A year ago, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced a new concept of the so-called “Transparent War”, which aims to make information on the full scale of Rusian military operations in the fight against terrorism available to both domestic and foreign media.
The Russian army has recently shown a tendency of atypical openness to foreign media representatives, which is not characteristic of the armed forces when it comes to world standards. The subject of the matter is the concept of the so-called “Transparent War”. Specifically, Moscow has completely opened up space for journalists from NATO and EU countries, who seamlessly monitor the large-scale military exercises of the Russian army, new weapons testing, and most importantly, details on its role in the conflict in Syria.
On this occasion, journalists tour all parts of this country that are under the control of the regular Syrian army. On the spot, they can see the extent of this country’s devastation during the years of battle with the most extreme forms of international terrorism, which has been actively supported by the West throughout the years.
The ruins of ancient cities and temples, destroyed infrastructure and massive civilian casualties speak for themselves. There had been virtually no Syrian in the past 8 years of this bloody war who hadn’t lost a family member. Those who have felt the true tragedy and character of this war on their own skin strongly support the legitimate President Bashar al-Assad and the Russian army as the only factors that can bring peace and prosperity to the region.
In the spirit of the proclaimed “Transparent War” strategy, the Russian Ministry of Defense allowed foreign journalists to visit Syria and see for themselves the consequences of years of conflict with terrorism. No selection is made on this occasion when it comes to countries from which journalists could come. Syria can be visited on equal terms by journalists coming from countries that are part of NATO, as well as their counterparts from countries that are friendly to Russia, such as Serbia and Kazakhstan. All that is expected of them is impartiality and objectivity in interpreting what they saw on the ground.
Recently, the Kremlin has allowed the Fourth Estate to undertake major journalistic tours that provide multiday visits to the Middle East, more specifically Syria. The basic idea of this action is to convey the truth about the war in this country. Journalists who often follow this conflict from diametrically opposed positions should be able to see for themselves its character on the ground in order to understand the real situation in the country.
So, late last month, the first group of journalists from NATO (Bulgaria, Greece and Italy) arrived in Syria, and their colleagues from Serbia and Spain will soon join them. It is interesting to note that some Bulgarian Russophobic media and social media groups immediately responded to the first reports made by Bulgarian journalists, criticizing the content. The baseless media aggression went so far that groups of Bulgarian journalists had to deal with explaining their travel expenses, instead of the main purpose of their trip, which was to give a more realistic account of the situation in Syria.
Journalists from the Bulgarian private media BTV Igor Georgiev and Boris Pintev recently had a chance to visit Syria. They even received permission to visit the anti-terrorist operation core areas at the border of Hama and Idlib provinces. The reporters were given the opportunity to visit a wider area of Khan Shaykhun, as well as a number of populated areas that had just been liberated.
This city became famous in April 2017 when it became a target of a false flag operation. Namely, 89 civilians from the city were then killed by the Sarin nerve gas, which was blamed on the Syrian army, which in fact had nothing to do with the attack.
What is a false flag operation? In particular, it is the name for all covert operations and similar activities such as armed and terrorist attacks, assassinations or sabotages undertaken by a state or organization with the primary purpose of attributing it to another party, most often to a rival state or organization for propaganda purposes. The main task of this whole staged affair is to attract domestic or international attention to a selected dispute, that is, to create an excuse that meets the constitutional and political criteria for entering a war, state of emergency or escalating a conflict. As in countless earlier cases around the world, the most widely known to the Serbian public being the classic false flag operations in Markale in Sarajevo or the village of Racak in Kosovo and Metohija, the United States and its global media services have used this type of attack for pre-coordinated action aimed at the crucial demonization of their adversaries, in this particular case of the Bashar al-Assad-controlled armed forces, followed by airstrikes on Syria’s Shirat base only three days later.
The team of Bulgarian journalists got the opportunity to see for themselves the horrors of the Syrian war on the ground. They reiterated their story that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is not as democratic as the political system in EU countries. However, seeing the sheer scale of death and destruction left behind by the terrorists waging war against the legitimate authorities in Damascus, they were convinced that the other side (terrorists) winning would be the worst possible option.
According to them, the main opponents of the Damascus regime are the most aggressive groups of radical Islamists. There are numerous testimonies from the local population that speak of a period of horror and terror, while groups of terrorists from radical groups gathered around the Hajat Tahrir al-Sham (the successor of ‘Jabhat an-Nusra’ – the Syrian branch of the pan-Islamist al Qaeda terrorist organization) ruled the area.
In a statement to the Bulgarian media, the first man of the city of Khan Shaykhun, Muhammad Fadi, said that “more than a thousand people were killed in the area of this city alone, while more than one million people fled from the wider region.”
“Life under terrorist occupation was unbearable. We did not have electricity or water, which led to a large wave of refugees,” Tarat Harir, a man who spent the entire war in the town of Khan Shaykhun, told Bulgaria’s TV team. A particularly poignant testimony was the statement of Abdul Lush, who lost 16 members of his family during the occupation. This medical student and a future dentist had no strength to talk about the terrible fate that has plagued him in this area. He only said that the day had finally come when the Syrian army would deal with the terrorists of Hajat Tahrir al-Sham and liberate his city.
The most striking thing is the devastation of these regions, which, without significant humanitarian and any other assistance, could lead to a new wave of refugees – Bulgarian journalists report. They saw that the Syrian army, in cooperation with the Russian military contingent, is making every effort to alleviate years of plight of the local population.
During their visit, Bulgarian journalists expressed their desire to visit the town of Homs, which the hosts granted to them. They had the opportunity to visit the Orthodox Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary, built in 59 AD, which is one of the oldest Christian religious sites in the world. On this occasion, they met with priest Luke Saudad, who is the head of this church:
“A few months after the war began, attitude towards us, the Christians, changed. One day a group of rebels (terrorists) came to our door and said that the essence of their war was not the fight against the authorities in Damascus, but against the Christians. Not far from Homs is the Orthodox Christian village of Sadat, in which, in just a few days, 51 innocent people were killed and whose only fault was that they were Christians. That pogrom happened in 2013,” Father Luke said. About 150,000 refugees have found refuge in this city as a result of religious persecution by radical Islamists.
Bulgarian journalists also managed to visit a center that houses former members of rebel formations who voluntarily surrendered to Syrian forces. They are now undergoing “rehab” before returning to normal life in the liberated territories. “We lived in hell for four years. We had no food, no water, no medicine. Three people in my family were killed. One had his throat slit, while the other two were shot,” said Muhammad for the Bulgarian TV team. “We felt the difference here. They treat us like people here, while there was nothing human about them (terrorists),” said his colleague Mashur Saleh Sulayman.
A journalistic excursion through Syria took the Bulgarian duo to Aleppo, a metropolis in northern Syria. They stated that the battle for this city showed the determination of the Syrian authorities to fight for every inch of their territory. However, the overall situation in this city is still very difficult, as local authorities are unable to revitalize destroyed towns and villages and restore normal life. The western parts of the city are controlled by the Syrian army but sporadic shots could still be heard there. At this point, Syrian units are attempting to push the Hajat Tahrir al-Shama units as deep as possible into the province of Idlib, which is their last stronghold.
Bulgarian journalists have noted that this city is still, in a way, “cut off” from other Syrian-controlled territories. The fastest and safest transportation from the depths of Syrian territory is by air. Road communications have been reestablished, but are still targeted by terrorist formations grouped in Idlib province.
A visit to the church of St. Elijah, located in the center of the city, was organized. Otherwise, this temple has been on the line of separation between the Islamic State terrorist forces and the SAA for four years. Local residents, regardless of their religious affiliation, consider this temple a sacred guardian of their city. Bishop of the Diocese of Aleppo, Father Joseph Toby, said that before this terrible war, Christians and Muslims lived in harmony in this city, while there was virtually no unemployment. “And then the world powers sowed the evil seed of jihad here, which was just an excuse for exploitation of Syrian oil,” he added.
In addition to Bulgarian journalists, their colleagues from Greece (antinews.gr) and Italy (insideover.com) also took part in the trip. Together, they noted that Moscow’s successful strategy led to a turnaround on the ground, in which the Syrian army has literally been revived in recent years.
The Italian journalist talked about the significant technological and tactical advancement of the best Syrian units, which, thanks to Russian instructors, were able to perform even the most complex ground combat operations. This was especially indicative in the latest Syrian army offensive during which the city of Khan Shaykhun was liberated. At the moment, the Syrian army, in coordination with their Russian allies, is trying to stabilize the situation in the newly liberated areas. This applies in particular to the delivery of humanitarian aid, but also to mine clearance and clearance of road communications.
Source: Кoncepcija transparentnog rata