter carried out through the terrorist attack against the location of the Syrian Al-Ekhbariya Channel (Syria News) near Damascus City on 27.06.2012 resulting in its complete destruction, the death of three media persons, four employees and the place guards, not to mention several assaults against the Syrian media persons while carrying out their professional duties, in an attempt to silence Syria's voice and erase the actual scene.
Those armed groups also have targeted the Syrian press personnel: a terrorist group assassinated the press photographer, Ihsan Al-Bunni, working for Al-Thawra Daily on 12 July 2012 while heading home at Darayya area from his job; the team of the Syrian Al-Ekhbariya Channel (Syria News) also was attacked by a terrorist group at Al-Heffeh area in Lattakia Countryside on 11 June 2012, resulting in injuring the channel correspondent, Mazen Mohammed, in his hand and the photographer, Fadi Yacoub, who got a shot in his chest and underwent a surgery.
Such decisions and sanctions against our national information, besides being a complicity in terror, flagrantly contradict the principles of information freedom and the document regulating the Arab Satellite Broadcasting adopted by the Arab information ministers in 2008 requesting commitment with the principle of freedom of receiving broadcasting and re-broadcasting. Moreover, the method of dealing with what is going on in Syria on the part of some Arab and Western media is an outrageous violation of the information work principles and the media honor charter.
Along with such massacres and crimes committed by armed groups against the Syrian citizens and their state institutions, those Arab and Western media convey the scene through sections broadcasted by terrorists on the social communications sites which validity is difficult to ascertain, while ignoring what is broadcasted by the official and private Syrian media, in contradiction with media honor charter which obliges the various information media to ascertain the validity of the news item from more than one source before releasing it.
The claim of some channels of using shots from the social communications sites on the plea of being unable to enter Syria is completely unacceptable, especially as the Ministry of Information, since the beginning of events in March 2011 and up to this date, has granted entry visas for more than 600 information teams representing all various Arab and foreign media, such as TV stations, news agencies, papers and radio stations, in addition to about 100 media approved in Damascus, all of which are covering the daily events.
The government of the Syrian Arab Republic has affirmed being committed to the UN Envoy's plan, Kofi Annan, as it welcomed the mission of his successor Lakhdar Ibrahimi and finding a peaceful outlet for the crisis under the leadership of Syria in a way permitting the participation of all the people of our homeland in making the future of Syria. Thus, we call upon Arab and international media to shoulder their moral and professional responsibilities, abide by the media honor charters and adopt objectivity in conveying the events from Syria while avoiding unilateralism in covering them.
We also call upon those in charge of the Arab information to bear their legal and moral responsibilities as regards obliging the information media to observe the media honor charter and conventions signed by the Arab states concerning news exchange, adoption of the true and reliable information item validated from more than one source for achieving the basic principle in the press profession based upon neutralism and objectivity and away from the policy of agitating feelings, inciting sectarianism and kindling sedition among the countrymen of the same homeland to the interest of the purposes and aims of the enemy of the nation and the homeland.