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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Analysis: Revolution of Aleppo and Damascus FB page

June 24/25, 2017
(rough, incomplete)

Looking into a mystery, I had reason to skim a certain Facebook page of some interest. There are many like this, most of which I've just skimmed. But this one gets the following post to relate some of what I found there, and some observations and thoughts spinning off from that (and hat tip to Alex Ocana on Twitter for the starts).
Page title: ثورة حلب والشام ضد الطاغية بشار الأسد (Translates to "the revolution of Aleppo and Damascus (Sham) against the tyrant Bashar Assad.") It's  not current - last activity was October, 2014. The about page gives little of use identifying who's behind the page: (translated) "The traitorous al-Assad regime tries to show loyalty to Aleppo and Damascus. This is an injustice to the revolutionaries in the two countries, and from here we started supporting the revolutionaries of Aleppo and Damascus. They are part of the Syrian revolution, which is the revolution of the entire revolutionaries of Syria."

There are two profile pictures: a fighter in Jihadist dress with French mandate flag (right) and a smaller logo of Syria in Saudi green with Saudi-style crossed swords and koran, and little 'sound waves' to the northwest. The larger yellow text under that reads, I think:
waquluu (speak/tell?)

alnas (people)

hasananaan (? good)

So: وقولوا الناس حسذا = "say good to people," or "tell people the good news of the koran," with swords if necessary?

The page opines on Syrian democracy vs. that of their American semi-champions, on March 3, 2014. Coming from a mind seeming to support Saudi-style Islamist, sectarian, anti-democratic governance for Syria, this is ironic and transparent. For him and others, I made this (updated, using the second Obama slot for Trump)...

From at least May, 2013 (the deepest I dug), the admin posted daily until this end, on regime and Shia crimes against Syrains, alleged and accepted eagerly. On June 22, 2014 they showed armed Hezbollah guy near apparent Syrian civilians - no comment required. There are many graphic and even sickening images usually banned by Facebook rules sit there three years and more later. Lots of tiny babies who died are shown (Sept. 5, the tiniest one), and lots of  bombed homes with kids under the rubble. There are also lots of starved to death (prisoners?) rebels got photos of as soon as they were dead, but got no food to before that (will be all or mostly from Moadamiya and Yarmouk camp starvation, late 2013-2014, analyzed at those ACLOS links). The page also features some early White Helmets promotions, rescue scenes in Aleppo  on May 1 and Aug 11, 2014 (some of the earliest  known sightings - ACLOS)  

July 7, 2014: a video supposedly taken by regime forces (apparently leaked?) of themselves launching a scud missile on civilians. Note: scuds were apparently obtained and fired by terrorists on random faraway targets in Syria and once in Iraq, sometimes on leaked videos like this, since December, 2012 (heavily alleged in February and March, 2013 (ACLOS).  This later example might be one of the last before they finally used up all the missiles they had. 

The Revolution of Aleppo and Damascus page header seems to ask for $10 donations - they collected money once, if not currently. The same header declares links to Syriacare.org and others, and gives bank account numbers, one in Switzerland, for international deposit. On June 20, 2013, they showed some Gulf-looking folks with piles of cash - said donations, perhaps? (at right) The context (first sentence) is unclear, but the other text includes "From the campaign to equip 12,000 Mujahid in Syria"). At the time, a well-funded 2013 Latakia offensive was being planned and collected for. Staffed with thousands of often freshly-imported Jihadists attacking from Turkish soil, this would commence on August 2 (see below).

The author's sectarian agenda is clear enough; a Sept. 4, 2014 post denigrates Druze, calls Alawi "Nusayries" (sectaria derogatory term used by Al-Qaeda types)  and frequently mentions "Shi'ite terrorism" in Syria. Dec 16 2013 (severely graphic - saved copy in case it's finally pulled) shows a horrible scene; a boy of about 13 with his cheek sliced or torn open, tied with cables and his body cut completely in half across the hips with a hacksaw, in a room somewhere. Most or all cutting would be after death, one hopes. The text  seems to say something like "those who say this is a war where the young just die before the old" should shut up, and then "that's what Shia do with children, we don't want your blood and your (unclear), we want sedition and vengeance for our children, our women and men." The gory photos must be "leaked," or found on a Hezoballah guy's phone, as usual, right? Because there's no way could this be produced and handed in by their sectarian provocateur friends, with the weak explanation to that effect... No, wait, there are ways, and that actually makes the most sense, considering the nasy Al-Qaeda in Iraq types morphing into ISIS in the shadows.

Earlier, on  Aug 11 3013 the page shared a happy photo of FSA-looking fighters in an Alaw dominated part of Latakia province, at road signs showing "we're close" (to Qardaha, the Assad family's hometown). This was probably a days-old photo - the 2013 Latakia offensive was about routed by then - back on August 2 they were definitely on a roll, first killing about 30 soldiers in two army posts, and sending the rest running for their lives. Then the Turkey-backed and Gulf-financed Islamist "rebels" massacres over 100 local civilians, mostly but not all men (aged 13 and up), some by beheading. They also raped and killed some women, shot anyone trying to flee, and abducted at least 240 women and children as bargaining chips. (ACLOS) (Monitor) "FSA' groups kept some distance or were irrelevant, but Jabhat al-Nusra, ISIS, Ahrar al-Sham, and others all took part if this offensive and massacre, and no one among them tattled on the others.

None of this, of course, comes through on the Revolution of Aleppo and Damascus page. Instead, an August 8 post shared one of the proudest moments of this offensive - the Mujahid (Islamist holy warriors) reassure the elderly man, said to be in "Astarba village" (Isterbeh, etc.) "that they will not kill him, but he is in their protection because we do not kill the elders, the women and the children." That's not Islamic. The hosts "alert all the mujahideen to believe in this old man."
Note: this is the one village that by reports was occupied only after the residents had been evacuated (the one yellow dot at right). There would be no massacre here in an empty town, where they apparently found one old man left behind and had him say some meaningless stuff on camera. Elsewhere, genocidal graffiti (like "The fate of every Alawite is for slaughtering") was scrawled across burned-out homes. Bombs were rigged at the mass dump sites for often-beheaded bodies. The killed men included teenagers and several elderly - there was apparently no upper limit outside Isterbeh. A pregnant woman was cut in half, and a baby's severed head was left hanging from an apple tree (at least, by credible reports, like Jonathan Steele in the Guardian). (see also an unusually accurate report from Human Rights Watch)

The page admin tries to go softer on Christians: March 10 2014, the unharmed nuns of Maaloula praise the rebels for rescuing them from Assad's bombs (they were kidnapped by Al-Namechange Front in December, 2013 - ACLOS). A 2013 Dec. 22 post shows a church taken by Islamists, and seems proud that it isn't smashed. Black banners in the photo explain in Arabic (would take too long to translate these). An intact church is shown off on Aug 7 2014 in Kassab, after the Armenian town was emptied (mostly without massacre) in a 2014 Latakia offensive. They'll even fix the piano, the host explains, once the locals are allowed to live there again. For the moment it was a Sunni militant base on the Turkish border to be used for bringing in more Al-Qaeda types. That didn't last long, however, with the Syrian Army soon re-taking this area.

Near the page's end, the admin saw fit to highlight the word Sunni in a New York Times newspaper headline - Sept. 24: "U.S. and Allies Strike Sunni Militants in Syira." Wouldn't you know it. Everyone's against the Sunnis, even their democratic, American semi-champions. This might be a breaking point, but posts continue - more sporadically - for another month before the administrator drops offline, or whatever happened in late October. After this there were just these five posts:

Oct 1: presents  "The Statistics of terrorism asadi and half on the city of Aleppo" via the Syrian Institute of Justice. It's clear who the terrorists are...

Oct 8 - U.S. airdropped supplies drifting to ISIS? Seems to praise the blessing. Hamza al-Khatib in the logo.

10 days with no time to post more propaganda. What else was so important?

Oct 19 Kids trapped in rubble: "New Shiite terrorism mediterranee in Syria"

And another bombing shown Oct 24, then "...The finest song of Mujahid in the Damar Dam neighborhood..." in a last post on Oct. 27, and the site stops posting.

Did the administrator run off to become a Mujahid and join ISIS? or maybe just Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Namechange Front? Or just move to another page?

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