The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Hizbullah hits back at starvation reports in Madaya, Syria

Translated today by our

Interesting response, not least because it does show that publicity, statements and reports over Madaya are clearly having an important impact on Hizbullah’s public stance.

On January 8, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Beirut: “It seems that Hezbollah was bewildered by the intensifying media campaign that shed light on the tragedy endured by the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, and had to clarify the situation, not through an official statement, but through Al-Manar’s newscast yesterday night. Indeed, the channel commented on what it dubbed a programed media campaign against the resistance regarding the town of Madaya in Rif Dimashq, quoting sources as saying: “Some visual and written media outlets with known inclinations have launched a wide-scale slander campaign against the resistance, and accused Hezbollah of starving the civilians in Madaya through its siege. But this is a programmed campaign aiming to ruin the image of the resistance.”

“[It said:] “The armed groups that have taken Madaya hostage, and the foreign sides supporting them, are the only ones responsible for what is happening in the town. We have not seen a similar campaign regarding other Syrian towns that have been besieged by the armed terrorist groups for years, such as Kefraya and Al-Fou’a in Rif Adlib, Nebl and Az-Zahra’ in the countryside of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor and other regions, where babies are dying because of the shortage of milk and basic products, and disease is spreading due to the lack of medical supplies.” Al-Manar thus indicated: “Firstly, dozens of trucks loaded with food and medical supplies that could last many months were introduced to Madaya, Sarghaya and Baqin on October 18, 2015, and an equal quantity was introduced to Kefraya and Fou’a… More is expected to arrive in the coming days, after the injured armed men were evacuated from Az-Zabadani.”

“[It added:] “Secondly, Madaya is controlled by armed groups boasting more than 600 elements, 60% of whom from Ahrar ash-Sham, 30% from An-Nusra Front, and 10% from the Free Army. Hence, the town has been the hostage of armed groups for months, since the intensification of the battles in Zabadani, and the perpetration of several massacres at the Syrian army checkpoints on Madaya’s entrance. Thirdly, the armed groups’ leaders are controlling the food aid that is being distributed, and placing it in their warehouses in the town’s center. And they are using it to blackmail the population and selling to the citizens who can pay for it. Fourthly, Madaya only entered the conflict and the state of siege after the intensification of the battles in the neighboring Zabadani, since the armed elements used it as a starting point for their operations against the Syrian army and the resistance in Zabadani, to shift the course of the battle.”

“[It continued:] “Fifthly, the terrorist armed groups are using the 23,000 inhabitants as human shields and a political card in their fake media campaigns, which are similar to the ones seen elsewhere. So far, and unlike what is being claimed by the media and some sides affiliated with the armed men, who are responsible for what is happening in Madaya, no deaths have been registered. Sixthly, several attempts were deployed by a large number of inhabitants to exit Madaya, but were thwarted by the armed groups’ leaders. Seventhly, there are ongoing negotiations to ensure the surrender of 300 armed elements to the authorities and their exit from Madaya, at a time when other elements are rejecting that due to a foreign political decision. Eighthly, during the implementation of the Zabadani agreement, the convoy that was taking out the wounded armed men from Zabadani had to stop.”

“[It continued:] “This was due to the threat issued by armed men in Madaya, saying that the convoy will be attacked and that the buses will be bombed, due to their rejection of the agreement. Ninthly, the purpose and those standing behind these campaigns have become known, and they aim to ruin the image of the resistance and use the civilians as a lost political card.””

Written by nickbiddlenoe

January 8, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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