I have noticed a recent and very disturbing trend on twitter among supporters of the Syrian opposition whereby they ignore mainstream media (yes, their own media) accounts of events that contradict their own narrative. In so doing, they brazenly distort and falsify reality despite a media consensus on these events.
Last week alone, these tweeps claimed that the 17 Palestinians in Syria who were killed by Syrian rebels, were in fact murdered and tortured by Assad’s forces. Separately, they have been repeating—despite the UN’s premilimary report on the issue—that those killed in Treimseh were civilians.
This despite this AFP report here which quotes a SANA interview with the head of the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA)— a battalion in the Syrian army— who condemned the kidnapping and killing of 17 of his troops by “armed terrorist groups” in northern Syria. HAMAS subsequently condemned the killings as reported by AFP and Al-Akhbar here: ”The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas issued a strongly worded statement on Thursday condemning “the ugly killing of 17 PLA soldiers” by suspected rebels in Syria.”
The second story regarding the violence in Treimseh has now been clarified by the UN investigation’s report as a battle between two warring parties rather than a massacre of civilians. As reported by the NY Times:
New details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons.
Their initial report said the attack appeared to target “specific groups and houses, mainly of army defectors and activists,” Ms. Ghosheh said in a statement. It said a range of weapons had been used, including artillery, mortars and small arms.
Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky, the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account.
The picture emerging is that there was a large group of fighters from the town and the local area bivouacked in Tremseh. The Syrian Army moved in early Thursday, blocking all exits and blasting away with machine guns, tank shells and rockets fired from helicopters, laying waste to the town.
“Whenever the Syrian Army knows there are fighters concentrated in an area, they attack,” said the leader of the Observatory, who goes by the pseudonym Rami Abdul-Rahman for safety reasons. “The majority of people killed in Tremseh were either rebel fighters from the village or from surrounding villages.”
Zionist collaborationist FSA thugs massacre Palestinian fighters in Syria, as reported by Akhbar here. Ironic that Hamas is condemning the side it has [indirectly] aligned itself with:
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas issued a strongly worded statement on Thursday condemning “the ugly killing of 17 PLA soldiers” by suspected rebels in Syria.
The head of the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) in Syria condemned on Thursday the kidnapping and killing of 17 of his troops by “armed terrorist groups,” state news agency SANA reported.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Wednesday that the bodies of 13 PLA soldiers had been found after they were kidnapped days earlier while en route to Aleppo in northern Syria.
The PLA is a battalion in the Syrian army, although it is made up of Palestinians living in Syria and who are conscripted to the armed forces.
PLA chief of staff Major General Mohammad Tareq al-Khadraa told SANA: “The fact that the armed terrorist groups kidnapped and killed 17 troops from the Palestinian Liberation Army in Syria proves the criminal, dirty role that these groups play and their links to Western and Zionist agendas.”
He added that the men were “tortured and abused,” that “they were unarmed, and that they were on their way to visit their families on holiday.”
Images of the massacre show messages scrawled on the bodies of the Palestinian men, reportedly left by armed opposition fighters.
It is unclear why the armed militiamen attacked the Palestinians, who have largely kept out of the Syrian uprising since it began in March 2011.
Khadraa called the men martyrs who “gave their lives in an offering to the liberation of Palestine.”
It called the killings “a racist, cowardly act that targets the presence of Palestinians in Syria as guests who do not interfere in internal issues.”
Hamas had its political headquarters in Damascus until the uprising began, when it sought to move its operations elsewhere due to the deteriorating security situation.
Roughly 470,000 Palestinian refugees live in Syria.
Strangely, AFP and NOWLebanon carried this report today about the Treimseh massacre, which contradicts the mainstream narrative that AFP had published earlier in the day:
Most of the people killed in the Treimsa violence in central Syria were rebel fighters, an activist said on Friday, adding the bloodbath followed a Free Syrian Army attack on an army convoy.
"At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven," Jaafar, an activist at the anti-regime Sham News Network, told AFP. "The rest were members of the [rebel] Free Syrian Army."
"An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA," he said. "The army staged a counter-attack with the support of [pro-regime] reinforcements from [nearby] Alawite villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated."
Separately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “dozens of rebel fighters” were among those killed.
"Several dozen rebel fighters were among those killed," said the Observatory, adding that only around 40 of the more than 150 dead had been identified.
Thirty corpses were burned and 18 were “summarily executed,” said the Britain-based group.
So Nadim Houry, Human Rights Watch’s deputy director of its Middle East and North Africa division, “condemns” the rebel massacre of al-Ikhbariya news staff here. However, the HRW representative refrained from calling it “horrible” or any other term that would express his moral outrage, as such terminology is strictly reserved for anti-imperialists and anti-Zionists like myself, as this example illustrates. And where are all those western liberals who were morally horrified by my “disgusting” , “sick” , “appalling” piece, now? I guess the massacre of government affiliated television staff isn’t a compelling enough narrative for assuaging their white liberal consciences.