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Published On: Fri, Oct 10th, 2014

Combating the Propaganda Machine in Syria

The “Moderate Opposition”, the Children from Ballouta, and the Sarin Gas Attack on Eastern Ghouta

John Mesler (nsnbc) : On August 4, 2013 the Radical Islamic group known as Free Syrian Army (FSA) entered Ballouta, a small village near Latakia, Syria. These terrorists had their headquarters at Selma, which was within hiking distance. This area is quite close to the Turkish border and since the border is open to the terrorists, they can pass over and back from Syria at will. They use Turkey as their base for medical supplies, weapons, vehicles and transportation, and food. 

The FSA terrorists came into Ballouta for the purpose of sectarian cleansing. The people of Ballouta are Muslims of the Alowi sect. The FSA are exclusively Sunni Muslims. They believe all other Muslims, and non-Muslims are infidels and should be killed. They further believe that all Sunni Muslims who do not follow their Radical Islamic political ideology should also die. Unarmed civilians inhabited Ballouta. They were small family farmers, and there were no military targets in or near Ballouta. It was a fairly small, remote hillside village that had seen no violence previously, but was indeed close to the terrorists.

East Ghouta_Damascus_2013_Children_1The FSA is the armed wing of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) located in Istanbul, Turkey. This is one of the main Syrian opposition political groups. The founding members are members of a political party called Muslim Brotherhood, which is a global party and is outlawed as a terrorist organization in Syria and Egypt. One of the core leaders is George Sabra, who is a Syrian Communist and avowed atheist. The leader of SNC has changed from time to time, but it continues to garner full support of the USA, and the other 11 countries comprising the “London 11 Group”, which were formerly known as “The Friends of Syria”.

When the news broke about the massacre in Ballouta, initial reports stated the killers were members of several Radical Islamic terrorists groups, but not FSA. However, almost immediately the than President of SNC, George Sabra, hailed the massacre of Ballouta as an important victory for the FSA, and predicted the fall of the Assad regime. Additionally, the SNC website supported the sectarian massacre at Ballouta, and greeted the military victory there.

The FSA went house-to-house killing everyone in their path. Whole families were wiped out. One pregnant woman was seized and her stomach cut open and the fetus hung in a tree. There were many survivors, despite the fact that 220 dead bodies were later counted at the hospital in Latakia. The survivors made their way to an empty school in Latakia and took shelter there until the Syrian Arab Army could free the village on August 17, 2013.

During the sectarian massacre, 100 small children and a few females were kidnapped by the FSA. They were taken as captives to Selma, which was and still is occupied and held by the FSA. The children and females were tortured. They were all held underground without sunlight. One boy had his eyes gouged out, and another boy was shot through the head.About 2 weeks later the FSA used those children to create a video. They drugged the 100 children and arraigned them in poses on the floor to appear dead. They created many videos using their captives as actors. The video was sent via cell phone to a contact person in Damascus. It was that person who later uploaded the famous Sarin Chemical attack video on

When the Sarin Gas video was shown constantly around the globe, the families of Ballouta thought they recognized their kidnapped children’s faces in the video. They contacted Mother Agnes Miriam of Syria, who is a humanitarian working towards peace and reconciliation in the Syrian crisis.

How would a group of kidnapped children end up killed in a gas attack 6 hours drive time away from Ballouta, and how would the terrorists manage to move them undetected all that way, when there were government check points all along the way between Ballouta and Damascus?

They were never moved. The video was produced in Selma by the FSA. The video was silently and effortlessly transferred to Damascus by cell phone, and then uploaded to It was important that the video be uploaded at the place of the sarin gas attack. East Ghouta is a suburb of Damascus, the capital of Syria.

There really was sarin used in Damascus, this is proven from various investigations. However, it never involved vast numbers of people, as the first reports claimed. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) never saw even one patient with gas symptoms. They claimed to have had a phone call from a man claiming to be a doctor and he said he had seen 300 patients. But, MSF later admitted they had no staff or facilities inside Syria or in the Damascus area. I had confirmed that fact earlier, when I contacted MSF via email for help with the refugees I was working with. MSF first replied to my request by asking me for money. Then after replying to that, and restating my original purpose to help refugees inside Syria, they said they did not have any staff or facilities inside Syria, but were in Arsal, Lebanon. Arsal, Lebanon is a rest and recuperation station for FSA.

CNN’s Fred Pleitgen could not find gas victims when he went to all the hospitals in Damascus, excepting the few Syrian soldiers affected and in the military hospital. Those soldiers had happened upon a tunnel, and in that tunnel were some odd-looking blue canisters. Several soldiers died, and the rest fled the area, and the gas affected some. Those canisters came from an unknown source. Those same canisters were turned over to the UN chemical weapons inspectors and were logged into the book as unknown source, found in a battle area in the Damascus area.

On May 7, 2014 after 9 months of captivity, 44 of the original 100-kidnap victims were released from Selma to a hospital in Latakia. Their release was part of the deal that also released terrorists in the Old City section of Homs. However, the remaining kidnap victims continue to be held in Selma.

On May 8th their time in captivity in Selma with the FSA. They said most of the terrorists were Syrian but that they did occasionally hear foreign languages spoken. From other sources, we know that Selma was home to many Australian terrorists, especially from the Sydney area, which also had ties to Latakia. Those Australians would be able to speak Arabic with a Syrian accent, and also speak English very well.

On January 15, 2014 this news report was published:
A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

Not long after the reported sarin attack, a veteran journalist in Damascus gained the confidence of local residents, who were among the rebel supporters. They claimed that a Saudi Arabian person supplied the gas, but they did not receive proper training. Perhaps those canisters found in the tunnel were from that supply.

EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels

By Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh | August 29, 2013 …

Further reports questioning the source of the sarin gas came to light in May 2014.UN Probe Chief Doubtful on Syria Sarin Exposure Claims by Gareth Porter

May 7, 2014 

The indication that the overwhelming majority in the sample had very little or no exposure to Sarin was particularly significant, because local opposition authorities had chosen those in the sample as being among the most serious affected survivors. The data suggest that the Syrian opposition and its external supporters had vastly exaggerated the scope and severity of the attack.

In conclusion, I don’t have the smoking gun. I don’t know if the sarin used in Damascus came from Turkey or Saudi Arabia, or elsewhere. I don’t know exactly how many died in the attack, but we know that it was not a large number as first reported. From the outset, it appeared to be a classic FSA style staged event. The FSA and their directors at SNC have used a system over and over of staged massacres. These staged events were always the day before a UN Security Council vote on Syria. The massacre was meant to sway the UN members to vote against the Syrian government and in favor of the Syrian rebels. We saw this at Houla massacre and continued on to the August 2013 gas attack in Damascus. In that case the UN was again directly involved in the event. The Syrian government had pleaded for UN investigators to come to Syria in order to investigate a previous chemical attack in Khan al Assal in March 2013. The UN did not come and cited security concerns.

However, initial investigation reports from Khan Al Asal to the UN investigator Carla Dela Ponte suggested it was the Syrian rebels who killed the civilians and soldiers at Khan Al Assal, and she reported that to the press. Finally, in August 2013 the UN investigators arrived in Damascus to start their investigation of Khan Al Assal. But, before they could go to the site in Northern Syria, the Damascus attack occurred and captured the attention of the whole world.

We have all watched enough police detective program on TV, to be able to discern the first question after any murder: who will benefit the most? The answer in the Damascus sarin attack is overwhelmingly, the Free Syrian Army. In fact, they almost got exactly what they had been asking for, which was a total destruction of all military capability of the Syrian government.

East Ghouta_Damascus_2013_Children_2The video was the only proof the that Pres. Obama had, and after the lab report came back from the UK Defense laboratory, that the sarin used could not have come from the Syrian ‘regime’, then Pres. Obama had to back down on his threat to destroy Syria. Pres. Obama did not want to go into a full-scale war on Syria based on faulty intelligence, and face the same criticism that followed the WMD in Iraq, which never were found. But, it almost worked. What other dastardly plan does the Free Syrian Army have up their sleeve?

AS FOR THE FATE OF THOSE CHILDREN :The 100 children were held in Selma underground in basements of buildings. Selma was a small village, but in fact had hundreds of residential buildings, with basements, because it was a summer vacation area. There were hundreds of empty houses there, which were only used during summer months, by renters, or by owners who lived in Aleppo or Latakia mainly.44 of the children were released after 9 months of captivity (Aug 2013 to May 2014). The remaining are either dead or surviving there still, waiting for release. I am sure some are still alive, because of the testimony of the survivors released in May.

John Mesler – First published in Soapbox People’s Network on 10.08.2014. John Mesler can be reached by e-mail at Edt. for nsnbc by CH/L. The views expressed by he author are not necessarily that of nsnbc international.

Related articles and reports:

The Chemical Attacks on East Ghouta – ISTEAMS  (PDF)
CW Expert Opinion on the UN Report on Syria
Children killed for staging Ghouta Chemical Attacks “Evidence”
Senior UN Official; Syria Not Involved In Chemical Weapons Attack
Mint Press Ghouta Chemical Weapons Report Controversy Continues
VIDEO: Rockets in Damascus CW Attack Fired from Makeshift Flatbeds
Top US and Saudi Officials responsible for Chemical Weapons in Syria


About the Author

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  1. john mesler says:

    I would like to discuss this with anyone who may have commented. Thank you, .JM

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