Alwaght- When news of Aleppo’s liberation broke out, residents of the northern Syrian city took to the streets to celebrate. They honked their cars rhythmically to pro-government slogans, shouted celebratory phrases, and raised their hands to make the victory sign in front of cameras. While people may be able to suppress opposition, they cannot simply feign this kind of jubilant support. It was clear that Syrians were overjoyed that Aleppo was retaken from militants. Yet, the West as well as regional foes of Syrian President Bashar Assad and their media are still insisting that Syrians were better off under the occupation of extremist militants, whom they have labelled as revolutionaries.
However, evidence shows otherwise.
As Russian troops assisted the Syrian army in combing the liberated city, they came across a number of mass graves containing the remains of bodies. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, signs of torture and mutilation were discovered on the bodies.
Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov, said in a statement on Monday that Moscow would publicize them to let “the European backers of the so-called Syrian opposition well know who their wards actually are."
Furthermore, the foreign-backed terrorists had also mined streets and entrances in the eastern quarters of Aleppo before they retreated. Toys, cars, and motorcycles were rigged with explosives. Knowing that civilians would return to this area to search for whatever is left of their belongings, the militants tried to make sure they left behind a trail of blood even after they were gone.
In fact, when Lebanese news station al-Manar was broadcasting live coverage of the return of residents to areas that had been overrun by militants, an unexpected explosion took place. Men who had just walked into the street quickly returned with white dust covering their faces and clothes but visibly unharmed. When asked what had happened, they simply couldn’t answer. However, it was apparent that some sort of explosive had gone off.
Syrian authorities also gave an account of the execution of 21 Syrian civilians, including five children and four women, by terrorists.
Doctor Zaher Hajo, the director of the forensics office of Aleppo, told Syria’s official news agency, SANA that the bodies had been found in prisons run by the terrorist groups in al-Sukkari and al-Kalasseh neighborhoods of the city, adding that they bore wounds of gunshots fired at very close range.
Even chemical attacks by these terrorists have been overlooked in contrast to the media frenzy that surrounded the chemical weapons that Damascus had in storage from previous wars.
Earlier this year, Russia confirmed that militants in Aleppo have used internationally-banned chemicals.
“Terrorists in Aleppo are using chlorine against Syrian servicemen and civilians ever more frequently,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov. It has also been corroborated that at least 30 Syrian servicemen had been affected in a recent attack in eastern Aleppo.
He also lambasted Western governments, particularly France and Britain, for overlooking crimes committed by militants in Aleppo.
If the Russian and official Syrian accounts are automatically rejected , then why are the words of Western human rights groups as well as the accounts of civilians are also being undermined. Amnesty International has accused these armed groups of committing war crimes in Aleppo. The rights watchdog said it had collected evidence of the killing of dozens of civilians by indiscriminate shellfire on the Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood, a Kurdish-controlled area in Aleppo.
“By firing imprecise explosive weapons into civilian neighbourhoods the armed groups attacking Sheikh Maqsoud are flagrantly flouting the principle of distinction between civilian and military targets, a cardinal rule of international humanitarian law,” Amnesty explained in a statement.
The atrocity of these foreign-sponsored terrorists can also be observed in their treatment of civilians who had been trapped in the city during the siege. Once these civilians saw a way out, many tried to flee the militant-controlled areas. However, many did not survive to experience freedom again.
In November, hundreds of civilians gathered to protest against the presence of so-called ‘moderate rebels’ in Eastern Aleppo, when 17 of them were gunned down and a dozen others were executed. The protesting civilians had tried to leave Eastern Aleppo but were prevented by the militants’ blockade of exit routes.
Many more incidents, some of which are yet unknown, reveal the barbarity of the extremist militants fighting against the Syrian government and the Syrian people. These same terrorists are funded and backed by foreign states, including the United States, under the façade of “moderate rebellion.” Western mainstream media regularly refer to these groups as “moderate rebels” or “revolutionaries”, while largely disregarding their crimes and atrocities. If anything, they seem to take every chance to cover up their wrongdoings, mainly to avert responsibility and maintain the fabricated image of the war on Syria as a popular fight for freedom. At the same time, they solely point the finger of blame toward Damascus.
Before Aleppo’s liberation, various media outlets focused on the humanitarian side of the conflict depicting the suffering as a result of the Syrian army and its allies’ attempts to liberate the city from the grip of militants. At the same time, they turned a blind eye to the terrorists’ brutalities.
Even when Eastern Aleppo was liberated, Western media portrayed the victory as a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’. Failing to cover the gratification that residents of Aleppo expressed, falls under the umbrella of the blackout that is imposed when convenient. The same goes for portraying armed terrorists as freedom fighters.