17 February 2019
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350 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     342 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

15.02.2018

The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar.

The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.

These journalists describe as “rebels” Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the group that claimed responsibility for downing on February 3 the Russian Su-25 assault aircraft piloted by Major Roman Filippov. He was monitoring compliance with the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham emerged as an offshoot of the terrorist organisation Jabhat al-Nusra in 2017, which took under its operational control a number of other units of the anti-government armed opposition. Jabhat al-Nusra, which severed ties with al-Qaeda at one point, and its spawn Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are blacklisted by the international community as terrorist organisations despite the assurances of al-Nusra leaders that they have split with al-Qaeda. Nobody takes such statements seriously. The attempts of the Western media to disavow Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s links with al-Qaeda on this basis are unfounded and only designed to mislead the public in the West about the nature of the targets attacked by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Army.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has emphasised many times that terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra continue to be able to offer resistance because they have external support, including from the media. The elimination of this terrorist group, no matter what name it assumes, is one of the key goals of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria.

It is telling that representatives of the White Helmets are quoted in these articles. This organisation has discredited itself to the point that its mere mention as a source gives cause to doubt the authenticity of a story. Social media is littered with videos showing “rescuers” from the White Helmets putting makeup on “victims of the Syrian Government’s brutality” or alleged bombing by the Russian Aerospace Forces. They are closely cooperating with terrorist organisations and are often seen with weapons in hand on the side of terrorists during combat operations. The video showing White Helmets “helping” already dead children caused a stir.

The authors of some articles are making new attempts to hold Russia and the lawful Syrian Government responsible for the use of toxic agents in Idlib. To the contrary, Russia has consistently advocated the complete elimination of chemical arms in Syria. Owing to Moscow’s peacemaking initiative, an agreement was reached on the liquidation of Syria’s chemical arsenal. In the middle of 2014 precursors of chemical arms were removed from Syria with Moscow and Washington’s cooperation.

Moreover, in October 2017 the US Department of State reported the use of toxic agents by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib, thereby admitting that terrorists have chemical weapons. Nonetheless, this high-profile statement did not garner the attention of world media.

These bogus stories are being published against the background of Russian diplomatic efforts, including the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi on January 29-30. An anti-Russia campaign was also launched by the Western media simultaneously with the successful liberation of Aleppo by the Syrian government troops and the Russian Aerospace Forces, which suggests some parallels.

These attempts of the Western media to discredit Russia’s role in the struggle against terrorists are regrettable. We see them as part of the double game played by some of our Western partners that divide terrorists into good and bad in the pursuit of their myopic geopolitical interests.

 

The Washington Post, February 5: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (By Erin Cunningham and Louisa Loveluck)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrias-idlib-province-pounded-by-russian-airstrikes-activists-say/2018/02/05/32b3f429-bae3-4d4b-ba12-df9a6181e64a_story.html?utm_term=.7ac13133eee9

 

The Guardian, February 6: “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/05/russian-and-regime-jets-bomb-civilian-areas-in-north-west-syria-idlib

 

Newsweek, February 5: “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down.”

http://www.newsweek.com/russian-forces-ramp-syria-bombing-after-jet-shot-down-799308

 

Deutsche Welle , February 5: “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria.” 

http://www.dw.com/de/verheerende-russische-vergeltungsangriffe-in-syrien/a-42458136

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5: “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed.” 

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/russland-greift-nach-flugzeug-abschuss-verstaerkt-ziele-in-syrien-an-15433154.html




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