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Thread by @bobfrombrockley: "A short thread in which I read Robert Fisk's latest appalling Syria report so you don't have to independent.co.uk/voices/white-h… 1/ Fisk ha […]"

, 21 tweets, 6 min read
A short thread in which I read Robert Fisk's latest appalling Syria report so you don't have to independent.co.uk/voices/white-h…
1/ Fisk has been saying the Syrian war is in its end stage for 5 years now. Now he's amped up the rhetoric, while pretending to be smarter...
2/ A bit sickening how Fisk rhapsodises about his friend the "poet" Brigadier General Suheil al-Hassan, without mentioning the fact that he’s a vicious war criminal international-review.org/tiger-forces-p…
Although Fisk is obsessed with jihadis (to the point of islamophobia), he fails to tell us his hero al-Hassan is an actual jihadi.

read @samdagher: theatlantic.com/amp/article/55…
3/ Fisk calls the rebels in Idlib "Salafist-inspired and western-armed Islamists". As Fisk surely knows, no rebel group in Idlib has been western-armed since 2017, and the most hardcore ones never have been.
4/ Ok. That's the first two paragraphs. Then he says something true: the US has betrayed the rebels.
5/ Then Fisk plays with White Helmet conspiracy theory, and falsely says that they've been rescued. Actually just 98 rescue workers plus their families were saved - out of 3000.

theguardian.com/world/2018/jul…
6/ Fisk plays up Israel's role in rescuing the 98 White Helmets. (Wonder why?) It was actually a Canadian-driven UN plan that Israel & Jordan were pressured into joining.
7/ He adds some nudge nudge stuff about Israel never bombing Isis. Let's not get into that now, except it'll have antisemites licking their lips.
8/ He says "there are precious few Iranian troops in Syria". That's bollocks. There are thousands - 13,000, according to some estimates, compared to Assad's own army of 50,000...
...As well as Iranian-commanded Local Defence Force militias and Iranian-directed Shia militias from Iraq, Afghanistan & elsewhere: 80,000 according to @ajaltamimi

m.jpost.com/Middle-East/Wh…
9/ What Fisk says about Raqqa is misleading - he talks of rebel militias there loyal to the US, neglecting to mention those militias are Kurdish-led, now allied with Assad against Turkish-backed rebels.
10/ He claims Afrin is controlled & populated by "Turkey's erstwhile friends from Isis". This is just simply untrue. Doesn't the Indy employ fact checkers?
11/ One half-truth: European powers are indeed scrambling to get a stake in Syria's "reconstruction". What Fisk misses is that they haven't been trying to depose Assad for ages now, and were never that serious about it anyway.
12/ Finally, he seems to take at face value Russia's claims of wanting to help returning refugees, which seems credulous.
13/ On top of all these errors, it's unclear what Fisk actually wants to say. The only reporting is about Iranians on holiday in Serbia.
14/ Fisk's conclusion seems to be: there's a bit of war yet to go. My conclusion: don't bother reading it. Why does anyone still take him seriously?
Footnote: the definitive account of the Canadian-led evacuation of some of the heroic White Helmets from SW Syria theglobeandmail.com/world/article-…
Copying the thread above to @Christian_B and @OliviaAlabaster as I don't understand why the Indy keeps publishing Fisk apparently un-fact-checked. Contrasts with brilliant actual MENA reporting by @mck_beth.
And here's a thread debunking another of Fisk's recent offerings:
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