, 20 tweets, 23 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: Pro-#Assad Activists, Disinformation, & Ignorance

Roll with me while I describe a case illustrating how pro-Assad activists amplify #Russia #Propaganda --- but don't know basics of disinfo they spread.

It begins w latest smear of #WhiteHelmets in northwest #Syria (1/x)
Background: Since they formed n 2013, & especially since #Russia military i-vention n 2015, #WhiteHelmets are top target of disinfo

Part of this is to cover #Russia-regime bombing & mass killing of civilians. Part is to demoralize people amid pro-#Assad offensives.

#Syria (2/x)
Re campaign v. #WhiteHelmets: theconversation.com/who-are-syrias…

On Sunday, @VanessaBeeley - key disinfo figure used by #Russia & #Assad regime - tried latest smear by pushing 2015 video from #Idlib in #Syria as "terrorist affiliations" of @SyriaCivilDef

Video shows residents & rebels, some fm Jaish al-Fateh, at a rally. #WhiteHelmets are present --- couple are joining chants.

I know content & context of video well. @EA_WorldView posted it in #Syria Daily, day after it was filmed. (Full vid & reveal to come)

#Syria #Idlib (4/x)
But did @VanessaBeeley or her allies know anything about it? I asked: 1) In what month was it filmed? 2) In which city? 3) Who are [anti-Assad fighters] of Jaish al-Fateh?

#Syria #Idlib (5/x)
1st question provides instant comedy, as @VanessaBeeley replies, "Hey doofus read the video text 🤦‍♀️ first published 2015."

Which in no way --- emoji aside --- addresses the question, "In what month was it filmed?"

#Syria #WhiteHelmets #Idlib (6/x)
Pro-#Assad activist @DPRKJones, who 1st pushed video, prompts @VanessaBeeley to say, "October".

Which is correct so: "Why was Oct. 2015 significant in #Idlib Province?"

Vanessa goes silent. Not a word about this, let alone where video filmed.

#Syria #WhiteHelmets #Idlib (7/x)
She does attempt to answer who is "Jaish al-Fateh" with "administered by [Saudi cleric] Abdullah Muhaysini".

Which is wrong: Muhaysini was senior official in Jaish al-Fateh but did not "administer" anti-#Assad coalition.

#Syria #WhiteHelmets #Idlib (8/x)
And that's it, apart from @VanessaBeeley repeating, "Prof. Doofus" again & again.

Nor could her allies answer questions: @DPRKJones, who 1st pushed vid, asked re month of event: "Why would it matter?"

#Syria #WhiteHelmets #Idlib (9/x)
@DPRKJones then guessed that Oct. 2015 video --- which he pushed --- from #Idlib is about capture of town of #Ariha.

Nope, that was in spring 2015.

Other pro-#Assad activists make no contribution other than saying "Al Qa'eda". A lot.

#Syria #WhiteHelmets (10/x)
My fave was from an ex-student of mine who said that I must be working for #Israel's Mossad. Irrelevant, but made me laugh.

So what was this video that supposedly showed #WhiteHelmets are "affiliated with terrorists"?

#Syria #Idlib (11/x)
Here's video:

And here's reveal: eaworldview.com/2015/10/syria-…

Rally is in #Idlib city on Oct. 5, 2015 --- a week after #Russia began bombing across opposition areas of #Syria, including civilian sites.

#WhiteHelmets (12/x)
#Russia official line is they're bombing #ISIS but, in fact, 80%+ of strikes are on on opposition areas of #Syria

So residents rally in protest. So do fighters. #WhiteHelmets are on hand (you can see them in background) --- because gathering could be bombed.

#Idlib (13/x)
#Idlib residents have many chants of resistance. Fighters join in, as do couple of #WhiteHelmets.

Maybe because they don't like being bombed by #Russia. Maybe they don't like the killing. And maybe because they are showing that will can't be broken.

#Syria (14/x)
But of course pro-#Assad activists like @VanessaBeeley won't tell you this --- not only becau it belies their propaganda --- *but because they don't ever when, where, or why the event occurred* that they are using for disinfo to smear #WhiteHelmets.

#Syria (15/x)
Why does this matter? Despite their ignorance, pro-#Assad activists will continue to push disinfo, of course.

But if you see it, ask for basic info. If/when they can't give it, say so. Check it out for yourself: find those who do know what happened.

#Syria #WhiteHelmets (16/x)
There's a narrative that we can't beat #disinformation. There's too much, disinfo warriors are too devoted, & State actors are too powerful.

But if we accept that, we give into confusion & thus lies --- the objective of the disinfo campaign.

#Syria #WhiteHelmets (17/x)
Which is ongoing: #Russia & #Assad regime are again bombing #Idlib --- about 325 civilians killed since April 28; 300,000 displaced since September.


#Syria #WhiteHelmets (18/x)
So smears v. #WhiteHelmets resurge --- if you can wipe out the rescuers, then you can break will of civilians who don't know if, when attacked, they will be rescued (or at least their bodies recovered for burial).

And you can wipe away war crimes.

#Syria #Idlib (19/x)
Be "media literate". Be inquisitive. And be decent.

That's the least we can do for victims of the war crimes, in #Syria & elsewhere.

Thanks for reading. (20/20)

#Idlib #WhiteHelmets
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