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FRANCE 24: An Assad Press Office

"FRANCE

Hanadi al-Khateeb اورينت نت
We do not know if FRANCE 24 had entered areas of East Aleppo before or after Assad militias were done looting the houses there. We do not know if the writer of the news report – which was about the children of Aleppo and was aired during the Saturday Jan. 6 news broadcast – knew anything about this city. Or were the information, pictures and videos simply sent to her via email from the producer of the news broadcast segment in the channel with a specific task attached: “Kindly prepare a report about the children of Aleppo without referring to the causes that led to their situation and without mentioning the Assad army, except in goodness”? 

What we really know is that a news report on a French TV channel turned a mass holocaust – which took place in Aleppo and was perpetrated by Assad and his allies – into a superficial and naïve story whose protagonist expressed his yearning to school. It was a report that could be classified as media crimes against humanity. 

Whoever claims that there is a neutral media outlet perfectly knows that he or she will become the laughing stock of his or her “neutrality” claims. 

Syrians never asked for complete neutrality, nor did they ever hope that the Western media would deal with their cause and pain with complete neutrality. However, the least of all things the world can do for them is to refrain from turning the killer into the killed, the injured into a nobody, the hungry and starved into the diseased and the orphaned and widowed into the nonexistent ghosts, just like FRANCE 24 did in their news report titled “Aleppo’s Children.”

Aleppo’s children – who were besieged by the Assad regime and its allied Shiite militias and were indiscriminately bombarded by Russia, leveling their houses to the ground – were shown on FRANCE 24 as victims of a “war” which FRANCE 24 and other pro-Assad channels promote as a chaotic and messy one. 

These news channels refrain from mentioning that the Assad regime is the perpetrator of this tragedy. However, they zoom-in on one of Assad’s “fighters” as he strokes the back of one of the children who was forcibly displaced from the areas which the “fighter” destroyed under the command of his boss. The camera – which pictured the face of the “fighter” – did not zoom-in on the faces of other displaced civilians, perhaps the photographer feared that the camera might betray him and capture a real moment of pain of those who have come out moments away from their death, leaving the bodies of their loved ones in the neighborhoods that were besieged by the “forces” supported by the self-proclaimed “neutral” channel. 

On its website, FRANCE 24 promotes that the Assad regime’s entry into Aleppo marks the end of the tragedy and the greatest victory. Of course, it ignores the reality of the events that took place in that city; it rather manipulates the attention of the reader in believing that the neighborhoods of East Aleppo have gone from a situation of death to life thanks to the efforts of the Assad regime and its “army,” for Shiite militias do not exist, nor do the Russian bombardment, starvation and siege, and that in Aleppo following the Assad regime’s entry there are houses emptied from their owners on their own will, while others came under the auspices of the “army” to check up on their homes. 

In the channel’s detailed report about Aleppo, it said there were “combing operations in the eastern districts of Aleppo following the regime’s control of it” after the Assad invasion. 

Making matters worse, the channel labeled those being forcibly displaced from East Aleppo neighborhoods as armed men with few civilians, while those who came out of al-Fuaa and Kafraya as civilians with majority of children and women. 

It is apparent that there is a strategic media campaign, aiming at forging the notions and marginalizing the tragedy. These channels are adopting the policies used by the Assad media as they describe the opposition as “terrorists.” They cooperate in the consolidation of ideas, expressions and prejudice targeting fighters in Syria against the Assad regime. This is done through ridding the words of noble orientation – "democracy, humanity, freedom" – from their true meaning, and classifying them with new meanings which bear the opposite definition. This makes media a step closer to an occupier, of the minds, humanity and respect.

This was not the first time and will not be the last time in which FRANCE 24 channel exercises thugery against the Syrians. Through a quick tour on its website and television reports, one can write full reports based on incorrect information which no media outlet – that claims the minimum level of professional journalism and objectivity – would adopt. 

Albeit it is difficult to take all the professional and human lapses committed by the channel, however, there is a kind of media practiced by the Assad regime and its media outlets – like FRANCE 24 – whose news and methods of conveying information can only be classified as media crimes. 

Perhaps after some years, Syrian children will study these media crimes at universities and their country will be the clearest example of such crimes.

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