No Tweet Zone: Washington Defeated in Syria’s Cyberspace

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By Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

14th April, 2016

Since its onset in 2011, the war in Syria has oscillated from being a total disaster for Bashar al-Assad, to now being a catalyst for the strengthening of the entire Middle East. It is no secret that before Russia entered the arena in September 2015, the democratically elected Syrian government was very close to suffering the same fate as Gaddafi’s did previously. The key difference is that the Western powers were unable to establish a no fly zone over Damascus due to the European Union member-states not wanting to buy what Washington was selling. This meant that Obama had to do what he wanted to do the least – engage in a war vs Arab guerillas. Israel had tried to do the same thing versus Hezbollah multiple times in the post-WW2 environment, with each attempt ending the same way – in failure. 

Unfortunately for Washington and its puppets, what doesn’t kill the Syrian Arab Army makes them stronger. As a result of this war, the Army’s soldiers are now some of the most tried and tested warriors in all of the Middle East, and, in combination with the IRGC and Hezbollah, spearhead a formidable deterrent to any future Atlanticist incursion. 

But the way in which the general public has spectated this war is relatively contemporary in nature. No longer are spectators lagging behind the events as they unfold in realtime. For example, citizens of the US would primarily learn about the events of WW1 & 2 in Europe via newspapers that were sold in the streets. As technology became more sophisticated, and the time domain in which the sphere of information was sent and received became shorter (in the milliseconds), the closer the media narrative was to the facts on the ground. 

Currently, a Syrian Arab Army soldier can record an incident on their smart phone, upload it to YouTube, and reply to comments on the video within seconds. The very nature of this truncated communication relay means that, as the saying goes, a photo (or video) can say a thousand words, which is important when we consider that Twitter, the main method of communicating the course of a war today, has a 140 character limit. 

The Russian Ministry of Defence has successfully utilised the post-modern digital information space to not only accompany and blog about their operation in Syria, but also to counter the aggressive spinning of events from the West and allies.

Whilst the video below is a vapid attack on the Syrian government, the indirect core message rings true – the information war runs parallel to the ground war. 

The video below shows that the initial organic protests in Syria were hijacked by American NGOs, and used against the legitimate government in the name of ‘democracy’. 

As a result, websites like Al Masdar News were launched by activists who refused to allow Syria to become Libya 2.0.  

Header of the website ‘Al Masdar News’

Because of websites like Al Masdar, who obtain their information directly from Syrian Arab Army soldiers and commanders, the Western ‘color revolution’ style of reporting has been outed for what it is – disinformation. The digital version of newspapers like The Telegraph, anti-Russia, anti-Assad, pro-IMF etc. in nature, have to cite legitimate information sources for fear of being polarised from the consensus on what is happening in Syria. 

The presence of reliable and authentic information sources has meant that the process of overviewing the Russian operation in Syria is no longer a task akin to chasing one’s own tail. An example of an overview that is effective and concise is the one featured below by the Levantine Group:

Levantine Group was born from the recognition that risk management needs to be brought into the 21st century to match new technology and the increasing speed of information.

We recognize that the expanding number and diverse nature of risks faced by professionals operating in volatile areas, as well as the broadening number of factors that you (as a journalist, diplomat, or security manager) need to take into consideration in your daily decision-making, require new tools and solutions.

The report uses maps to illustrate the course of events involving Russia in Syria all the way up to the present day battle for Aleppo. The assessment of Russia’s objectives is fair and actually reflects the fact that, for Russia, protecting the Tartus Port had the utmost priority, and for this to happen, there needed to be stability in Damascus. 

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Secondary to this was sending of various messages to not only Washington, but also to NATO, who are creeping closer to Russia’s borders as each day passes. Various Russian military equipment was tested in real combat, and the prized S-400 was deployed to Latakia thanks to Mr Erdogan’s moment of madness. Hezbollah obtained anti-air missile systems from Russia, whilst the Syrian Army received a plethora (T-90 tank for example) of equipment for modernisation purposes.

Finally, Russia reinforced its position as a long-term global leader, and not just a “regional leader,” to quote the words of President Obama. Putin’s now famous speech at the UN, where he said the phrase “what have you done?”, referring to the US’ lawlessness in the Middle East since the inception of the CIA, sent shockwaves down the channels of diplomacy, as Washington was left to pretend that Syria’s liberation was actually the Pentagon’s doing.

The report however does use the Orwellian language that is prominent in the ‘on the fence’ style of reporting on Syria, using words like “warplanes” and “regime”, but this choice of words does not alter the facts. In addition, the assertion that the flow of migrants to Europe “benefits Russia” due to the rise of the “far right” is certainly something we’ve heard before from the MSM. However, an unstable Balkans, Serbia in particular, only hurts Russia, something the instigators of the refugee crisis knew all too well…

Perhaps the best option for Hillary Clinton, should she become the US President in November, is to establish a ‘No Tweet Zone’ in Syria’s digital clouds…

The report can be found at source here.

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