The Pentagon has in a rare moment gone off the mainstream narrative script concerning Idlib.
The UK’s Sky News interviewed US coalition spokesman Col. Myles Caggins as part of its coverage focusing on Syrian and Russian forces “indiscriminately” attacking civilians and “bombing hospitals” — however, the Army colonel gave a counter angle, instead focusing on the jihadist groups ruling Idlib as the fundamental cause to civilian suffering there.
The US-led coalition spokesman called Idlib “a magnet for terrorist groups” that are a “nuisance, a menace and a threat” to hundreds of thousands of civilians just “trying to make it through the winter.”
.@OIRSpox Colonel Myles Caggins says the #Idlib province is a "magnet" for terrorist groups who are a "nuisance, a menace and a threat" to the hundreds of thousands of civilians in Syria, who are just "trying to make it through the winter."
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 20, 2020
He essentially identified “all” of groups operating on the ground as “terrorists” and a “threat” to the local population in the rare frank commentary:
“There are variety of groups there — all of them are a nuisance, a menace and a threat to… hundreds of thousands of civilians who are just trying to make it through the winter.”
His truthful words are all the more interesting given they come at a moment that CNN and other mainstream networks have “rediscovered” Idlib and “evil Assad and Russia” who they say are attempting to “butcher” children and innocent civilians.
The very network that interviewed the Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman elsewhere on the same day questioned “whether the international community is doing enough to restrain the Assad regime.”
— Sharmine Narwani (@snarwani) February 20, 2020
The main anti-Assad group on the ground fighting the Syrian Army has long been al-Qaeda faction Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Nusra Front), which is a US Treasury designated terrorist organization.
If you watch this piece of naked interventionist propaganda, which begins with Damon’s bonkers claim that a million kids will be murdered, you won’t know why anyone’s fighting in Idlib.
No context, no history, no mention of Al Qaeda.
The more you watch CNN, the less you know. https://t.co/VxAvSw856M
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 18, 2020
Typically US and UK media reports leave out this crucial fact and nuance altogether, acting as if the whole conflict is as simple as Assad and Putin wishing to kill as many civilians as possible.
Such ultra-simplistic coverage has just been debunked by the Pentagon’s Caggins, who essentially admits that the Russians and Syrian Army are fighting terrorist groups occupying Idlib province.