Introduction — Nov 28, 2016
Perhaps what’s most noteworthy in the following report is that the Guardian is still relying on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights for information on events in Aleppo.
The retreat of “Syrian rebels” from areas it formerly held in Aleppo is now being widely reported. Yet reports like RT’s are relying on Syria’s SANA for information on what’s happening on the ground in Aleppo. So why is the Guardian and other Western news outlets still using the SOHR, when the outfit was discredited months ago?
For those still in the dark about the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: it is a one man operation run from Coventry, England. Although Syrian born Rami Abdul Rahman, who runs SOHR, has not been back to Syria for nearly 20 years.
To make matters worse, Abdul Rahman, aka Rami Abdulrahman, aka Osama Suleiman, is a convicted felon who is now suspected of being bankrolled by the U.S. and UK governments. In other words the SOHR could well be being used to disseminate disinformation: yet the corporate media are still using it for information on events in Syria. Ed.
Syrian rebel forces in Aleppo suffer ‘biggest defeat since 2012′
Patrick Wintour — The Guardian Nov 28, 2016
Rebel forces in Aleppo have lost control of a key district that threatens to split the remaining opposition-held area in two, according to activists.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces seized the strategic al-Sakhour district in a wider advance that in recent days has driven rebels from a third of the areas they held.
Rebel sources could not immediately be reached for comment about the report that confirmed an earlier report by the Syrian military and state TV.
“It is the biggest defeat for the opposition in Aleppo since 2012,” said Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory’s director. “The opposition has lost more than third of the area it controlled in Aleppo city during the big advance.”
In a major breakthrough in their push to retake the city, troops supporting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, over the weekend captured the Masaken Hanano and Jabal Badra districts, driving a wedge through the middle of the rebel-held enclave in the east of the city.
Damascus claimed the rebel forces in the north of eastern Aleppo were in mass retreat to avoid being split and as many as 2,000 civilians had reached government-held territory in western Aleppo.
TV reports from Masaken Hanano on Sunday morning showed workers and soldiers clearing debris against a backdrop of bombed-out buildings on both sides of a wide avenue.
Masaken Hanano was the first district the rebels took in the summer of 2012, leading to the division of the city into a rebel-held east and a government-controlled west.
The Observatory said 219 civilians were on killed on Sunday, but these numbers may well be an underestimate due to the number of bodies trapped in rubble, and the lack of functioning hospitals. It said those fleeing to government areas had come from al-Haidariya, al-Shaar and Jabal Badro.