Western media frames jihadist-controlled Idlib as peaceful enclave under assault by Assad (VIDEO)
Western media reports denouncing the Syrian Army’s offensive to retake Idlib conveniently fail to mention that the area is controlled by warring jihadist groups that were designated as terrorists by the US State Department.
Idlib province – located in northwest Syria – is the last major jihadist stronghold in the country, but you would never know it if you got your news exclusively from CNN.
As RT’s Ilya Petrenko explains, some Western media reports have attempted to portray Idlib as a peaceful enclave under assault by the Syrian Army – while omitting the fact that the region is ruled by extremist groups such as Tahrir al-Sham (better known as Al-Nusra, or Al-Qaeda in Syria), Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and Nour al-Din al-Zenki. These groups have been accused of, among other crimes, beheading children, abductions, torture, and attacks on journalists and aid workers. Jayash al-Islam even once paraded caged hostages through neighborhoods that it once controlled – in hopes of using the civilians as human shields.
Several of the groups currently holed up in Idlib were even placed on the US terrorist list by then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Western media tactic of painting a jihadist stronghold as a bastion of legitimate resistance under siege by Assad was similarly deployed during the campaign to liberate East Aleppo, with breathless reports about bombed civilians, carefully ignoring the fact that designated terrorist groups – not “moderate rebels” – controlled the city.
And as the Syrian Army advances on Idlib, the media is once again starting to howl. Sky News even boasted of having “exclusive access to Idlib province,” describing the region as “the final rebel-held area of the country.”
Sky News has been given exclusive access to Idlib province in Syria as president Bashar al-Assad's forces prepare to try and recapture the final rebel-held area of the country— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) August 17, 2018
However, it appears that the narrative is already starting to crumble. The disclosure sparked considerable pushback on social media, with some commenters openly speculating about how Sky News was granted “exclusive access” to an area controlled by warring jihadist groups.
In another setback to the “besieged moderate rebel” narrative, the UK is cutting its funding for rebel groups in Syria, with The Times of London noting that the decision was made in light of the fact that the war was coming to an end and remaining rebel areas had “fallen into the grip of jihadists.”
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