Sunday, July 8, 2012

Clarifying the Funeral Incident in Zamalka, Syria

Recall this post? Syria: Car bombs or Mortars at a Funeral? Or, another activist production?

A funeral in the town of Zamalka. An ever changing narrative from the opposition? Doctored photos used by the main stream media.   Had this narrative, one of many narratives, been created by the opposition to create the appropriate perception in the mostly gullible, mostly western audience? 
A car bombing at a funeral?
There is a commenter here named Toz and he left this comment and a few others. 
These were his two latest.
Tozz Bel-ThawrahJuly 4, 2012 9:25 PM
"I wish if this video will be helpful. It's about the first news in the revolutionary sites and pages after the Incident of Zamalka. It was deleted from the net, except in some sites & facebook pages. I've translated it into English, and corrected it after the instant translation on facebook, you can see that at the end of the video. "

I inquired as to Tozz's safety and he responded 


Thank you for your Kindness Penny,

And Thanks for GOD that's Aleppo until now is little bet the safest city (as I hope that for all over Syria). Maybe more than 60% of its population are pro-regime, and there's a boodle of the Security Forces in it, especially in my area.

So the FSA can do nothing, or can only aim some security men and patrols, or the "known" pro-regime people, by using small bombs or another ways, most of it causes only material damage. The demonstrations and riots is in some popular neighborhoods, but the violent clashes is in the rural areas, especially in the north and north-west rural of Aleppo, which is adjacent to Turkey.

GOD Bless You.
Another comment can be read here Tozz Bel-ThawrahJune 28, 2012 9:43 PM
I believe there might be at least another one, further back?

Tozz has not been back since July 5.


  1. For those who may ask?
    Yes, there are visits from Syria to the blog.
    Along with other countries of course

  2. Penny. please summarise what is on the 2 minute video from Tozz. Zio-ogre is making it 100% impossible to watch it. In fact my cursor and laptop lock up just by pressing 'play'.

    1. No problem

      long story short

      a news page from the opposition at face book.

      The FSA was having a procession of sorts, near the great mosque of Zamalka, when they were ambushed.

      Two cars identified as a "white Peugeot 405 and an oily color Kia Rio" Occupants of the car were identified by FSA as Nusayris/Alawi.

    2. nothing about car bombs. Nothing about mortar fire, just an ambush

  3. 'The Syrian army is defending itself with heavy machine guns, grenade launchers and Kalashnikovs, and conquered foot by foot the floor of the insurgents. Among themselves they call this city already “Stalingrad”.'

  4. I watched this video after the comment was first made and I was going to say thank you for the link but forgot so thanks Penny for highlighting the comment.

    This was a good job of documenting the media. I'm glad they showed the urls and recorded the internet session. This is a good way to document.

    I previously saw a FSA Facebook page that used a picture from the horror movie Final Destination but they didn't show the url so some people doubted the veracity of the screen shot.

    Good job. I'm sure there are lots of examples like this if people bothered to monitor it. I really get the sense this war is being played out on the internet.

  5. There seems to be two levels of propaganda the FSA terrorist side uses.

    1. Propaganda aimed at the Syrian people to terrorize them. Here I'm thinking of the cleric whose sermon calling for the execution of women and children was beamed into Syria. Or the pamphlets calling for ethnic/religous cleansing. Or the hit lists.

    And this Facebook message probably falls in that category. I get the sense the Syrians are meant to hear the message that these attacks are aimed at Christians/Alawites.

    2. The rest of us hear the propaganda about the terrorism being done by the government. So the FSA terrorists do the act of terrorism, spread propaganda #1 internally, and then simply reverse the propaganda and blame the "regime" externally.

    1. Hey WWM

      One of your comments was in the spam file? I let it through.

      Regarding two levels of propaganda via the FSA

      I would agree with that.

      Thinking of the funeral marches? And we have seen footage where the coffins simply blow away..

      Not shown on the msm, of course

      So how do the so called funeral processions work on two levels?

      One: the msm can play them for the western audience and go "bad assad" right?

      Two: for the Syrians who witness these, they are like a message "This is what will happen to you if you resist"
      "You will end up dead and in a box"

      At least that is how I see the funeral marches playing out.
      Of course not all of them. Generally the soldiers/police officers funerals are very large and never garner msm coverage anyway.

  6. KSA press on the defection and the brother's support of the FSA/protests

    Also Clinton in another broadside...
    , U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday Syria's opposition forces were growing more effective and the sooner the violence ended, the higher the chances of sparing the Syrian government from a "catastrophic assault." "The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there is a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region," Clinton said at a news conference.

    While Russian bombers off the west coats for the 2nd time this week

  7. Assad on US involvement....

    In one of his rare interviews with Western media since the deadly uprising in Syria erupted last year, Assad brushed off a question about whether he feared for his family, including his wife and three children. "It's a completely different situation," he told German broadcaster ARD. "What's happening in Egypt is different from what is happening in Syria... You cannot compare," he said. He also rejected any comparisons with Libya, where rebels helped by NATO air strikes toppled the regime. Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi was killed while fleeing advancing opposition fighters. "Describing what happened to al Gadhafi, this is savage, this is crime," he said in the interview which was conducted in English. The U.S. is partnering with those "terrorists ... with weapons, money or public and political support at the United Nations," Assad said. "They offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to ... destabilize Syria." Assad rejected responsibility of his security forces for the violence, claiming that "supporters of the government, the victims from the security and the army" far outnumber those among civilians. Asked whether he was accusing Washington of being partly responsible for the death of innocent Syrian civilians, Assad replied: “Of course. Exactly.”

  8. Check out the last paragraph>

    An American newspaper made an allegation, and it has not been denied by the U.S. The government has a duty to correctly inform public opinion,” he stated. Kılıçdaroğlu also spoke of his call to the government to officially demand radar traces and other intelligence from three countries that have radars and other means of surveillance in the region.

    “We have issued a general call to all countries. We have not officially been given any information. We are sure about own findings. But whoever wants to challenge us should introduce own records,” a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News. While repeating his criticisms against the government over its Syria policy, Kılıçdaroğlu compared Davutoğlu with Enver Pasha, one of the leading commanders of the Ottoman Army during World War I, who many historians believe caused the weak empire to enter into the war. Kılıçdaroğlu called Davutoğlu “little Enver,” implying that he was trying to stage a war with Syria.

    “What’s your problem with Syria? Well, they say there is no democracy in Syria. Do you have democracy in your country?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked, adding: “Is there democracy in Bahrain? In Qatar, Bahrain?”

    ‘Surprised to find bodies’

    In the meantime, the captain of the U.S. flagged hydrographic vessel Nautilus, which helped the Turkish military spot the wreckage, said they were surprised to find the bodies of two pilots on the seabed. “When the boots and helmets of the pilots were found on the surface, I thought our pilots were in the hands of the Syrians, like everyone in Turkey,” the captain said.

    1. Here's how SANA reported the Syrian spokesman's version:

      Makdessi pointed out that the Syrian anti-aircraft defense used a land-based anti-aircraft machinegun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers, and that the wreckage found by the Syrian authorities and delivered to the Turkish side with an official record shows holes in the tail-end of the plane which confirm that it was shot down by a ground-based machinegun, not missiles.

      The New York Times goes on to report it this way:

      The source of the spokesman’s version was not immediately clear. It contradicted accounts offered by Turkey, which has said the wreckage of the plane is in deep water far offshore and has yet to be recovered. On Monday, Turkey accused Syria of firing on a reconnaissance plane that was searching for the wreckage.

      In an unusually detailed account on the SANA Web site, Mr. Makdissi said . . .

      Notice the New York Times reporter pretends that the spokesperson directly wrote the SANA piece. SANA actually credits these people: "R. Raslan / Ghossoun / H. Sabbagh."

      Lastly, notice no source states where Syria claimed to recover the plane but clearly Syria claimed to recover parts of the plane--with machine gun holes. These early reports seem to imply it's closer than the almost 9 miles out where the U.S. and Turkey claim to have recovered the plane (there's also the video).

      I just get the sense someone is taking a big marker and blacking out portions of the news. Why wouldn't Syria tell us where it found the wreckage? Where were the boots and helmets found exactly? Why did Syria recover some parts right away and then Turkey and the U.S. recover bodies weeks after finding the helmets, etc.? You're telling me they couldn't get a diver or ship down to these locations for weeks? No way. None of this seems credible and there just seems to be huge holes in the story.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Planting a narrative?

      What I find weird? Were the pilots found still strapped into their cockpits? Going on recall here???
      If that is correct, how is it their boots and helmets came off?
      That does not seem likely?

    4. Yeah Penny. Take a look at this boot and explain to me the physics of how that came off during the crash:

      Plus, those float? I would like to see this. I'm sure the claim can easily be backed up because why would the U.S. and Turkey come up with such a ridiculous claim if it wasn't true, right? :)

  9. Everything you’ve heard about Syria is a lie says Ankhar Kochneva, a Russian journalist who has seen first hand the realities of the Syrian civil war. Kochneva told RT she has proof a Western invasion of Syria will be launched by summer’s end.
    RT: While visiting Turkish camps for Syrian refugees, I was told that the Syrian army was shooting at them.
    Ankhar Kochneva: There are a large number of videos from those camps showing people walking upright, not ducking down even though you can hear shooting. The options are that either the sound was added to the video later, or that people knew that they were only shooting in the air without any intention of actually hitting them.
    The Syrian army has no reason to shoot up these camps, as Syria is doing its utmost to ensure these people return home. And in fact they are doing just that if you go by the official Syrian data; 16,500 people have returned. Meanwhile, Turkey and the Syrian opposition are strongly interested in having those camps. If it weren’t for these camps, who would believe in the regime’s atrocities described by the opposition?

    1. Saw that one brian!
      definitely worth reading

    2. I'll tell you how does the number of the Syrian refugees in the Turkish camps jumped to over 16000 from the first week.?
      It was a dirty play from the Turkish goverment by stamping a political refugee mark on the passport of any Syrian person visiting Turkey.
      There's a thousands of people who always travel to Turkey for business, most of them are from Aleppo. So, who don't know Turkish language didn't pay attention to it until it was too late. While who know this language, prevent them to do that, and came back to Syria immediatly. (I don't know if you have heard that before).

    3. "It was a dirty play from the Turkish goverment by stamping a political refugee mark on the passport of any Syrian person visiting Turkey."

      Didn't know that. I could see how that could work to "fudge the numbers".


    Addressing why the helmets and boots of Capt. Gökhan Ertan and Lt. Hasan Hüseyin Aksoy were found before the bodies and the rest of the plane’s wreckage, TSK communications officer Baki Kavun said the items might have become separated due to the crash’s impact and might have been brought to the surface because they can float.

    1. I don't think so.
      It seems Turkey knows that makes no sense.

  11. I hope we hear more from Tozz.

    Back to the Turkish jet..
    US tricked Erdogan ... The facts behind downing the Turkish war jet.. !!
    So according to this article the Turkish jet was a stalking horse for the Israelis & NATO who wanted to capture the Syrian air-defence radar signatures and locations. The Israelis scarpered when their stooge was shot down.

    1. RE: Tozz

      I hope we do to.

    2. RE: Israeli involvement in the incident
      I suspect Israel was far more involved then the msm is going to admit

      Israel is not an "official" member of NATO which is very convenient

  12. Man. I had a long and good comment on the plane incident that got eaten.

    Don't know if I have the stamina to recreate it.

    Here's SANA about the plane incident:

    Makdessi pointed out that the Syrian anti-aircraft defense used a land-based anti-aircraft machinegun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers, and that the wreckage found by the Syrian authorities and delivered to the Turkish side with an official record shows holes in the tail-end of the plane which confirm that it was shot down by a ground-based machinegun, not missiles.

    And here's the New York Times:

    The source of the spokesman’s version was not immediately clear. It contradicted accounts offered by Turkey, which has said the wreckage of the plane is in deep water far offshore and has yet to be recovered. On Monday, Turkey accused Syria of firing on a reconnaissance plane that was searching for the wreckage.

    In an unusually detailed account on the SANA Web site, Mr. Makdissi said . . .

    Notice how the New York Times pretends that the Syian spokesman is writing the SANA piece when SANA credits: "R. Raslan / Ghossoun / H. Sabbagh"

    I also get the feeling that huge portions of the news are being blocked out.

    Why didn't Syria tell us where they recovered the plane? Why haven't they said more about it? The NYTimes article implies Syria was claiming the plane was much closer than almost 9 miles out.

    1. Syria is suggesting the plane was closer

      "maximum range of 2.5 kilometers, and that the wreckage found by the Syrian authorities and delivered to the Turkish side with an official record shows holes in the tail-end of the plane which confirm that it was shot down by a ground-based machinegun, not missiles"

      They are saying the ground based machine gun has a range of 2.5 kilometers.
      Therefore the plane had to be within 2.5 kilometers land based/ground based machine gun.
      Which would have made the plane way closer then nine miles out

    2. Right, that's where the Syrians claim the plane was hit--within 2.5 kilometers of shore. But I'm curious where everyone claims the plane went down. The video showed the plane going down within a couple of miles and the New York Times piece makes it seem like the wreckage was close to shore as well.

      The Syrians recovered some wreckage right away . . . but where exactly was it recovered? Why don't we have more precise data? This is a pretty bold thing for Syria to claim: that it recovered parts of the plane and gave this wreckage to Turkey but now Turkey is totally lying about receiving it.

      That's a crazy he said she said story. Those two stories are miles apart. Literally (ha).

      So why didn't Syria correct Turkey and say, "Bullshit Turkey. We found the plane here at X coordinates, as you know, and gave you these plane parts that we took pictures of."

      Turkey and the west's response has been suspicious. If Syria was lying about the machine gun holes why didn't they come out more forcefully alleging Syria was lying? They seemed to run away from the accusations and then weeks later happen to discover all this evidence 9 miles out? Don't these plane parts have homing beacons or weren't there more accurate records of where it went down? Why did it take 2 weeks to verify?

      Nah, something is shady about this story and I think Syria is saying more about it but the internet and media is being censored.

    3. I should clarify that the New York Times piece implies that the Syrians are claiming the plane went down close to shore while Turkey claimed the plane went down in "deep waters" while claiming it was hit in international waters.

  13. Still waiting on Mr Tlas......

  14. Here's Sharmine Narwani also claiming Manaf Tlass left for France but not giving us any more specific details about that:

    However, she does fill in some of the details I think Haaratz story claimed the other day--that Tlass was not an important government figure and that he was not involved in the new government.

    Out of all the reporters I am most inclined to believe Narwani but I don't know who to believe any more. And she doesn't provide any conclusive facts. They Syrians could have been tricked into thinking Tlass "defected" or went AWOL.

  15. Joud ‎@Hey_Joud
    The funniest revo video to date. While the insurgents are singing, 1 of the explosive devices they had goes off.

  16. Big Thanks Penny,
    First of all, As I told Penny in my last comment on the post "Syria car bombs or mortars at funeral" that there was some problems in accessing the internet in the last few days. So I'm sorry about late.
    If we want to talk about the video, I've checked out all the news and the oppositionists comments on it in the revolutionary sites, pages and videos on youtube, before uploading my video. There was four news:
    1- The same one in my video and it was the first: the oppositionists were feeling happy and saying Allah Akbar .. Allah Akbar. Like the Parrots. Except some people who were angry from the FSA because there was victims of the innocent civilians.
    * Here let me tell you why they always say Allah Akbar for several times in an annoying way. I'm sure you'll laugh.
    Their main "and fake" cleric; Adnan Al-Arour (who was a Gay when he was in the mandatory military service. Living now in KSA) told them after a month of the revolution, that if you are fighting the Shabiha, and you said Allah Akbar for ten times, the land will crack under the Shabiha and swallows them..!! Lool.
    Now they are saying it in their lies and in everything they do.
    The FSA always lie, letting the silly people believe.
    There's new video in youtube and the revolutionary sites from few days about the "heroes" of the FSA. It's an example of their lies. I've Also translated it and uploaded for you.
    Here's the link

    By this way and these lies, they enthuses who would like to be a hero to join them.

    2- The news that said: the regime who was behind it, without giving any evidence.
    3- The news that said: a car bombed by mortar. (pointing to the regime).
    4- The news that said: a car bombed by the FSA, and a mortar at funeral by the regime in the same day..!!
    As "Walter Wit Man" said in his second comment, that the FSA can do anything and simply reverse the propaganda and blame the regime. That's exactly what's happening here, because our regime is known as very severe and strict (which is better for us in Syria), and it's an open book for all.

    About Aleppo: Aleppo is really the city number one in terms of the proportion of supporters. Even if there's some people hate the goverment "between themselves", but they will not move against it, and will not support the other side. Because Aleppo is the Economic Capital of Syria, and nobody is ready to lose his business.
    So, the rebels hate this city from the first few monthes, and describe its population that they are cowards. For that, they've used bad ways to involve the people with them. Which caused more and more dissonance between the two sides.

    Our local media is very bad and weak, and that what's make us mad. We've detected hundreds of truths on the net, and we're always asking: where are you (our media) from that.!!?? why you don't put these videos and info or even translate it into other languages and sharing it, to let the people know the truth..?? (like Al-Houla Massacre, there's evidences) are you sleeping, or helping the other media to continue their lies, gaining more and more people to their side..!!??
    I'm one of the people who can't believe or watch our media's news. I'll be sick if I do that.

    Really, I'm glad to be one of you, and a member of Penny's blog.
    Best Regards

    Mohannad (Tozz Bel-Thawrah)

    1. Hi Tozz:

      glad you are well and came back to share your news with us all.

      Regarding news in Syria.

      Are you aware that the NATO/GCC nations have taken over the satellites to control the news that is being delivered to Syrians?

      I had an article here about that and there have been several references left by others on how the news in Syria is being created in an attempt to cause the people to turn towards the destabilizers

      "I'm one of the people who can't believe or watch our media's news. I'll be sick if I do that."

      That is a problem, everywhere!

    2. Yes I've heard about that, and as I remember but not sure that our media talked about it. I'm astonished why they're making this step. Because from the beginning the other media depended on the weakness of ours. Can you believe that until now you can watch only series, programs and some news, most of this news saying "that there's nothing in Syria and everything here is Ok, it's just few weeks (from the first month) and it will be the end of the revolution.!" those few weeks which they are talking about it turned now into 1.5 year.!
      The main and most important program is "Detecting the media disinformation" but you can take an important news from it maybe once a week. If the NATO/GCC nations makes this step, I think that it will not give a good result. Because there's only some people who can watch or believe our media, while the most people are already watching Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and the other opposition media (even the pro-regime, to laugh on or detecting their lies).

  17. Tozz? Any idea what really happened with Manaf Tlass?

    1. I'm trying now "after my absence from the net" to detect some info about him. If there's any important news that can we depend on, make sure that I'll tell you immediately.