Eva Bartlett, an independent journalist who is the first Western reporter who has travelled through the areas of Syria that have been freed from jihadist control by the Syrian government with Russian air-support, is reporting, at the sott.net website, that everyone she speaks with has stories of horror to tell, and that in many instances the jihadists who were inflicting the horrors were U.S.-armed and backed, basically supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey — often “al-Nusra,” the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. As Seymour Hersh and others have reported, the U.S. has worked with the Sauds, Qatar, and Turkey, to get men and weapons to al-Nusra.
In Latakia, many of the the over 1 million Internally Displaced Persons from Idlib, Aleppo and surrounding areas who are being housed and supported by the Syrian government spoke of the same heinous kidnappings, beheadings, and other crimes that most media currently only associate with Da’esh (ISIS), but which were perpetrated (with Turkish support) by the so-called FSA [that’s the Free Syrian Army, the people that the Obama Administration backs and calls ‘moderates’] and other terrorist factions.
A man from Harem, near the Turkish border, spoke of being kidnapped by FSA terrorists, and of the decapitations of Harem residents, heads sent home in boxes.
“The terrorists attacked us, terrorists from Turkey, from Chechnya, and from Arab and other foreign countries. They had tanks and guns, like an army, just like an army. [The Sauds had bought those from the U.S.; the equipment is sent into Syria via Turkey.] For 73 days we were surrounded in the citadel of Harem. They hit us with all kinds of weapons. We had women and children with us. They showed no mercy. When they caught any of us, they slaughtered him, and then send his head back to us. They killed over 100 people, and kidnapped around 150… children, civilians, soldiers. Until now, we don’t know what’s happened to them,” he said.
People from the village of Kassab spoke of the joint Turkish-Nusra attack on their village in March 2014, of escaping with the help of Syrian soldiers, of the over 80 who were slaughtered, including 13 who were beheaded, and of the raping and plunder of their people and homes. “They raped our older women because they couldn’t find any girls,” one resident told me.
She said that in the city of Homs, when she was there in April 2014 (before the recent liberation of Homs by Syrian government forces):
Others spoke of the sectarian slogans in the early protests in Homs, including the slaughtering of Alawis and the driving out of Christians.
In other words, the jihadists who were occupying Homs were killing non-Sunnis: Alawites are Shiites; and, of course, Christians are also non-Sunnis. Bartlett reports that when she visited Homs again in December 2015 (after the Russian bombing campaign — which President Assad had invited into Syria — started on September 30th), the locals “were preparing to celebrate Christmas for the first time in years.”
She also reports that:
In Sweida, a Druze [non-Islamic, not merely non-Sunni] area southeast of Damascus which has largely fought off the attacks of militants since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, residents told me they had from very early on recognized the ‘revolution’ as a foreign plot against Syria. Druze leader, Sheikh Hammoud al-Hanawi (known as Sheikh al-Aqel) reiterated what residents had said about this plot, and spoke of how Sweida’s young and old men have protected the region and stand with the Syrian Arab Army.
Near the close she says:
Wherever I’ve gone in Syria (as well as many months in various parts of Lebanon, where I’ve met Syrians from all over Syria) I’ve seen wide evidence of broad support for President al-Assad. The pride I’ve seen in a majority of Syrians in their President surfaces in the posters in homes and shops, in patriotic songs and Syrian flags at celebrations and in discussions with average Syrians of all faiths. Most Syrians request that I tell exactly what I have seen and to transmit the message that it is for Syrians to decide their future, that they support their president and army and that the only way to stop the bloodshed is for Western and Gulf nations to stop sending terrorists to Syria, for Turkey to stop warring on Syria, for the West to stop their nonsense talk about “freedom” and “democracy” and leave Syrians to decide their own future.