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Syria’s ‘Peaceful’ Protests and “Freedom Bullets,” Testimony from the REAL Syria Civil Defence

21st-centuryVanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire

Two myths pervade the NATO-aligned accounts of the Syrian conflict with greater persistence than all others. First is the “peaceful uprising” suppressed by “violent and brutal government security forces, armed to the teeth,” and the second is the 2013 Ghouta chemical attacks. 

Both have been largely discredited and dismantled by the evidence and testimony from Syrians inside Syria and a number of respected researchers and analysts such as Professor Tim Anderson in his universally acclaimed book, the Dirty War  on Syria.

“The popular myths of this dirty war – that it is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or a sectarian conflict – hide a murderous spree of ‘regime change’ across the region. The attack on Syria was a necessary consequence of Washington’s ambition, stated openly in 2006, to create a ‘New Middle East’. After the destruction of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, Syria was next in line.” ~ Prof. Tim Anderson

Independent journalist, Eva Bartlett who has traveled many times to Syria to report from on the ground, wrote an in depth article about the US Coalition lies and propaganda.  In her detailed analysis, “Moderate Terrorists. Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria. Leftists Keeping the Myth Alive”, Bartlett says:

“Yet, it is known that from the beginning, in Dara’a  and throughout Syria, armed protesters were firing upon, and butchering, security forces and civilians. Tim Anderson’s “Syria: how the violence began, in Daraa” pointed out that police were killed by snipers in the March 17/18 protests; the Syrian army was only brought to Dara’a following the murder of the policemen. Additionally, a storage of protesters’ weapons was found in Dara’a’s al-Omari mosque.”

Father Franz van der Lugt. (Photo: Screenshot)

Staunch defender of Syrian sovereignty, Father Franz van der Lugt was murdered by extremist factions on the 7th of April 2014. These factions had infiltrated the ranks of the “moderate” Free Syrian Army and had occupied the priest’s parish of the Bustan al-Diwan neighborhood in Homs.

In a letter published in January 2012 on the Dutch-Flemish Mediawerkgroep Syriëwebsite, Father Frans wrote:

“From the start, the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.”

In the same letter, Father Frans insisted that what was occurring in Syria could not be described as a “popular uprising,” since the majority of Syrians do not support the opposition and “certainly not” its armed component.

During my recent 4 weeks spent traveling inside Syria, including Aleppo, I had the opportunity to meet with and interview the REAL Syria Civil Defence crews in various governorates across Syria.

Part I of a series of articles on the REAL Syria Civil Defence, exposing the NATO-state multi million funded, Al Qaeda-linked, White Helmets as imposters who fraudulently use the Syria Civil Defence name: The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist Linked Imposters

Among the crews I met with, were the Syria Civil Defence of Latakia.  To follow and support their brigade, please go to their Facebook page, Latakia Fire Brigade.

Part II of the series on the REAL Syria Civil Defence will be published at 21st Century Wire very shortly.

Latakia Fire Brigade centre, Latakia. Syria August 2016. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley)

The following is a testimony written by one of the Latakia crew members on 25th March 2016 to commemorate the events of 25th March 2011 when the “peaceful” protestors invaded the coastal areas of Latakia, Jableh and Tartous.

25th March 2016

“On this black day five years ago, we witnessed the negotiations in Jableh Al Duraibeh, to resolve issues between “peaceful protestors” and security forces. Back then, none of us knew what was really happening.  In the early days of “peaceful freedom protests” witnessed by Latakia, many members of the security forces were murdered by the “peaceful bullets” of protestors.  Back then, the only arms allowed for the security forces and civil defence, were batons, plastic riot shields and the fire brigade water cannon.

Negotiations were being held with the “children of freedom” who brought the demand that we release one person from the Al-Harmoush family.  Our only task, as the Syria Civil Defence was to take position in front of the Jableh prison in case of any emergency.

We were shocked when we saw the protestors. People dressed in foreign looking religious garb with long beards that reached their chests.  On this first day of “freedom” in Latakia, it was also the first time we witnessed Syrians of such extreme appearance. Naively we asked ourselves, what do they have to do with this whole process.  Of course, in the end, all our misery came from those beards.

What follows is the Lattakia Fire Brigade documentation of that black day.  Some details have been omitted as they are too horrifying to be shared:

Every year on this day we have a duty to remember what happened in Latakia and we must learn from what befell our dear city.

On this day in 2011, began a dark period for our city and for its people. We have an obligation to remember and to remind everyone of what happened on that day and how we witnessed it as Latakia Syria Civil Defence.

Firstly, our brigade was divided into two groups. One to cover Latakia city and one for Jableh city in order to be ready for any possible riot.

On that day, the protests began in Al Amara square in Jableh city, after Friday prayers. Two protests met in the square, one supporting the Syrian government and the other against it.

Security forces took up position in between the two factions, “armed” only with batons and plastic shields.

We had instructions to use the water cannon to disperse the crowds if violence erupted.  This instruction included both sides without any exceptions.

When the situation calmed down in Al Amara square we were told to move to the Corniche (coastal road) in the Al-Duraybeh area.

When we arrived we saw two security force members rescuing two civilians whose faces were disfigured by heavy beating after being kidnapped. We went to help them and immediately put the civilians into an ambulance.

We were shocked to see that all shops on the Corniche had been destroyed, litter bins were on fire and the road was littered with rocks.

Standing in front of us were the “freedom fighters” with their “freedom weapons”.  They started advancing towards us and pelting us with their rocks. 

One of our colleagues was injured in his leg.

Our only protection were the security forces with their plastic shields and batons.  All of a sudden we heard gunfire.  It was aimed at us and the security forces.  One security force member was fatally shot in the chest, he died immediately.

Another was shot in the shoulder.

The first day of protests, these freedom fighters used live ammunition.  This was the “peacefulness” of the first day.

Like thunder, the news of the protests rolled in from different areas of Latakia, our colleagues told us what was happening in Al-Sheikh Daher Square during one of the protests.

We rushed to the square to be confronted by burning tyres & litter bins and we saw that the entrance to the square was blocked on the opposite side to Jol Jammal school.

Video from Latakia Fire Brigade Facebook page, live footage of events at Al Sheikh-Daher Square on 25th March 2011

On the same side as the school we stood shoulder to shoulder with the security forces who had nothing more than batons to protect themselves, [during early protests] no guns had been allowed by the government.

On the opposite side, stood the “peaceful protestors” with knives, swords, daggers, clubs and assorted weapons.  Many were holding signs that read:

“Peaceful freedom: we sacrifice our blood for Deraa”

We received the order to turn the water cannon on the people. We stress that this was only potable water, nothing more dangerous than that. We opened the water hoses on the people and the gates of hell opened for us.

They started running towards us, throwing stones, burning tyres and litter bins. The slogans they chanted changed from peaceful to sectarian slogans that made no sense to us.

Editors note: “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave” is one of the most “harmless” slogans that were being chanted at “peaceful demonstrations” in March or April 2011.

The protestors headed for A-Qowatly street and we followed them with the water.

They retreated to Ugarite square, crushing cars and overturning the litter bins, destroying everything in their path to block the road behind them.

As we reached Ugarite Square, we had run out of water, and here they turned and began advancing towards us.  They started to use bigger rocks, all the car windows in the street were smashed. Our colleague [Maxim Rihan] fell off the fire truck and was set upon by the “peaceful protestors” armed with knives. They attacked him mercilessly. 

His leg was broken from the fall, his thigh tendon was severed by their knives and they stabbed him repeatedly in the back. Thank God, he was physically strong enough to survive this onslaught.  He was pulled to safety by Badr Shreqi, chief of the Al Slaybeh Syria Civil Defence. Shreqi saved our colleague’s life and we are eternally grateful for his intervention.

They attacked the security forces and murdered four of them, causing others multiple injuries with their “peaceful knives”.

Miraculously, we survived.  Another colleague, Daniel Salman, was injured, the tendons of one of the fingers of his right hand were severed and he was stabbed in his left shoulder.  He also had additional wounds from the debris of a car being destroyed next to him.

Ten of our colleagues sustained serious head injuries from the “freedom rocks” and were taken to Latakia hospitals.

One fire engine was stolen and the driver was severely beaten but survived against all odds. The vehicle was later restored to the fire service.

One public transport bus was set alight and the Syriatel (telecommunication company) service centre in Al Sheikh Daher square was burned to the ground.

People were trapped inside the building and evacuation was being impeded by the “peaceful protestors”

We were told it was too dangerous for us to attend the fire so we were forced to “stand down”.

That night, the fire brigade depot was surrounded.  Tyres were burned in front of it and we were blockaded inside, cars were not allowed to leave. The chanting was insulting and sectarian, our lives were threatened.  We are fire-fighters, humanitarian workers, yet we were targeted by these “peaceful” protestors.

We resisted the provocation because we understood that if we reacted to their taunting, we could have caused a catastrophe.

According to Jamila Assi of Jamila Eyes, who was in Latakia during the protests and who translated this testimony for 21st Century Wire:

“All city inhabitants were locked in their houses for almost two weeks.  It feels like a century away now, you brought back memories I have not thought of for a long time”

One other US Citizen who has been a resident of Latakia for the past 24 years also told me:

“I personally know an 18 year old soldier, from a nearby village, who was under orders from his commanders, to not bring a gun/rifle, but just a stick.  He was brought back to  his home in a plastic garbage bag, literally chopped to pieces by those men welding knives and machetes.”

Jamila Assi also translated a message from the REAL Syria Civil Defence in Latakia, published at 21st Century Wire on the 8th October 2016: Message from the REAL Syria Civil Defence about White Helmet Frauds

The testimony from Syrians on the ground during the early “peaceful” protests is utterly denied and “disappeared” by western NATO-aligned media outlets and state sponsored NNGOs (Non-non Governmental Organisations) such as Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Taken from an early HRW report on the initial violent protests in Syria, misleadingly entitled, Syria: Security Forces Fire on Protesters:

“Anti-government demonstrators in Latakia who spoke to television outlets accused the security forces of opening fire on them, while officials and pro-government protesters accused the anti-government protesters of having guns and shooting at police.” ~ Human Rights Watch report on early “protests”

This disturbing disparity in narrative between Syrian witnesses to the early protests and the media vilification of the Syrian security forces, including the neutral, genuinely humanitarian Syria Civil Defence,  has never been accepted by the left-wing supporters of the Dirty War on Syria and hawkers of the “moderate rebel, peaceful revolution” myths.

Many of the calls for a ‘No Fly Zone’, ‘Safe Zone’, ‘No Bomb Zone’ which are widely accepted to be a declaration of war against Syrian ally, Russia, & the harbinger of a failed statehood for Syria, are based upon the relentless adherence to these two pivotal narratives that are widely proven to be untrue and obscurantist.

The perpetual conflict in Syria is being maintained by these narratives.  We witnessed a recent interrogation of Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, by Channel 4’s Cathy Newman that could only be described as an inquisition designed to refresh the Chemical Weapon lies in public perception, denying all evidence that points clearly to the “moderate rebels” being responsible for the majority of chemical attacks across Syria, including the divided city of Aleppo. Recent chemical attacks carried out by the Nusra Front (Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria) led brigades of militants in East Aleppo have devastated the majority civilian population of West Aleppo.

“From my research and analysis, I have come to the conclusion that the UN report as well as human rights organizations like the Human Rights Watch were influenced by bloggers and analysts closely tied to the US and its allies to prove that the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attacks. Consequently, they produced reports that are of questionable quality and not above reproach. This is especially true about the UN team’s comments about the rockets being the delivery vehicles for the nerve agent. ” ~ Subrata Ghoshroy MIT (Massachusett Institute of Technology). Full report here.

As the evidence builds against the NATO-aligned media propaganda, the cracks are starting to appear in their accounts and public exposure of their lies is increasing. Syria has been mercilessly targeted by the various false flags and demonization policies of western media and governments, designed to undermine the Syrian national forces, the Syrian government and the Syrian state humanitarian organisations who work tirelessly to defend and offer respite to their people under siege by US/EU punishing economic sanctions and US Coalition proxy militant forces.

The REAL Syria Civil Defence witnessed the beginning of the “peaceful” demonstrations and they were targeted by the “peaceful” bullets, rocks, knives and sectarian insults. They survived because they refused to respond to the extreme provocation being directed at them by militant factions inside Syria.  The crew members I met this year told me, despite all this, they continue to respond to emergency calls from both government and terrorist areas.  For them, being humanitarian means not succumbing to sectarianism and defending the right of any human being to receive attention and medical care regardless of their ideology.

As one Latakia crew member said to me ” we have no idea who is calling when we take an emergency call, we respond to everyone



Original investigative report: 
The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake White Helmets as Terrorist-Linked Imposters

White Helmets: ‘A Pseudo NGO’
CrossTalk: ‘White Helmets, Really?’ with Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett & Patrick Henningsen

Report by Patrick Henningsen
AN INTRODUCTION: Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

Open Letter by Vanessa Beeley
White Helmets Campaign for War NOT Peace – Retract RLA & Nobel Peace Prize Nominations

Staged Rescue Videos
(VIDEO) White Helmets: Miraculous ‘Rag Doll Rescue’

Mainstream Media: Fake News
CNN’s Claim That ‘White Helmets Center in Damascus’ Was Hit by a Barrel Bomb

White Helmets and Mayday Rescue:
The Syrian Civil Defence: Wikipedia

21st Century Wire compilation of key information on the White Helmets:
Who are the Syria White Helmets?

21st Century Wire article on the White Helmets:  
Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception ~ the “Moderate” Executioners

Cory Morningstar report:
Investigation into the funding sources of the White Helmets, Avaaz, Purpose, The Syria Campaign

Report by Scott Ritter:
The ‘White Helmets’ and the Inherent Contradiction of America’s Syria Policy

Open letter to Canada’s NDP Leader on Nobel Prize:
Letter to NDP from Prof. John Ryan protesting White Helmet nomination for RLA and Nobel Peace Prize

White Helmets: Bogus Claims:
‘We Saved 60,000’ – Bogus Claim by Syria’s White Helmets Raises Even More Questions

READ MORE WHITE HELMET NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire White Helmet Files




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