The West’s anti-Russian campaign in connection with the Syrian crisis - from regular briefing by Maria Zakharova

October 6, 2016

We are facing another round of the anti-Russian information campaign in connection with the Syrian crisis, and this is not for the first time. Several years ago, during the concluding phase of the Arab Spring, our Syrian policy and position were criticised as well. Since then, we have seen several phases when Russia’s actions were criticised and the negative information campaign was launched against us.

We are currently facing the extreme, even extremist, round of this campaign. It’s not even a campaign, it’s hysteria in which everyone is involved: the UN Security Council, news conferences by government officials, newspapers, TV, articles, heads of foreign ministry agencies, observers, and others. This time, they are trying to make us look like a bloodthirsty aggressor, an outlaw. On September 29, The New York Times published an article branding Russia “an outlaw state” and saying that Russia kills hundreds of innocent children and women in Syria.

Surprisingly, such statements are voiced by the countries and people that have a huge record of real, not made-up, crimes against civilians all over the world.

Let’s remember hundreds of thousands of civilians killed during the bombings of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria, conducted either by mistake or on purpose. We can see that the military equipment of those countries, which is highly accurate due to huge budgetary allocations spent on it, ruthlessly bombs weddings, markets, maternity hospitals and clinics. And after that they say that it is the Russian Federation that kills civilians, while their bombings of civilian objects are nothing but “technical failures.” Why did these countries turn a blind eye on US bombing of Yugoslavia using munitions (you can read online about the type of munitions they used)?

Somehow, these people, who are currently human rights activists, do not tell the truth about what happened in Iraq, in particular, during the second battle for Fallujah.

I’m addressing those who argue about what is happening in Syria: you can start by taking a hard look at yourselves, talk to each other about Fallujah, and I’m sure you will remember a few things. You can also tell the world about what weapons you used there. It would be very interesting and we will finally learn the truth. This is not an isolated example; there is not enough time to name them all.

There is another thing that proves that what we are witnessing is an information campaign. Recently, about six months ago, the same countries called Russia a constructive partner on Syria, and its contribution to counteracting global terrorism received praise. I’m sure you remember as these were public statements. So what has changed? Did we come too close to Jabhat al-Nusra? Yes, it happens. Their opinion has changed radically. We all remember the leaked NATO report in March 2016, which praised Russia’s Aerospace Forces for professionalism. That is, in March the operation was called accurate and efficient, and now we are bloodthirsty killers. Seems the experts had a good time on holiday this summer.

It is impossible to speak about an adequate and unbiased approach when it changes so drastically within a few years.

And of course, again the media are used as a means for promoting their own interests, in particular, for stirring anti-Russian sentiments, demonising our country’s image and promoting the political interests of one or another party. The world is not perfect, unfortunately.

The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that the Pentagon paid a PR company more than $500 million to create propaganda terrorist videos right after the Iraq invasion. I would like to find out what Washington’s official stance on this is. In particular, on September 29 the Conflicts Forum website published excerpts from a report on the US Special Forces by Jack Murphy, a former Green Beret, saying that the CIA and the Pentagon armed and trained groups that were clearly terrorists.

When we ask our colleagues about where they get the information about Russia killing thousands of children, they say in social networks. There is also information about terrorist training on the internet, you can read it, it’s fascinating.

Source: Foreign Ministry of Russia