Sunday, January 10

Fake photos of starvation in Madaya, Syria spread on internet UPDATED 2X

Update #2
The Al-Masdar website I described below as Yemeni is actually based in Lebanon and not connected with the Yemeni (or Israeli) site of the same name.
Update #1
For the real story on the Madaya situation, see these two reports from Paul Antonopoulos at Al-Masdar News, an independent Yemeni news site: Madaya: Why would Assad starve his own supporters?, January 7, 2015 and Analyzing Madaya’s Starvation Falsification, January 9, 2016.


Those trying to destroy Syria are quick but FARS is quicker -- or rather it's getting quicker. I think it's beginning to sink in that real fiends want Syria partitioned and will stop at absolutely nothing to accomplish this. But clearly Western and Middle Eastern press that serve Qatar and Saudi Arabia, or haven't bothered to fact-check the Madaya starvation story, have lost the thread of journalistic ethics. 

The part I find most troubling, from the viewpoint of journalism, is that anyone with the will could have done what FARS did, which was scour the internet to find the real story behind several photos of people allegedly starving to death in Madaya.

Sat Jan 09, 2016 - 5:18 [local time]

[The child in the three photos to the right, below, isn't the girl in the left photo; in fact it's a boy, and he is nowhere near Madaya. See the FARS website for details. The FARS report, below, makes it clear this kind of misrepresentation has been done too many times in relation to the situation in Madaya to assume the person who posted the photo montage made a simple mistake.]    

TEHRAN (FNA)- This photo that has gone viral on the web to win the world sympathy and turn it into a global condemnation of the Damascus government has been taken in Amman, the Jordanian capital, and belongs to a Syrian refugee covered in an al-Arabiya news channel report in January 2014, where she was called Syria's Mona [Lisa].

The Arab and western media outlets have been releasing images of Madaya town in the past few days which is now under the Syrian army and Hezbollah forces' control. The images show that the residents of this town are starving and the pro-Syrian government forces prevent sending foodstuff to them.

The al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera news channels along with other Saudi-affiliated media outlets in the region and the western media have released several reports about this issue in the past few days and the February 14 Movement has also launched propaganda against Hezbollah in Lebanon, all claiming that people in the Syrian town are dying of starvation under the siege of the Syrian army and Hezbollah.
Now, the question is if the reality is what these media outlets claim? It is clear that given the state of war in the region, the humanitarian situation in Madaya and other towns is fragile but the lies about the real conditions of the people should be revealed.

The Fake Images

The images released by the Arab and western media about the besieged people in Madaya are painful; they show children who have turned into a piece of skeleton or the adults who are dying of starvation.

By searching the images on the internet, one will understand that they either belong to other regions in Syria or are not related to the country at all.

A number of fake images released in the social media and by the Arab and western media are here:

[See FARS website for the fake images and explanations]

Such images are galore and go immediately viral on the social media these days, but with a little search, anyone can find out that the claims made about them are no more than lies.
Allegations about Food Blockade

The Arab and western media have claimed that Hezbollah and Syrian army forces are preventing the dispatch of foodstuff to Madaya town.

But the reality is that the Syrian forces have allowed tens of truckloads of food and medical aids and cargoes into Madaya, Shaghin and Sarghaya.

And this fact has been stressed in a statement released by the media center of the Syrian popular forces. "The humanitarian aids are under the terrorist groups' control and kept in their warehouses in the city center. They (the terrorists) sell the aids to those civilians who can afford to buy them," the army and popular forces' statement said.

Another important point also is that many residents of Madaya who seek to leave the town are prevented by the terrorist leaders.

This is while the agreements between the Syrian government and the terrorists, brokered by the UN, emphasize that 300 terrorists should surrender to the Syrian authorities and leave Madaya but this was opposed by other terrorists and not implemented. Also, the terrorists don’t allow the wounded to be transferred from Madaya and have threatened to target the vehicles carrying them.

Therefore, the terrorists present in Madaya should account for the chaotic humanitarian situation in the town more than any other party.

Selective Human Rights

A look at the besieged regions of Kafria and Foua'a regions in Idlib province as well as al-Zahra and Nubl in Northwest of Aleppo province that are totally ignored by the Arab and western media shows that they aren’t concerned about the humanitarian crises or human rights issues at all since these Shiite-populated towns have been besieged for years and photos show that the residents of Foua'a have resorted to eating grass and herbs, but the Saudi-led and western media outlets are mum. 
The Syrian army has several times tried to airdrop flour bags and bread to them after going through the terrorists' intensive fire. The Arab and western media have not released even one single report on the situation of these regions' residents.

The Saudi-affiliated and western media streams which enjoy abundant financial and technical possibilities compared with the resistance media have been playing with their audience's sentiments and cover reports based on their owners' desires and interests, while the least important issue for them is human rights.

Finally, the situation in Foua'a, Kafria, al-Zahra and Nubl as well as Madaya is for real vital, but the terrorists are the main culprits behind the situation and they are supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The Saudi media are trying to magnify one through fake images and let the others die in news blackout, otherwise not even a single person informed of news and developments can accept that Saudi Arabia is concerned about people's lives in Madaya, while attacking and slaughtering innocent civilians in Sana'a and Sa'da in Yemen with different missiles, cluster bombs and US and UK-made ammunition.

[see photos at website]
(I see FARS has added a pointer to their map. Thanks guys!)

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