7 Million Displaced Syrians, Bayda Massacre, & other Reports you Didn’t see on American TV

American network & cable television has been focused his week on US-Russian diplomacy with relatively little coverage (aside from Ben Wedemann on CNN and a handful of others) of what is happening on the ground in Syria. Here are some Syria reports from European and VOA correspondents that illuminate the situation there:

1. Euronews: “Seven million Syrians, or one-third of the population, are either displaced within their own country or are refugees abroad, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Of those, two million have fled to neighbouring Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The biggest burden has fallen on a very weak Lebanese state, where the Syrian war has already provoked considerable internal violence. Some refugees have gone further afield. According to the UN, 4,600 Syrians have reached the Italian coast with around two-thirds arriving in August alone.”

Euronews reports:

2. Channel4New on last May’s massacre at al-Bayda by Syrian government troops: “Warning – this video contains extremely distressing images. In May this year the Syrian army entered a small town called al-Bayda and massacred at least 169 men, women and children. Channel 4 News met with the survivors.”

Channel4 reports:

3. AFP: “The Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk [in Syria] has been the scene of fierce clashes for months between opposition fighters and forces loyal the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Its residents have been increasingly involved in the Syrian conflict, despite calls from the regime and international organisations for them to remain neutral.”

[Palestinian families in the camp were expelled from their homes in what is now Israel in 1948 and are now stateless, without the rights of citizenship. Their position in Syria is becoming tenuous and as stateless people they cannot return home and have nowhere to flee.]

AFP has video

4. VOA: “Syria’s Kurds are the country’s largest ethnic minority. They are caught in the web of Syria’s civil war, fighting among themselves and also battling Islamist extremists for control of a pocket of the country. Thousands of Kurds have fled Syria, mostly to Lebanon and Iraq. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, where many Syrian Kurdish refugees have taken shelter.”

VOA reports:

5. France24: “The release of a “chilling” UN report brings new developments and frightening statistics in the Syrian conflict. The UN accuses all parties of war crimes : the Syrian government is blamed for the thousands killed in undiscriminate bombings, the Opposition for using torture and extra-judicial killings.”

France24 reports

6. RT: “The Syrian army is battling small groups of rebels who remain in the ancient Christian village of Maaloula. Opposition fighters linked to Al-Qaeda have been in control of the area for almost a week – reportedly looting religious sites and forcing residents to convert to Islam at gunpoint. RT’s Maria Finoshina made it to the village following reports that government troops have re-captured it – but found pockets of resistance remain.”

RT reports :

7. Reuters, Thursday: “Syrian activists say government warplanes bombed one of the main hospitals serving rebel-held territory in the north of the country. Rough cut (no reporter narration).”

Reuters has raw video:

8. Deutsche Welle: What is is like to be a Syrian asylum-seeker in Europe? “While civil war rages in Syria, about two million people have fled the country in search of safety. Some 17,000 Syrian refugees are currently living in Germany. Many of them fled on their own. Now the first 5,000 to whom the German government has promised temporary protection and asylum are coming to the country.”

Deutsche Welle reports:

12 Responses

  1. Yes, the media has been pretty much missing in action, disseminating only what the US government deems appropriate.

    What continues to amaze me most is that we have this running toll of deaths and refugees in Syria. Compare this to the Iraq War, where we never knew how many were killed and displaced and still don’t five years later.

    How could the Western media be so precise about its body counts in Syria and so impotent in Iraq? Could it be that the high Syrian death and refugee totals are as much a propaganda figure as the lack of body counts in Iraq (and Libya)?

    Message: if it’s America’s war there are no deaths. If someone America doesn’t like is putting down a rebellion, that someone is killing enormous numbers of his own people.

  2. Also no reports on the extent to which Turkey is supporting the Islamist groups with arms and money carried across supposedly closed borders, or the problems faced by Alawite and Alevi refugees who cannot stay in the refugge camps among Sunnis.

    • If I were Al-Assad I would try to make a secret deal with Israel giving it assurance that no anti-Israel activity will occur from Syria and offer to resolve issues on Golan Heights in return of providing support to crush the rebels.

      Although this will not happen, but I am just throwing it out there. If it does happen the world would be better for it.

  3. Sadly, we are likely to see even less in the way of Syrian civil war coverage in the coming weeks now that a chemical weapons control agreement has apparently been reached.

    The Republicans in Congress, and the media with them, have already returned to what they know best – government shutdown/Obamacare sabotage.

  4. Despite the carnage by both sides and the appalling suffering of the Syrian people, Syrian rebels reject the deal to strip the Syrian regime of chemical weapons and push for a conference to resolve the conflict.
    link to jpost.com

    Meanwhile, Turkey prosecutes rebels for seeking chemical weapons, adding to the suspicion that some rebels definitely tried to gain access to chemical weapons
    link to rt.com

  5. Dear Juan,

    I feel sorry for the refugees and I also feel sorry for Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan who must take the refugees in. There are sectarian divides in Lebanon and Jordan has a water problem. Turkey perhaps can afford the influx of refugees for a time.
    Thank you Juan for your excelent article.

    Yours,

    Wayne Wayenberg

  6. Well, unfortunately, Americans have had it with war, all wars, after the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. So media coverage of the carnage and destruction will be avoided by them at all cost even if there were news stories on American TV such a Professor Cole has noted in his post. But war has unforeseen consequences and not just on the battlefield. Americans had their eyes wide shut to the Holocaust in Cambodia after our defeat in the Vietnam War, even though that war in part destabilized that country and set in motion the rise of the Khmer Rouge. I remember it well as a Vietnam Veteran who served as a medical corpsman. They seem to be in a similar mood of disillusionment with their rejection of an intervention in the Syrian civil war, they will probably just look the other way to these graphic images from Syria. I’m not endorsing this moral indifference but merely noting how history seems to be repeating itself.

  7. It is hard to argue there is not enough press coverage of Syria. The problem in press coverage of foreign stories is that it always seem to focus on one issue at a time and entire conflicts simply disappear when new pictures come in.

    Is the Egyptian military still shooting protestors? Two years on, what is happening in Libya? What has caused the wave of bombings in Iraq? These are the issues being ignored.

  8. There’s a lot of press coverage on Syria, just not on the humanitarian aspects. For the last two weeks it’s been about the possible strike. Even in BBC Arabic or AJ I haven’t found these stories, they’re all so wrapped up reporting on the chemical weapons and a military strike, which was only eclipsed by the diplomatic solution. The possibility of a further peace process is refreshing, and the media could encourage it by repeatedly discussing the horrible humanitarian crisis. Will they do that? Probably not.

  9. I completely do not understand why anybody reads the MSM of the U.S.
    With a gateway to the world a click away; what in the world do people want?
    Lullaby’s, Pablum, affirmation of their belief system; what?
    The pervasive provincialism of Americans (I’m American) just beggars understanding, in this, the 21st century…

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