Friday, June 7, 2013

'In Denial!'

"... Many Arab satellite channels are in denial over news of a Syrian army victory in Qusayr. For the past several weeks, Qusayr had been a top news item on the major channels, as networks hosted military experts to shed light on the battles between the Syrian regime and its opposition. Yet once images confirming an opposition defeat began to surface, the channels adopted a unilateral discourse of sectarian incitement.
The networks launched a campaign to justify the fighters’ withdrawal from the city, framing it in terms of asymmetrical military power.
One day before the Syrian army regained control of Qusayr, George Sabra, the acting president of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), issued an appeal to Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri to open “safe corridors in order to evacuate the wounded inside Qusayr.” Sabra warned of a massacre if this did not happen.
On satellite channels, Sabra’s appeal transformed into propaganda used to downplay this strategic military achievement.
Stations like al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, and Future TV claimed the regime and Hezbollah had committed a massacre that killed hundreds. Future TV went even further, claiming that the battle was still raging.
Free Syrian Army (FSA) spokesperson Fahd al-Masry – who couldn’t confirm to al-Jadeed whether he was in Paris or somewhere along the Lebanese-Syrian border – made several appearances on local and satellite channels. He denied that the Syrian army regained control of Qusayr and claimed that the live images were either fabricated or pulled from the archives.
Luay al-Miqdad, FSA media and political coordinator, promised al-Arabiya’s viewers “surprises at night.” Miqdad downplayed the progress made ​​by the Syrian army, arguing that it only advanced in certain areas.
Hezbollah’s satellite channel al-Manar was among the first stations to air images from inside Qusayr, along with al-Mayadeen reporters Mohammed Mohsen and Mohammed al-Sahili..."

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