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Western media ‘selective’ in Syria reports

Published time: February 13, 2012 09:42
Edited time: February 13, 2012 18:53

Demonstrators gather during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Daria, near Damascus on February 12, 2012 (Reuters / Handout)

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Reports about hundreds of dead and wounded coming from Syria on a daily basis has become commonplace in Western media, while the sources of such information often are not verified properly, investigative journalist Asa Winstanley told RT.

According to Winstanley anti-Assad media willingly cite unconfirmed information from sources on the ground in Syria or Iran because the govts of each “are seen as anti-Western regimes.” But when reporting on Israeli military actions in Palestine, the same media use activists on the ground far less regularly.

“The media seem to be quite selective of the pass [of information],” Winstanley claims.

For example, mainstream channels, like BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN, were taken in by Mousab Azzawi, a man who called himself a spokesperson for a UK-based group Syrian Human Rights Observatory. After appearing on TV, Azzawi’s political views like calling for a no-fly zone and international intervention into Syria were widely quoted.

But later on, the founder of the Observatory Rami Abdulrahman said Azzawi has nothing to do with SOHR and that the organization is strongly against a no-fly zone over Syria.

“It is just embarrassing, for example for the BBC, to say ‘Well, we did not properly checked this guy,’” Winstanley says, describing the situation with controversial Syrian opposition spokesperson getting prime time on leading TV channels.

“For the situation in Syria, it is very difficult to get reliable information from anyone,” says Winstanley, naming the regime not allowing free access for foreign journalists in the country as the main reason for that.

Winstanley finds the opposition Syrian National Council being openly in favor of establishing no-fly zone over Syria a ridiculous move, since there has been not a single claim that the Assad regime bombed people.

“[The] no-fly zone seems to be a political pretext to invade [Syria],” claims Asa Winstanley.

“Any foreign intervention into Syria would be a disaster,” Winstanley says, claiming it will not only lead to a huge confrontation but would increase the support of the regime within the country as well.

As the example of Iran has proved any threats from outside give a regime the right to say “you have to support us because otherwise you can get bombed.”

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