Thursday, January 27, 2022

Which Aleppo?

The human tragedy pales as the US and Russia spin their narratives on the war

By: |
December 17, 2016 12:38:45 am
aleppo, aleppo syria, aleppo evacuation, WHO, UN, Russia, syria, Aleppo,Bashar-al Assad, Vladimir putin, ISIS, islamic state, aleppo news, world news, indian express news US secretary of state, John Kerry, has hinted that Russia may be guilty of war crimes and UN under-secretary for humanitarian affairs has warned that Aleppo is turning into a “human graveyard”. (Source: AP photo)

Aleppo is free, Aleppo has fallen. A little bit of tinkering on Twitter, the right set of hashtags and it is possible to get pictures and voices of tragedy from the destroyed Syrian city as well as “proof” that many of them are propaganda meant to discredit the Assad regime and Russia. Aleppo was either held by “rebels” fighting against a “dictatorial, sectarian” Bashar-al Assad, backed by an equally “dangerous” Vladimir Putin, or it has been “set free” from the clutches of terrorists who would “use women and children as human shields”. Independent verification of the vast amounts of testimonials and tales emerging from the city is nearly impossible — it is far too dangerous for journalists to get to the ground and gain access to confirm the social media stories.

US secretary of state, John Kerry, has hinted that Russia may be guilty of war crimes and UN under-secretary for humanitarian affairs has warned that Aleppo is turning into a “human graveyard”. Meanwhile, in Mosul in Iraq, government forces have been embroiled in an operation to take the city with air support from the US. In that situation, almost analogous to the one in Aleppo, the civilian deaths and human rights violations are blamed on ISIS terrorists, and there are markedly fewer hashtags and pleas to save the civilians in the city. Now, the Assad regime and Russia are using the same language and rationale for their offensive in Aleppo.

The region as a whole and Aleppo, in particular, is certainly facing an extreme humanitarian crisis. The current battle in the media, however, is as much one of propaganda and a desire to paint various actors as heroes or villains. Without independent, trustworthy coverage there is not much to choose between the US-Europe narrative or the Russian spin in Aleppo.

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