Syria Coverage Update: BBC Reporter was detained & Prevented from Covering US-NATO- Syrian Operations in Turkey!

US Media Remains Mute on ‘Already-Confirmed’ Operations

SimpsonIt’s now been exactly 24 days since I reportedon the ongoing joint US-NATO secret training camp in the USAir Force base in Incirlik, Turkey, which began operations in April- May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria. I broke that story on November 21, here at Boiling Frogs Post, based on information provided to me by multiple sources including highly credible insiders in Turkey and government insiders here in the US. 18 days later Iranian Press TV ran the story with further confirmation based on intensive coverage and confirmation by the Turkish media. Impressively, despite far more serious pressure from the government, reporters in Turkey provided detailed coverage of the story I broke here in the US.

One extensively reported story had to do with BBC reporter John Simpson, who went to Turkey to follow up on the story we broke at Boiling Frogs Post, but was placed under surveillance, prevented from following up on the story of the US-NATO-Turkish-Syrian Rebel operation Center in Southern Turkey, stopped from interviewing Riad al Assad, and how BBC quickly excused the scandalous incident. Every major newspaper in Turkey covered this event. Sabah and Radikal were among dozens of TV and newspaper outlets in Turkey covering it.

Here is the spin placed on the story by BBC to make the incident look like ‘protecting Colonel Riad al Assad’ [All Emphasis Mine]:

The colonel's name sounds close to but not quite the same as that of the President he wants to overthrow, Bashar al-Assad.He is based in a refugee camp at Apaydin, 9 miles (14km) from the town of Antakya and very close to the Syrian border. But he is not allowed to leave the camp, and cannot receive visitors.

To a considerable extent, this is for his own protection. The Turks seem to regard Colonel Asad as a potentially important figure for the future, and are determined that nothing untoward should happen to him.

As a result, getting to see Colonel Asad is remarkably difficult. No Turkish official wanted to help us, or indeed even speak about him on the record.

As we were filming his camp from a distance a group of Turkish soldiers briefly detained us. Yet the colonel is predictably keen to talk, and in the end we interviewed him via the internet.

To recap, 24 days ago Boiling Frogs Post broke the story on the US-NATO-Syrian Rebel Operation-Command Center in the US Air Base in Southern Turkey operating since May 2011. This story was first provided to all major US media, think NY Times, Washington Post, but no one was allowed to report due to ‘US government pressure.’ After we broke the story here at BFP, the Turkish media dared their government-military, and provided further confirmation and details. The story has since received coverage and confirmation by foreign publications such as Press TV and Russia TV. Still, not a peep in the US media, and that includes the corporate-foundation backed phony, aka Alternative Media.

Russia TV had good coverage on the latest here. And here is a Russia TV interview with James Corbett from Today:

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  1. I heard Simpson’s report on the BBC’s World Service. This doesn’t surprise me. I used to argue with a BBC news editor about stuff like this. His usual response? We don’t make the news. Also, if a story is getting a high hit/view rate, we go with it. Regardless of the subject.

    If you listen to a lot of their talk shows and interviews(BBC 4, Five Live and other channels), they went right wing a long time ago. On one of their top shows (Stephen Nolan on Five Live), they regularly use lots of right wing columnists and even dual citizen (US/UK)neocon talk hosts. Imagine Michael Savage on the BBC.

  2. It’s not clear to me who the “journalists” claim told them not to write about this story.

    Why does no one mention “” when giving Sibel credit for breaking this? Don’t we want to increase traffic at this site?

  3. I contacted democracynow by web and phone to ask them why they aren’t including the information about US troops in Jordan on the Syrian border in their reporting on Syria. I also asked them if they have been told not to report on it, as others have. I gave them as the the source and dropped Sibel’s name.

    Please consider doing the same. The more people that contact them increases the chances that, at least, they’ll see the info, if they don’t already know about it.

    Mail Us: Democracy Now!
    207 W. 25th St., Floor 11
    New York, NY 10001
    E-mail Us: Use the form to the left
    Call Us: +1 (212) 431-9090
    Fax Us: +1 (212) 431-8858

    Also, consider contacting your local community funded radio station(s).

  4. Rob Tamaki says:

    Unfortunately, Democracy Now will not cover this story. At best they may arrange some kind of “debate” with one of their favored pundits speaking of the atrocities being perpetrated by the Assad government, and then offer a contesting view by some marginal spokesperson (though I would love to be proven wrong). DN are quite capable of seeing the lies of a Republican administration, but they are blinded to the same lies being spoken by a Democratic administration. There are precious few independent and trustworthy voices out there, Sibel and James Corbett being among them.

  5. @Rob Tamaki: You’re probably right, but it only takes a minute to let them know. We should also consider that many people work there not just Amy & Juan.

  6. For what it’s worth, Xicha, I followed your suggestion – may not have any effect, but no harm in trying.

  7. Right on, Hal 9000!

  8. Radio NZ sent all links. Nothing here mainstream except under titles ‘humanitarian assistance”army defectors'[R2P] etc. yesterday mention of human rights watch interviews with security force defectors reporting ‘verifiable’ ‘orders to assassinate civilians’. NO hint NATO/other force involvement.

  9. Right on, remo!

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