On the 11th December 2016 I visited Hanano in East Aleppo. Hanano had been liberated days previously by the Syrian Arab Army and allies including Hezbollah and Russia. Hanano had been under a Nusra Front [Al Qaeda] terrorist regime for the last, almost, five years.
The testimonies we filmed testified to starvation, wholesale deprivation of humanitarian aid, summary executions, torture and the use of civilians as human shields. Nusra Front were the overlord of the district, controlling an estimated 22 militant brigades funded, equipped and armed by NATO and Gulf states and condemning the Syrian civilians to a life of fear and imprisonment in their own homes.
Women were married, raped and discarded en masse, children were imprisoned and anyone caught supporting the Syrian Government could be executed or imprisoned & tortured. The very antithesis of the narrative being run by the corporate media for the entire duration of the almost five years of wholesale suffering endured by both West and East Aleppo, carved into two and targeted by the Nusra Front-led terrorists and militants.
Militants like the US-funded, Nour Al Din Zinki who beheaded 12 year old Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa or US "moderates", Ahrar Al Sham, who have carried out a number of vicious ethnic cleansing campaigns in and around Aleppo.
This video contains two of those testimonies, exposing the lie peddling, by corporate media, that has been allowed to permeate public opinion and narrowly failed to precipitate the devastating No Fly Zone that would have, undeniably, led to further bloodshed on an unimaginable scale.
At the end of filming two boys sat down in front of the camera and spontaneously chanted "Allah, Souria, ou Bashar bas". "God, Syira, Bashar is enough".
Bearing Witness to the Liberation of Hanano, East Aleppo, a Personal View
"In all ways, exposing truth is much like mass therapy, where we encourage people to step out of their fragmented perceptions of events, their colonized mental constructs and complexes, to relinquish the blinders, the ego and arrogance, so we can be enlightened together, and together, rendered wiser and stronger.
Dynamic revolutionary movements are in a continual process of evolutionary change which is to be embraced if our movements are to survive and be authentic. If we are afraid of introspection and critique, we invite our own downfall. I admire most the people and movements that not only undergo this process privately, but who share their realizations with the public. By this act, we are made richer, provided we have the wisdom to accept these collective teachings." ~ Alexandra Valiente
I hope it goes some way towards conveying the incredible suffering that these people endured and the joy they expressed when, at last, they were free from four years of brutal sectarianism, torture, abuse and starvation, not at the hands of the Syrian government, as described by the baying corporate media in the West, but at the hands of the terrorist and militant factions injected into East Aleppo by the very governments who were screaming "humanitarian crisis".
Children, prematurely aged, whose childhood has been ravaged and stolen from them by our vulture regimes in the west via their proxy "child catchers" and exploiters.
They were using images of tiny Omran Daqneesh to cynically manipulate emotions in the west and to nudge public perception towards their goal of a No Fly Zone to ensure the deaths of yet more children.
Meanwhile, the children of East Aleppo continued to suffer and be traumatised as their siblings, their fathers, their mothers, their world was raped, beheaded, shot, mined, sniped, detonated, exploded in front of them.
Who will heal these children? Who will give them back their childhood, their innocence? Who will say sorry for the blood in the streets and the dust in their souls.
I am not writing this as a journalist but as a human being. To witness the level of depravity and extremism unleashed by the creatures who govern us and to see children - emaciated, angry, bruised and wounded children glaring at the world through a filter of pain, it is hard to be anything else.
For Aleppo and for Syria with all my love and my hope that one day the Syrian people will forgive all of us for what has been done to them.