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SYRIA: Maria Zakharova Press Briefing on West’s Chemical Weapon Propaganda Campaign


21st Century Wire says…

On the 29th June Maria Zakharova gave a press briefing on behalf of the Russian Foreign Ministry. In the briefing Zakharova covered the soon to be released [on 4th July] OPCW report into the alleged chemical weapon attacks in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib on April 4th 2017.

This event and the OPCW report have been shrouded in a degree of “mystery” that is unprecedented even considering the 6 year propaganada war that has been waged against Syria its allies, fighting against NATO and Gulf state terrorism.

With familiar candour and courage Zakharova dismantles and forensically examines the chain of events leading to the eventual release of the OPCW report.

Maria Zakharova Press Conference 29th June 2017

Unfortunately, new allegations against the Syrian authorities, who are purportedly “planning a new chemical attack,” have come from Washington.

We took note of these allegations and commented on them. We also know that no evidence has been provided to substantiate them. We do not know the basis for these allegations. The situation that has evolved as a result is reminiscent of a large-scale military and informational provocation that is directed not only against the Syrian authorities but also against Russia.

These accusations and threats sound cynical against the backdrop of the openly illegal actions by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition with regard to sovereign Syria, such as the missile strike against the Shayrat airfield on April 7, the bombing of government forces in Deir ez-Zor and al-Tanf and the shooting down of a Syrian jet bomber.

On top of that, a large number of Syrian civilians were killed as a result of bombing and shelling by coalition forces in Raqqa and other cities. According to AFP, during the Ramadan period alone, 500 people who had nothing to do with terrorists were killed as a result. Forty-two civilians were killed and dozens injured as a result of a missile and bomb attack against the town of Mayadeen in the east of the Deir ez-Zor province during celebrations after the Muslim fast.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that we regard such unilateral acts of aggression as blatant violations of international law and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and disrespect for the UN Charter.

Russia, Iran and Turkey as guarantors of the Astana process are actively preparing for the next round of the International Meeting on Syria in Astana, set for July 4-5. Russia sees the upcoming meeting in the capital of Kazakhstan as an important stage toward a peaceful settlement in Syria.

I would like to talk in detail about the chemical provocation that is unfolding right in front of us. Today we have an opportunity to see how the entire scenario to carry out a Syria plan based on allegations regarding weapons of mass destruction was planned and acted upon, a plan that we very much hope will not be implemented.

We know numerous examples when countries that consider themselves civilised have taken criminal actions on those grounds. Not just thousands but millions of people, including civilians, have suffered as a result. Nobody knows, and nobody has taken the trouble yet of counting civilian casualties in Iraq: hundreds of thousands of peaceful, innocent people at the very least.

As for the current situation, the information campaign regarding “the Assad regime’s preparations for a new crime against its own people with the use of chemical weapons,” which has been launched by Washington with support from London and Paris, as I said previously, it is nothing new.

It is developing in accordance with the traditional scenario, which was written for Syria. In other words, the traditional scenario that had been tested on a number of countries in the region was developed specifically for Syria back in 2013. At least that was when it was made public but it may have been developed even earlier.

In 2013, a provocation involving the use a chemical agent in eastern Ghouta (it is still unclear who used it) almost caused direct intervention by Western countries against Syria. At that time, not only the region but also the entire world was saved from a major war with absolutely unpredictable regional and global consequences by the decisive position of Russia, which proposed a plan for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles.

However, in April 2017, [civilians in] the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun fell victim to an alleged chemical attack that, according to the West, was launched by official Damascus. The current US administration did nothing unexpected. It only dusted off the playbook prepared by its predecessor (this refers to the 2013 scenario), which it recently criticised, and launched a strike against a sovereign state, Syria. By all indications, the information attack that is unfolding now, these days and these hours, is a forerunner to new intervention.

They reiterate, the scenario will be the same. Some incident occurs in an area controlled by militants, resulting in civilian casualties; the so-called opposition (i.e., jihadists, who do not in any way differ from ISIS or al-Qaeda but who receive aid from the US and its allies) will report the regime’s latest crime, as they usually do.

Importantly, at that moment no one will count the number of people who have died at the hands of these same jihadists, the so-called moderate forces; everyone will forget about the thousands of civilians killed by extremists but will only focus on a specific situation that will be highlighted in every possible way by extremists, who do not differ from terrorists in any way.

Just as the last time, purported evidence will be demonstrated to the Western public: [explosion] craters and some murky footage and photos of dead bodies allegedly made during the incident will go viral online. Then it will be proven that it was all staged in the same way as some well-known organisations demonstrated before.

Militants posing as the opposition concerned about Syria’s future and as eyewitnesses will go on camera. No effort will be spared to persuade the regional community to work for the Western TV and social media audience, providing firsthand accounts of the attack.

On the other hand, the scenario will be enacted as follows. Representatives of US intelligence services will claim to have airtight evidence proving the [Assad] regime’s responsibility. You know what the response to the request to present that evidence will be. They will say that this is classified information that cannot be disclosed. What’s more, as previously, they will say that the disclosure of this information would affect the situation and security in the region. They will argue that Western intelligence services, in particular US intelligence services, do not disclose their sources. This is classic. The motivation and explanation will be very simple: certain sources, witnesses, people who are in possession of real facts are in dire danger from the regime.

The 2003 aggression against Iraq has already demonstrated that simply anything can be used as evidence: detergent powder or some cleaning agent in a vial passed off as “sarin” or some student paper as a classified report. Eventually, everyone will learn the truth but it will be too late.

There will be an intervention, civilians will be killed and conditions for founding even more extremist organisations will be created. This was the case with Iraq. Ten years later, as you remember, Tony Blair apologised. What about those apologies? Who needs them? An entire generation was not born during these 10 years.

It is not that people were killed and children and young men who lived in those countries were physically and psychologically scarred for the rest of their life, but simply, new people were not born. This massacre continued for 10 years, expanding from the active phase into the phase of fighting terrorists who had never existed in that region. Then people in nice expensive suits appear on camera, apologise and bear absolutely no responsibility. They do not risk their freedom, let alone their life; they do not even risk their positions or official status. They can simply say, “We are sorry” but many do not say even that.

All objections by a legitimate government, which for some reason the West has described as a regime for so many years, all evidence from independent sources, issues related to the quality of sources or the expediency of citing terrorists and militants [in the media] will be simply ignored.

The provocation in Khan Shaykhun on April 4 bore all the hallmarks of this scenario. Such scenarios were developed on a small and large scale alike. Their organisers and those who called for punishing the regime have ignored not only the refutation of the chemical attack by Syria’s legitimate Government and by Russian experts on the ground, but also objective data.

In April 2017, the Syrian Army was successfully advancing on the militants’ positions. A question arises: what was the point of using chemical weapons in a territory that the Syrian authorities intended shortly to take control of?

Most average people who watch and read news do not bother to think what chemical weapons really are. Yes, these are horrible weapons of mass destruction, but these are also weapons that remain in the soil.

It turns out that the Syrian authorities themselves make their own land, environment and country unfit for habitation. After all, Syrian Army units should be deployed there, civilians should return to their homes there and people should live, work and study there. This most obvious and simple logic is ignored.

One hundred per cent of chemical weapons that were under the Syrian Government’s control were destroyed in 2013-2014 under international oversight. This is a fact that is obvious to everyone. What’s more, this fact was confirmed by the OPCW and it even won a Nobel Prize for that.

It would seem that everything goes to show that what they are trying to portray to us as a reason, as the main explanation for attempts at an intervention and regime change is refuted by the obvious facts. But no, the power of the media and propaganda, as well as the high-quality scenarios and time-proven methods of conducting these campaigns convince many people in the West that these measures are very effective.

There are also incontrovertible facts that everyone should know, remember and recapitulate. On the one hand, all the chemical weapons that were under the control of Syria’s legitimate authorities were destroyed. To reiterate, this is a fact that was confirmed by international experts, for which they received a Nobel Prize.

On the other hand, nobody took the chemical weapons from the militants, and it’s also a fact that militants, extremists and terrorists have these weapons. They periodically use them against government forces, in particular Kurdish detachments. However, international agencies investigate these incidents very slowly. The investigation of these incidents is dragging on and nobody in the West is in any hurry or insists that it should ever be finished.

Likewise, for some reason mainstream media outlets are ignoring these facts.

The video footage that was purportedly made during the incident cannot be recognised as fully authentic or meeting the standards of documentary footage. It is simply impossible because this footage is full of incongruities and inconsistencies.

So-called doctors give confusing evidence: they talk about chlorine and then they talk about sarin.

Then the people on camera say they are experts and doctors. Either they are not doctors or they have no objective information.

Rescuers (to be more precise, people who say they are rescuers) work without any protective gear or equipment. Imagine this: rescuers at the epicenter of a chemical attack have absolutely no protective equipment and easily talk on camera about what just happened there.

As a general rule, there are only men and children among the casualties but for some reason no women.

There are people involved in the activities of extremist, in particular jihadist groups among the “witnesses” and “experts.”

Nobody pays attention to a report by the Center for Citizen Initiatives, a US NGO, which has published an appeal from CIA veterans to President Donald Trump on the Khan Shaykhun incident. According to these veteran experts, in Khan Shaykhun, a Syrian plane dropped a bomb on the ammunition depot of a local Al Qaeda group where the noxious agents were in fact stored. A gust of wind created a cloud that rose as a result of the explosion, spread to a nearby village and led to numerous casualties.

The Conflicts Forum, an online resource run by former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke, published a series of materials by US investigative bloggers who are also critical of the US administration’s version of the Khan Shaykhun events. On June 25, German Die Welt published an article by Seymour Hersh saying that the Trump administration has ignored US intelligence services’ report that there is no evidence of chemical weapons being used in Khan Shaykhun. As for the symptoms of chemical poisoning, they were probably caused by the cloud of the chemical substance that was stored at the target of the attack.

None of this is taken into consideration or analysed.

Let’s go back to the goal of the provocation that is being prepared right in front of you now; you can see all of its components for yourselves. The goal is obvious – to reanimate the issue of so-called regime crimes, derail the political process launched in Astana and return the situation in Syria to the impasse into which it was led by Western rhetoric to the effect that Assad should go.

That said, the information attack launched by Washington is in effect provoking militants into committing crimes involving mass casualties.

This information attack will most certainly include components such as the use of photos of children by leading commentators, journalists and correspondents. Just as before, it will take not decades but months (half a year at the most) to acknowledge that these are either fake or staged photos.

However, the most important thing is that the entire power of mainstream channels (CNN and its commentators will play far from secondary role there) will be aimed at creating a gruesome picture designed to prove the regime’s crimes. Then action will begin. According to some reports, highly creative footage of this kind of provocation has already been made.”


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




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