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Revelations on UK Media Misinformation Campaign Against Syria- Since War Began

British Canard news website had earlier in 2016 revealed the role of the UK government and mainstream media in ‘polishing’ the image of terrorists in Syria, presenting them to public opinion as a "moderate opposition". This is only a drop of the flood of colonial Western methods, led by the United States and Britain in their running of the terrorist war on Syria, creating publicity material of media misinformation against it.

New documents were revealed by British writer Mark Curtis, published on Middle East Eye website, confirming that the UK began covert operations against Syria in early 2012, that is, since the beginning of the terrorist war on it. UK was closely involved in smuggling arms shipments to terrorists, training and organizing them under the name "Moderate Opposition” in a years-long operation, in cooperation with US and Saudi regime.

 

British Daily Telegraph newspaper had confirmed several years ago that Britain had sent soldiers and forces to Saudi Arabia in order to train terrorists in Syria, under the name of "moderate opposition". The newspaper noted that UK had worked to train the terrorists in four countries, namely Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, indicating that 85 British soldiers were assigned with the training mission.

Curtis pointed out that the newly-discovered documents, obtained by investigative journalist Ian Cobain at Middle East Eye, provide details of UK covert propaganda programs in Syria - since the war started until 2018- about how UK covert operations in Syria helped ‘shape perceptions’ of the conflict according to what the hostile alliance wants. The British government effectively ran Syrian opposition groups’ media offices and created fabricated publicity material, aimed at Syrian and UK audiences alike.

The documents provide details of UK covert propaganda programs, carried out by UK starting in 2012, by establishing a network of so-called “correspondents” across Syria to form misleading perceptions of the war in service of the Western scheme. The revelations challenge some of the dominant narratives of the war promoted in the British mainstream media, notably that the UK has played only a small or no role in the conflict and that it has supported only “moderate” opposition groups, while they are, based on facts and evidence, terrorist groups that have committed crimes against the Syrians.

Canard website had earlier in 2016 said that “among the most shameful western reports worldwide,  a report appeared on Syria recently stating that the TV British Channel 4 has provided positive media coverage to polish the image of children killers in Aleppo” in reference to terrorist Nour al-Din ZinkiMovement who brutally murdered 12-year-old child Abdullah Issa after he’d been kidnapped.

Documents on the “UK’s covert operation” stressed UK’s contribution to prolonging and propagating the war, pointing out to the propaganda campaign examined by the Guardian in 2016, on several groups that were considered to be part of the “moderate armed opposition”, one of which was Jaysh al-Islam; a coalition of some 50 Islamist factions operating in and around Damascus and funded largelyby Saudi Arabia.

The documents exposed the British goal behind the operations of media misinformation, namely to create a rift between Syrians and their government.

The journalists involved in the propaganda programs were hired from offices in Istanbul and Amman, set up by UK government contractors with funding from Britain, the US and Canada. They were commissioned to produce TV footage, radio programs, social media, posters, magazines and even children’s comics, with the aim of providing media support to terrorist groups and tarnishing the image of the Syrian State.

The projects were run by Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) & military intelligence officers, and given the codename Operation Volute, although those involved in the work refer not to propaganda but to “strategic communications”!

They were guided by UK government’s National Security Council, which is Britain’s highest policy-making body, with a budget worth £9.6-million during 2015-16 alone, with more money earmarked for later years.

The documents show that the UK was covertly running parts of the Syrian opposition. It trained opposition spokesmen, managed their press offices and developed their social media accounts, as the document also revealed criticism, within the British ruling circles, about those misleading programs that cost large governmental funds and found their way to terrorist organizations in Syria.

The documents raise key questions about the extent to which UK media misinformation programs went - in the media coverage of the Syrian war.

It is worth noting that those in charge of such media campaign distributed material- like film clips- to Arabic & foreign language media organizations, which were purported to be the press offices of Syrian opposition groups: Sky News Arabia, BBC Arabic and al –Jazeera,to name a few.

Noteworthy also were the documents, revealed in 2016 by the British Guardian newspaper, stating that the British government funded propaganda operations for terrorist groups in Syria under the name of "opposition", and that the British Foreign Ministry used contractors supervised by the Ministry of Defense to produce videos, pictures, military reports and radio programs, along with creating pages on social media sites bearing slogans of the terrorist organizations, managing those media centers, and publishing material promoting … bloodshed!

 

Rayan Faouri

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