May 15, 2015
Every week it seems the Western mainstream media devises yet another propaganda narrative to be launched at the Syrian government and Bashar al-Assad. As one can easily see, each attempt becomes more and more desperate.
After numerous attempts at portraying Assad as guilty of having committed atrocities against innocent civilians, using chemical weapons, and dropping barrel bombs, the media has since taken to narratives portraying the Syrian president as losing his grip on the Syrian government as well as suffering huge territorial losses.
The latest round of propaganda surrounded the alleged arrest of the head of the Syrian Intelligence Bureau, Ali Mamlouk, due to his also alleged participation in a coup attempt against Assad. Western media proudly boasted of the weakness of the Syrian state and the Syrian President with headlines like “Assad’s Intelligence Chief Ali Mamlouk Arrested For Coup Plot,” “Bashar al-Assad’s Spy Chief Arrested Over Syria Coup Plot,” and “Syria Intel Chief Under House Arrest For Coup Plot Against Assad.”
There was just one problem with this volley of headlines – none of them were true.
As the International Business Times reported,
Syria's intelligence chief, who, according to British newspaper The Telegraph was placed under house arrest after plotting a coup against President Bashar Assad, made his first appearance on Syrian State TV on Wednesday.Johnlee Varghese also mentioned that,
Ali Mamlouk, the chief of the national security office, was seen sitting next to President Bashar al Assad during a meeting with visiting Iranian official Alaeddin Boroujerdi. A photo of the meeting also appeared on the official SANA news agency on 13 May.
Earlier on Monday, The Telegraph had reported that Brigadier General Ali Mamlouk was arrested for plotting a coup with rebel groups and other exiled leaders to overthrow PresidentAssad. Mamlouk is one of the closest supporters of Assad and said to be among the few officials who still closely interact with the Syrian president.
The report of Mamlouk house arrest was seen by many as a sign of an increasing 'unrest' in the inner circle of President Assad. However, his latest appearance on State TV dispels several claims, including one that he was in a hospital.Thus, it seems that not only are Western media outlets attempting to compete for the most outlandish propaganda narrative (a tough competition since the State Department’s Libyan Viagra claims) regarding the history of the Syrian crisis and the events on the ground, they are apparently competing for the most outlandish Ali Mamlouk story.
Middle East Monitor earlier last month had reported that Mamlouk was fighting for his life in Al-Shami Hospital in Damascus. Similarly, a report in Middle East Eye claimed in late April that he was reportedly in a Damascus hospital after being poisoned with cyanide.
The reports went on to claim that if Mamlouk died, "whether in the hospital or under other circumstances," he will be the fifth suspect to be linked to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
While little time and energy should be spent debunking the Telegraph and all of its copycats’ claims regarding Mamlouk, it nonetheless stands as a perfect example of the depths to which Western media will sink to promote a false narrative in the minds of their readers.
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