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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Aleppo Media Centre’ Funded By French Foreign Office, EU and US


Vanessa-BeeleyVanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire

The headline read: “Little boy pulled alive from the rubble”. The Aleppo Media Centre video and photograph of Omran Daqneesh, aka the ‘Dusty Boy” of Aleppo, allegedly rescued by the notorious White Helmets in terrorist-held East Aleppo, went viral almost immediately, rocketed into the propaganda stratosphere by the western mainstream media.

Almost every mainstream media outlet worldwide showcased this video and the now infamous still photograph of “Dusty Boy” Omran. The dusty and bloodied child was placed upon a chair in what seemed to be a pristine condition ambulance, despite being in an alleged war zone, while being photographed by a barrage of cameras and mobile phones. Meanwhile, nobody actually attended to him medically – it was as if this were a staged photo-shoot.

Nobody comforted him, dressed his supposed wounds, or put him in neck brace, or even on a stretcher presuming he might have had spinal injuries (standard first aid procedure) having just been rescued from ‘under the rubble’ of a bombed building which AMC claimed was targeted by “Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes.”

PROPAGANDA HUB: The Aleppo Media Center supplies US, UK, NATO members states, Qatar’s Al Jazeera and many more, with pro-regime change images, providing PR backing for listed terrorist organizations operating in Syria. 

This Aleppo Media Centre pulled off a propaganda coup – one that generated calls for a No-Fly-Zone and associated western intervention policies all focused on salvaging the US failed road map of “regime change” in Syria. However, a number of independent international journalists, media analysts, and peace activists began to question the imagery and its source, which revealed some extremely disturbing details – not only about the picture itself, but more importantly about the organization who supplied it to an eager western media.

“Recently, a compelling photo of a bleeding and seemingly confused young Syrian boy seated in an ambulance in Aleppo was widely distributed and commented upon in domestic and international news media.  In response, some journalists have called for the Obama Administration to “take action,” including bombing government military targets in Syria.” ~ Veterans for Peace Statement

For further insights into the “dusty boy” propaganda go to 21WIRE’s video report: Aleppo, Syria, ‘Dust Boy’ Image Staged.


Looking back at the event, the media furore, led by Washington, London, Europe, the Gulf States, Turkey and Israel, was intentionally overwhelming and acted not only as a familiar catalyst for the neocolonialist governments patterned responses, but it also successfully acted as a deflector and smokescreen, designed to conceal the daily massacres carried out by US-NATO and Gulf State-backed terrorist aka ‘moderate rebels’ in East Aleppo (approximately 220,000 people remaining, many of them terrorists and their families) against Syrian civilians who are living among the rarely mentioned 1.5 million civilians in West Aleppo, an area controlled and protected by the Syrian government and the Syrian national armed forces.

RELATED: No “Dusty Boy” Outrage for 7 yr old Haider, Sniped by NATO Terrorists in Idlib Village of Foua

In the first two weeks of August alone there had been 143 civilians murdered by the majority Al Nusra Front mortar fire into western Aleppo, including 54 children and 23 women. This information was supplied to Vanessa Beeley by Dr Zahar Buttal, director of the Aleppo Medical Association during her trip to western Aleppo on the 14th August 2016.

AMC photographer Mahmoud Raslan supplied the staged image of Omran to eager western media outlets.

The Usual Suspects

If the BBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera and others had conducted a cursory web search they would have quickly found out what other more thorough media outlets discovered.

The identification of alleged photographer of ‘Dusty Boy’ Omran was a man named Mahmoud Raslan [or Rslan] a self-described “activist photojournalist.” According to his own social media profiles and images, Raslan has been revealed as a fully-fledged terrorist sympathiser –  exposed very rapidly by a number of respectable and reliable media outlets including Sputnik News:

Photos circulating online from the social media account of Omran’s photographer, a man by the name of Mahmoud Raslan, appear to show him commiserating with the killers of another child – 12-year-old named Abdullah Tayseer Issa, who was gruesomely beheaded by US-backed ‘moderate rebels’ last month….The photos, circulating on social media and collected by LiveLeak (warning, graphic images), show screenshots of Raslan’s Facebook page, including an image showing him posing and smiling with the terrorists from the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement who murdered Issa in cold blood.”

Raslan capitalised on his new found media stardom and circulated his heart wringing witness statement, first to the Telegraph, that ran with the story without any apparent investigation into Raslan’s terrorist roots:

“The tears started to drop as I took the photo. It is not the first time I’ve cried. I have cried many times while filming traumatised children. I always cry. We war photographers always cry.”

Apparently the abuse, torture and beheading of 12 year old Abdullah Issa (child killers pictured with Raslan below) failed to produce the same copious crocodile tears from terrorist sympathizer, Raslan.

During his various forays into the murky world of this deep state-controlled mockingbird media, Raslan has maintained that he is a “freelancer”, one who dabbles in work for Al Jazeera and AFP and who is “affiliated” with the Aleppo Media Centre.

Sarah Flounders, head of the International Action Centre told RT:

“No, I think this photographer absolutely is known on Facebook, on YouTube for continually posting images, pictures applauding the Zinki militia, really a terrorist organization – well known even before this horrendous beheading of a Palestinian-Syrian child. He is not by any stretch of the imagination a human rights activist. He calls himself a ‘media activist’, but his role has been to applaud and support the terrorist activity in Syria.”

Among other statements, Raslan also posted on his Facebook page describing how, “some of the best times I have spent have been with suicide bombers.”

In a later interview with Al Babwa, Raslan does his utmost to repair his  shredded reputation.

“I would never work with any group that disagrees with my personal beliefs, but sometimes we have to take pictures with them,”  adding “I normally take hundreds of selfies with whoever I see on the fronts. We who work in press take hundreds of pictures that we keep in our archives.”

So from this, we should be able to deduce that next time Raslan is at a “front” his Facebook and Twitter pages will be awash with selfies of Raslan with ISIS, Al Nusra (al Qaeda), Arar al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, or anyone else he bumps into at the ‘front.’

Follow the Money: Who’s Funding the Aleppo Media Centre?

Now it gets interesting. Writer Anne Barnard of the New York Times writes a suitably stirring account of the Omran story. It must be remembered she has also penned a very fine eulogy to a suicide bomber not so long ago. In her report, she identifies the Aleppo Media Centre as:

A longstanding group of anti-government activists and citizen journalists who document the conflict…”

Anyone walking on the right side of the tracks of this Dirty War on Syria will shudder at the double whammy of ‘activist’ and ‘citizen journalist’ in the same sentence and then to have ‘anti-government’ thrown in for good measure – completes this propaganda picture.

What the NYT’s Barnard does not tell her readers: this terminology [when used by the NATO PR media] generally intimates a penchant for Wahhabi beards,  shouting Takbeer [God is great] when targeting civilians with a variety of missiles, and the acceptance of a “moderate rebel” selection process that ensures those who not adhere to the “moderate rebel” extremist ideology are declared infidels and summarily executed.

Follow the Money

First lets examine the funding sources of this group of activist-citizen-journalists – embedded alongside the gaggle of religious extremist terrorist groups and other US/NATO state operatives, located exclusively in the Al Nusra Front dominated areas of East Aleppo, itself the launch pad of the daily hell cannon missiles that shatter the lives of the 1.5 million Syrians living in the Syrian state and army controlled West Aleppo.

As Sott.net rightly pointed out, Aleppo Media Centre is a ‘project‘ of the Syrian Expatriates Organisation [SEO]:

“The SEO is what it sounds like, a group of American citizens of Syrian extraction who have their offices on K Street in Washington, D.C., a street that is famous for being the center of the American political lobbying industry, with numerous think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups based there.” ~ Sott.net

On the SEO website we find that they were instrumental in the establishment of the Aleppo Media Centre:

“News reporting and media outreach have been among the major tasks that are vital to the civil uprising in Syria. Aleppo Media Centre, a specialized news center serving Aleppo and its suburbs, has been established with a generous contribution from SEO. Since October 2012, SEO has been responsible for coordinating Aleppo Media Center and providing technical and logistical help along with the financial help it provided.”

However, the SEO is not the only benefactor of this much relied upon media centre, embedded in Al Nusra-land. In December 2015, France’s own state media body, Canal France International (CFI) celebrated the fact that Aleppo Media Centre would be broadcasting over the FM radio airwaves of Aleppo, Idlib and Hama. Again, Idlib and Hama, along with East Aleppo – are also Al Nusra Front strongholds.

The following statement accompanying the launch of the AMC radio station is to be found on the French CFI website:

“Since 2012, the Aleppo Media Center, which has permanently brought together around twenty journalists based in Syria, has been providing continuous news coverage of the latest events affecting the region, with articles, photographs and videos being published on its website and on social media.

Thanks to the support that it has received from the Syrian Media Incubator in Gaziantep (Turkey), the Center is now seeking to bring a new project to fruition: setting up a local radio station in Aleppo, which will be broadcast for two hours every day on the FM 99.00 frequency, and around 15 hours per day on the Internet.

Over the course of 2015, the Incubator has given several training courses in radio and video to the journalists at the Aleppo Media Center. In November, it contributed towards the purchase of equipment for the studio and helped set the studio up, and also trained the team on how to use it.

In December, two members of the Center also received ‘trainer training’, which will allow them in turn to train citizen-journalists in Syria itself.”

So, Aleppo Media Centre is also receiving “support” from an organisation called the Syrian Media Incubator based in Gazientap, Turkey.  Interesting choice of name, as Turkey has also acted as an incubator for US-NATO, Gulf State and Israeli supported terrorist mercenaries of all denominations who have poured into Syria via the Turkish borders, along with weapons and supplies – all of which are the number one factor that has extended the current Syrian Conflict and ensured a perpetual cycle of misery and bloodshed for the Syria people.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. The ‘Syrian Media Incubator’ is a project funded by Canal France International (CFI), the French cooperation agency and media operator of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yes, that is the French Foreign Office, once removed, which is funding the Aleppo Media Centre, the main and primary source of ‘news’ on Aleppo for the whole of the mainstream media outlets in the UK, US and Europe.

Indeed, it’s all up there in red, white and blue on the French government website:

“Canal France International (CFI), the French cooperation agency and media operator of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently signed two substantial contracts (worth €2.7million) with the European Union to develop projects in support of independent media in the Arab world.

The first is a two-year contract concerning a project to further the development of independent media in Syria, mainly by providing training.

The project will receive funding of €1.5million, including €1.2million from the European Union (EU). The overall goal is to enable a new generation of Syrian journalists to produce high-quality, professional information today and to become pillars of the post-crisis media in the future.

In April 2014, CFI will open a media centre, the Syrian Media Incubator, in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, 60km from the Syrian border, to the north of Aleppo. This collective workspace aims to provide modern telecommunication tools and support Syrian journalists who are determined to continue relaying news from their country, whatever the cost.”

This admission by the French government is truly spectacular. Let’s examine that statement: France and the EU, hardly impartial observers of the war being waged against Syria by the US and its allies in NATO, the Gulf States and Israel, are funding and supporting a media outlet that is whipping up the propaganda storms at strategic points in the battle by the Syrian Arab Army, to liberate Aleppo from the claws of the US coalition terrorist gangs.  Their storms have sufficed to distract public attention from the real atrocities being committed by the terrorist entities against Syrian civilians in Aleppo and to once more invoke the clamour for a No Fly Zone, the ultimate tool that is needed by NATO to reduce Syria to a Libya style failed state.

rami-sohrNote here that the EU is also one of the main funding sources for another “Syrian opposition” NGO, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a one-man show based in Britain and run by a former Syrian convict called ‘Rami Abdelrahman’ (whose real name is Osama Ali Suleiman, photo,left), working in coordination with the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Why this is key is that just like the Aleppo Media Centre,the SOHR also provides all of these same western mainstream media outlets, and the US State Department and its allies – with all of their ‘news’ and ‘data’ about what is allegedly happening in Syria.

Whether it is Omran’s story or the recent claims of the use of chlorine bombs by the Syrian Army, they all serve an agenda that has little to do with benefitting the country of Syria, and much more to do with furthering the US-NATO’s own stated regime change policy objectives that have been at the top of their Syria to-do list since well before 2011 when the current pre-planned dirty war on Syria really started to gather momentum in Washington’s nation-building [destroying] agencies.

MAN CARRIES CHILD, MEN LOOKING BUSY: A familiar emotive and staged image, generated by Aleppo Media Centre (Source: AMC/Washington Times)

Once again, we see these self-styled “citizen journalists” being embedded deep inside these newly established terrorist colonies – terrorist enclaves that are teeming with fanatical, drug fuelled, violent unstable, criminal factions who are fond of launching glass, shrapnel or chlorine and explosive filled containers indiscriminately into the densely populated residential areas of West Aleppo.

These “citizen journalists” relish their role and their encampment inside the terrorist heartlands, and they certainly have no fear of these murdering felons who have shown no compunction to carry out the most heinous of atrocities, including sawing off the head of a 12 year old, emaciated, and whimpering-with-fear child, the aforementioned Abdullah Issa.

We are seeing the creation of another sector of the west’s shadow state concealed through a series of western-funded ‘NGO projects’ which is being constructed in the fog of war, brick by brick, until it forms an impenetrable barrier between the greater public and the truth of what is actually happening inside Syria, and to the Syrian people.

This shadow media enclave is being installed in order to erect the US-NATO propaganda tent – one which suppresses and silences the voices which would normally be heard from inside Syria, but which are blacked-out in favour of contrived, and hoax imagery, and other twisted reporting that categorically refers to Islamist terrorists as ‘rebels’ and ‘freedom fighters’.

The authentic, majority of voices should be those of the Syrian people – as opposed to the war cries of from US-NATO selected ‘opposition’ – the majority of whom are not even living inside Syria.

The Method:

“As a reminder, CFI already works in partnership with International Media Support (IMS) and Reporters sans frontières (RSF), and, in particular, helped in 2013 to set up an independent Syrian radio station called Radio Rozana, which broadcasts from Paris and relies on a network of 30 correspondents based in Syria. CFI provided several training sessions for these correspondents in 2013.”

The Target Nations:

“The second contract signed with the EU will enable CFI, over a period of three years, to fund projects seeking to develop online information services in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.”

Their Clear Objective & End Game:

“In this way, as the Arab world continues to evolve rapidly, CFI is redoubling its efforts to support the independent media that is destined to play a major part in the fragile processes of democratisation taking place.”

The French government’s endorsement:

“The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Développement international – MAEDI) has set CFI the task of implementing its policy of aid for the development of public and private media and, more generally, the audiovisual industry with a tri-media outlook, in countries in receipt of development aid.

Its goals include the dissemination of information [propaganda], the strengthening of civil society and the State of law, and support for new democracies or ‘fragile States’“. It has the backing of France Télévisions and Arte France, ensuring service to a professional standard.”

Media outlets such as Aleppo Media Centre are described in a CFI study, as a “bulwark against Damascus propaganda”, however as the so-called Damascus propaganda is instantly dismissed on all levels by US Coalition governments, their state media, human rights groups, controlled opposition groups, the Soros funded anti Syria NGO complex, NATO’s finest – the White Helmets, and finally the NATO-aligned think tanks… it is hard to comprehend why a bulwark was needed when a powerful international anti-Syrian state lobby already existed.

The Israeli Endorsement:

It is worth noting that Israel who is a primary beneficiary of the US Coalition war on Syria, according to Dr Bouthaina Shaaban (Media & Political Advisor to President Bashar Al Assad), had a page dedicated to reports from the Aleppo Media Centre on the Times of Israel news website up to the end of March 2015. This is an honour reserved only for those who fit into the narrow framework of the Zionist geopolitical vision of a fractured and fragmented Middle East, especially with its perennial rival in Syria – broken up along imaginary sectarian lines, a policy pursued by Israel and its ever more exposed partner in crime, Saudi Arabia.

The Main Actors

Zein Al Rifai. Co-founder of Aleppo Media Centre. Photo: Rozana.fm

One of the co-founders of Aleppo Media Centre is Zein Al Rifai, along with Youcef Seddik. In an interview with Syria Deeply’, another one of the myriad of newly formed media centres working to foment propaganda against the Syrian state and national army, Al Rifai responds to questions with the now familiar soundbites and outright lies.

“Aleppo was one of the first cities to hold protests, and the demonstrations that took place at Aleppo University were significant, but unfortunately the media did not cover Aleppo at that time and the early protests were not well documented.” says Al Rifai

Perhaps those “early protests” were not documented because they did not happen as described by Aleppo Media Centre founder Zein Al Rifai.

NOTE: Syria Deeply is funded by the Asfari Foundation, headed up by CEO Ayman Asfari who also provided the $300,000 seed funding for ‘Syria Campaign’ who in turn were part of the team creating perhaps the most successful of the NATO’s outreach agents, the White Helmets.

Here is a statement from Dr Tony Sayegh, an eminent surgeon based in West Aleppo, who when asked what ‘Aleppo’ was like before the conflict, responded thus:

“In July 2012 everything changed. But it was not the residents of Aleppo who rebelled against the rulers. Parts of the city were invaded by armed groups with fighters from other areas of Syria and from other countries. Tony Sayegh believes that the interests at stake of the invasion was much bigger than the control of a single city.

The attempt to overthrow the government of Syria with weapons and riots had failed. Then they decided to focus on Aleppo, to turn against the whole Syrian economy. The armed groups took over the water utilities and power plants to stop the supplys to the residents, and they focused on the industries. Entire factorys were taken down and driven to Turkey. They stole everything. That was when everything turned upside down and the bad days of Aleppo began.”

Photos on Zein Al Rifai’s Facebook page, flying the opposition’s new flag for Syria, leaves no illusions as to where his sympathies lie. Photo: Facebook page

A search on the activities of both Al Rifai and Seddik reveal that both of these anti-Syrian government “citizen journalists” are given easy access around France on a number of promotional speaking tours which is extraordinary considering how virtually impossible it is for the majority of secular, pro-government [or simply anti NATO intervention], normal Syrian citizens to obtain visas thanks to the hardline US and EU sanctions being implemented against the Syrian state, but primarily affecting the Syrian people.

In addition, both men are consistently described, by French press, as “anti-Assad activists,” and ‘journalists’ who have no objections to working alongside terrorist entities like Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria) provided the common goal is to overthrow President Assad.

“We maintain good relationships with most of the opposition factions. We all share the same goal: to liberate Syria from tyranny, but each of us has taken his or her own path to achieve it. We have covered areas controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra in both Aleppo and Idlib. They did not bother us at all.” ~ Zein Al Rifai to Syria Deeply

dr_kodmaniNot only do both men profess their affiliation with an organisation that is responsible for a huge percentage of the atrocities carried out against the majority of the Syrian people and beyond, but one of their regular speaking companions and co-advocates is none other than Hala Kodmani, the sister of ‘Syrian National Council’ opposition leader Basma Kodmani (photo, left).

Basma Kodmani’s credentials as a NATO favoured Syrian opposition candidate and double Bilderberg attendee are examined in detail by writer Charlie Skelton at the Guardian:

“A picture is emerging of Kodmani as a trusted lieutenant of the Anglo-American democracy-promotion industry. Her “province of origin” (according to the SNC website) is Damascus, but she has close and long-standing professional relationships with precisely those powers she’s calling upon to intervene in Syria.”


A very quick search for “Aleppo Media Centre + Omran” demonstrates just how pivotal this western-backed media outlet is to the NATO-aligned media propaganda mill. Virtually every major mainstream media outlet relies upon AMC videos and reports to bolster and maintain their US Coalition stream of anti-Assad chronicles. The Guardian, Channel 4, the BBC, the Telegraph, CNN, Fox News, Time, FT and many more all depend upon AMC to produce the goods that they all use to cook their narrative on Syria.

This is ‘smart power’ in a nutshell – a brave new world where media fat cats, operating from plush London, Paris and Manhattan high rise offices, no longer need to get their hands dirty in a war zone, they have their “activists” and “citizen journalists” to do it for them.

The problem is, in the case of Aleppo Media Centre, by any professional or ethical measure, their reports are neither balanced nor are they objective. They are funded by the French Foreign Office, the EU and the US – all of which are heavily invested in the US Coalition military operation and ‘road map’ for Syria and the eventual regime change prize they all dream of.

What’s worse, the Aleppo Media Center is embedded exclusively with Al Nusra Front, Arar al-Sham and terrorist-controlled areas. In their own words, they work closely with Al Nusra Front provided the regime change objectives are adhered to, regardless of the number of Syrian civilians massacred along the way – which is undoubtedly the case in Aleppo and all over the country too.

They are a crucial cog in a much larger, sinister network of democratization promoters and neocolonialist predators. They are also showcased by Israel, itself a primary beneficiary of perpetual conflict and chaos in Syria and the region.

In the end, they are promoting the idea that to improve Syria – they must first destroy it. Based on all available evidence, western state-sponsored media is working as the PR agency to sell that idea to the deliberately misinformed public.

These same Syrian embedded and satellite mainstream media outlets are liberally bandying around the Hitler label for President Assad, a cheap demonization device that they and their SMART power teams have regularly employed for other regime change targets – Muamar Gadaffi (Libya), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Slobodan Milosevic (Yugoslavia/Serbia) to name only a few.

Their ‘Hitlerization’ campaigns have reaped rich imperialist rewards, yet a read of Hitler’s own thesis on propaganda demonsrates very clearly that it is the global north and its mainstream media machine that adheres very closely to the intellectual conceit described in detail by Hitler himself – as being an essential component in controlling the masses and guaranteeing their acceptance of an eternal war.

“The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses” ~ Hitler, Mein Kampf



READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

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