EAST GHOUTA, Syria – As soldiers involved in clean-up operations made their way through the wreckage and ruins of the various Al Qaeda and other Daesh related strongholds, they stumbled into an ‘expected surprise’.
Laptops, radios, camera, video-equipment and digital reels (hard-discs) were uncovered, showing that Qatar – a long time backer of some of the Daesh groups – had its official media outlet, Al Jazeera, actually embedded with terrorist groups.
Previously, journalists and experts were curious as to how Al Jazeera was consistently getting the scoop, and found themselves with first hand, original videos made by and produced by Daesh groups backed by Qatar. Al Jazeera had maintained that a clear fire-wall existed between them: ‘anti-Assad activists’ would somehow email or upload these surprisingly well produced video clips right to Al Jazeera, where we imagined that the Al Thani Dynasty owned and Qatari based news outlet, which replaced BBC in recent years as the region’s English language Atlanticist news outlet, simply had better contacts on the ground.
Well apparently they did have great contacts on the ground, so good in fact that there wound up being veritably no difference between Daesh and Al Jazeera reporters. The Al Jazeera ‘desk’ was run literally out of an Al Qaeda (Al Nusra/HTS) center in the east Damascus suburb of East Ghouta.
It would appear now we can add to Daesh yet another official auxiliary alongside their own White Helmets brand. Now we can confirm that besides the White Helmets, Daesh also has its won media crew, and it goes by the name of Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is an internationally broadcast satellite and cable television news station which is available in hundreds of countries and is available in any number of cable and satellite television packages.
It has initially received positive feedback for its critical coverage of the war in Iraq, and its sympathetic and eye opening coverage of the plight of Palestinians. Experts, activists, pundits, and academics, however, have all noted the change in messaging once the ‘Arab Spring’ broke out some eight years ago. Transforming away from a critical voice reflecting genuine, non-orientalized narratives about a region, into the TV station for Al Qaeda, Al Jazeera has become a case study in how the information war works within the Color-Spring tactic within 4th generation warfare.