This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong

Cockburn, Patrick
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-aleppo-iraq-mosul-isis-middle-east-conflict-assad-war-everything-youve-read-could-be-wrong-a7451656.html

Publisher:  Independent
Date Written:  02/12/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20236

A description of how much of the coverage of the wars in Syria and Iraq is second-hand reporting, due to the dangers posed, and subject to political bias and propaganda.

Abstract: 

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Excerpts:

Experience shows that foreign reporters are quite right not to trust their lives even to the most moderate of the armed opposition inside Syria. But, strangely enough, the same media organisations continue to put their trust in the veracity of information coming out of areas under the control of these same potential kidnappers and hostage takers. They would probably defend themselves by saying they rely on non-partisan activists, but all the evidence is that these can only operate in east Aleppo under license from the al-Qaeda-type groups.

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Journalists and public alike should regard all information about Syria and Iraq with reasoned scepticism. They should keep in mind the words of Lakhdar Brahimi, the former UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria. Speaking after he had resigned in frustration in 2014, he said that "everybody had their agenda and the interests of the Syrian people came second, third or not at all".