Newest Israeli strikes goal websites across the capital Damascus and south of the coastal Tartus province.
Israeli air strikes on Syria killed three troopers and wounded three others in Israel’s newest assault on the war-torn nation.conf
State media stated air defence forces had been confronting what it stated had been Israeli bombing raids aimed toward targets within the neighborhood of the Syrian coastal province of Tartus.
“The aggression led to the demise of three troopers, the wounding of three others,” Syria’s official information company SANA stated, quoting an unnamed army supply.
Since civil struggle broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out tons of of air strikes contained in the nation, focusing on authorities positions in addition to allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.
Its forces had been additionally confronting “hostile targets” over the Qalamoun mountains close to the border with Lebanon, SANA reported.
A Syrian army assertion stated there have been two simultaneous Israeli assaults – one a missile assault focusing on the countryside close to the capital, Damascus, carried out from the route of southeast of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights struggle monitor additionally gave the identical toll of killed and wounded from the second strikes close to an air defence base in Tartus province, the place Iranian-backed teams are lively.
The focused web site in Tartus is positioned 8km (5 miles) from a Russian base, stated the monitor, which has a large community of sources in Syria.
It stated ambulances had rushed to the scene of the strikes in Tartus.
In early July, Syria’s defence ministry stated an Israeli raid carried out from the Mediterranean Sea close to the city of Al-Hamadiyah, south of Tartus city, had wounded two civilians.
On Friday, Israeli shelling wounded two civilians in southern Syria close to the occupied Golan Heights, in keeping with state media.
Final month, an Israeli strike close to Damascus killed three Syrian troopers, state media stated on the time. The Syrian Observatory stated that strike focused a army facility and an “Iranian weapons depot”.
After the most recent incident, Israeli authorities instructed AFP information company they “don’t touch upon reviews within the international media”.
Whereas Israel hardly ever feedback on particular person strikes in Syria, the army has defended them as obligatory to forestall its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.
The battle in Syria began with the brutal repression of peaceable protests and escalated to drag in international powers and fighters.
The struggle has killed almost half 1,000,000 individuals and compelled half of the nation’s pre-war inhabitants from their houses.
Russia’s army intervention in 2015 helped flip the struggle in favour of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces as soon as solely managed one-fifth of the nation.
A social media-fuelled mass protest motion has pressured President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee Sri Lanka. Plus, native journalists in India and the challenges they face.
Social media customers and their smartphones have pushed and documented protests that ended the presidency of Sri Lanka’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Even mainstream media retailers have been pressured to evaluate the kind of protection they do.
Contributors: Nalaka Gunawardene – Media analyst Vindhya Buthpitiya – Anthropologist, College of St Andrews Bhavani Fonseka – Human rights lawyer Sanjana Hattotuwa – Analysis fellow, The Disinfo Challenge
On our radar:
Bashar al-Assad’s newest Aleppo go to was a PR hit. Tariq Nafi has extra on the extremely symbolic go to that supplied loads of media alternatives.
India’s native journalism below stress
Being an area journalist in India is fraught with challenges. We communicate to 2 journalists – one from Indian-administered Kashmir and the opposite from Chhattisgarh – in regards to the pressures they face.
Manila, Philippines – Francis Gealogo is a seasoned educational with a PhD in Philippine historical past who has been instructing the topic for 35 years. However a number of the instructing he has accomplished recently has not been within the classroom or to his typical college students.
Gealogo, who heads the historical past division on the Ateneo De Manila College and has printed greater than 70 analysis papers, is now taking his courses to social media. The 56-year-old historian stated he joined Twitter late final yr and launched an account on TikTok in March as a result of he was involved a few rising wave of disinformation about his nation’s historical past.
“We should always not let peddlers of pretend historical past stay dominant in these new realms,” Gealogo instructed Al Jazeera, somewhat bashful about venturing onto social media at his age.
With Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr about to be sworn into workplace because the Philippines subsequent president on Thursday, historical past has emerged on the centre of political conflicts within the Philippines.
Marcos Jr, the 64-year-old son and namesake of the late Philippine chief, Ferdinand Marcos, gained the presidency on the again of what historians and analysts like Gealogo, have stated was a years-long and well-organised marketing campaign that sought to whitewash his father’s brutal legacy. The late Marcos, who dominated the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, had declared martial regulation in 1972, and Amnesty Worldwide stated it documented 3,257 political killings throughout that point. Some 70,000 individuals have been additionally incarcerated and 1000’s have been tortured. The Philippine Supreme Court docket, in the meantime, discovered that the Marcos household plundered a minimum of $658m from state coffers because the nation’s debt mounted and hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lived in excessive poverty.
Public anger on the Marcos’s abuses and corruption coalesced right into a “Folks’s Energy” rebellion in 1986, throughout which the president was toppled and compelled to flee to Hawaii, the place he died three years later.
Regardless of this historic file, Marcos Jr, who will take workplace on the fiftieth anniversary of the declaration of martial regulation, has used social media to rewrite historical past, downplaying martial law-era atrocities and portraying his father’s tenure as a “golden age” for the Philippines. In a web based interview earlier this yr, Marcos Jr stated his father ushered the Philippines into the “trendy world”, and a day after the election, he visited his father’s grave and launched a press release calling the late president his “inspiration” who “taught him the worth and which means of true management”.
‘Tsunami of disinformation’
Diosa Labiste, a professor on the College of the Philippines’ Faculty of Mass Communication, stated there was a “bombardment” on-line of “outright lies” about Marcos’s legacy. “These distortions have been meant to make Marcos Jr win,” stated Labiste, who has been fact-checking social media posts for the final two elections as one of many consultants behind the Google- and Meta-funded coalition Tsek.ph. “And naturally, these have been massively shared by a community of disseminators.”
These posts included a video, which claimed that no person was arrested in the course of the martial regulation interval, collected greater than 187 million views by the beginning of the official election interval on February 8, 2022. One other submit that claimed victims of martial regulation fabricated accounts of human rights abuses to extort reparations from the state was posted in 514 Fb teams and considered greater than 89 million occasions.
“Mixed fact-checkers are not any match for the systematic networks of data operators behind the martial regulation disinformation,” she stated. “We solely fact-checked the final six months and we’re up in opposition to this tsunami of disinformation. The sharing suggests behaviour is coordinated by repeat spreaders or established channels and influencers.”
What Labiste described as a “well-oiled operation” has been years within the making. The Marcos Jr marketing campaign has utilised Fb pages and teams, YouTube channels and TikTok movies to achieve out to Filipino voters, most of whom use the web to get their political information. A whistleblower on the British information analytics agency, Cambridge Analytica, which assisted with the presidential marketing campaign of former US President Donald Trump, additionally stated Marcos Jr sought assist to rebrand the household’s picture in 2016, a declare he denied.
His revisionist marketing campaign, nonetheless, acquired a lift from the Philippine authorities that very same yr when outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte determined to present his father a hero’s burial. On the time, Gealogo, the historical past professor, was a commissioner on the Nationwide Historic Fee of the Philippines (NHCP), which has an advisory function to the president. Gealogo objected to the choice, and he and his colleagues printed a paper referred to as “Why Ferdinand Marcos shouldn’t be buried on the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes).”
It was ignored. So was the general public outrage.
Gealogo stated Duterte’s transfer was aimed toward absolving Marcos of his crimes. “That was a gross affront to the NHCP. So, I resigned in protest,” he stated.
The hero’s burial for Marcos resulted in an explosion of disinformation that culminated in Marcos Jr’s election victory. His household’s repute, beforehand “often called corrupt, grasping, abusive” was “recalibrated into one thing enjoyable and modern”, stated Gealogo. “Even the thought of Marcosian opulence – there are YouTube channels exhibiting the household making mild of it as in the event that they have been identical to us.”
On the similar time that disinformation threatens to erode established truths in regards to the dictatorship, Gealogo stated repositories of historic info are additionally underneath assault.
Final October, the federal government instructed universities to purge their libraries of “subversive” materials together with accounts of the nation’s martial regulation period. In March, a number of bookshops carrying among the similar allegedly “subversive” texts have been vandalised. When youngsters’s guide publishers Adarna Home introduced that its assortment of martial regulation literature was occurring sale in Could, state intelligence chief Alex Monteagudo referred to as it an try to “radicalise the Filipino youngsters in opposition to our authorities”.
Eufemio Agbayani III, the NHCP’s Historic Websites Researcher, stated “what’s written in our libraries and museums are nonetheless there” however acknowledged that Marcos Jr’s win is prone to complicate issues for the archivists, particularly as the brand new president can order alterations of historic information, not in contrast to his father in the course of the martial law-era.
“It’s like we’re between two rocks smashing in opposition to one another,” Agbayani stated. “Marcos supporters will say we’re biased as a result of we’ve research disproving Marcos Sr’s battle file and movies discussing sure components of martial regulation. We additionally deal with the Folks Energy monument and commemorate the event as a part of our job. Alternatively, different individuals suppose the NHCP isn’t doing sufficient due to rampant disinformation.”
However he stated any intervention by the NHCP within the debate would go in opposition to the fee’s dedication to non-partisanship.
The Marcos marketing campaign’s use of social media to unfold disinformation is going down similtaneously Philippine historical past has itself been downgraded as a topic in faculties. Since 2014, it has solely been taught as a separate topic at major ranges.
Vladimer Quetua, union chief of Metro Manila’s Alliance of Involved Lecturers, described highschool historical past classes as “chop suey, a mixture of bits and items however by no means the entire thing”. The shortage of correct schooling, he stated, has created a historic amnesia amongst youthful voters, a lot of whom have been too younger to recollect martial law-era abuses.
“Early on in my tenure, college students have been merely apathetic. It was a wrestle to get them to be taught in regards to the story of the Philippines. These days, they’re utterly engaged in politics however are coming from a spot of disinformation.” He stated lecturers have been competing with “the sibling tandem of Google and Wikipedia,” which is now being supplanted by YouTube and Tiktok to “full the household”.
Quetua stated a lot of his fellow lecturers are simply out to do their jobs, and guarantee each little one completes their obligatory education, however he worries that in the long term Filipinos threat shedding their understanding of what occurred in the course of the martial regulation interval and its contribution to the nation’s trauma.
“The curriculum limits you as an educator. Many college students will imagine the myths of getting had a ‘golden age’. They see Marcos and aspire to his wealth,” he stated.
For the Marcos household, Marcos Jr’s presidential win has been a very long time coming and an opportunity to cement their grip on energy.
Imee Marcos, Marcos Jr’s sister and a senator, stated shortly after her brother’s election victory that the win would lastly permit for the rehabilitation of their household’s title and legacy. Marcos Jr’s mom Imelda stays an influential political energy dealer into her 90s, whereas his son additionally has a seat in Congress. A cousin seems to be set to grow to be speaker of the parliament.
In the meantime, Sara Duterte, the daughter of the outgoing president, who cracked down on impartial media, is the nation’s vice chairman.
Amid the brand new regime’s efforts at consolidating energy, Labiste, the scholar and fact-checker, provided a sobering reminder of the problem dealing with those that wish to guarantee individuals know the reality of the previous.
“The Duterte playbook of clamping down on impartial media whereas favouring extremely partisan info sources will proceed,” stated Labiste. “The problem is to cope with disinformation by fact-checking. To do that, we want a motion.”
Hassan Sayyad Khodayari was a member of the Quds Power, IRGC’s overseas arm, who served in Syria up to now years.
Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) says one among its members has been assassinated within the capital Tehran by gunmen using on two bikes, in accordance with the state information company IRNA.
Al Jazeera’s Ali Hashem mentioned that the IRGC issued a press release on Sunday saying Hassan Sayyad Khodayari was assassinated by the enemy of the revolution. He mentioned that Khodayari was a member of the Quds Power (which is accountable for the IRGC’s overseas operations) who served in Syria up to now years.
The Al Jazeera correspondent mentioned in a number of hours we are going to begin to learn about Khodayari and what he was doing in Syria, and the message behind this assassination.
“Is it, for instance, an Israeli assassination? That is what the Iranians are referring to when they’re saying ‘the enemies of the revolution are behind this assassination,’” Hashem mentioned.
The state company described him as a “defender of the sanctuary” – a time period used to explain anybody who works on behalf of the Islamic republic in Syria or Iraq.
The IRGC, the ideological arm of Iran’s army, recognized Khodayari as a colonel.
In keeping with IRNA, Khodayari was killed by 5 bullets as he returned dwelling at about 4:00pm (11:30 GMT).
The company revealed footage exhibiting a person slumped over within the driver’s seat of a automotive, with blood across the collar of his blue shirt and on his higher proper arm.
In a press release posted on their web site, the Guard Corps additionally denounced a “terrorist act” they claimed was carried out by “parts linked to world vanity”.
The Guard Corps mentioned they launched an investigation to determine the “aggressor or aggressors”.
In a separate growth, Iran’s state TV earlier introduced that members of an Israeli intelligence community had been discovered and arrested by the IRGC.
“Beneath the steering of the Zionist regime’s intelligence service, the community tried to steal and destroy private and public property, kidnapping and acquiring fabricated confessions by way of a community of thugs,” the IRGC public relations service mentioned in a press release.
One of many world’s richest males and ‘free speech absolutist’ Musk acquires Twitter, prompting debates over the way forward for the platform. Plus, Mexican journalists in peril.
Elon Musk is closing in on shopping for Twitter for $44bn, taking management of a platform the place everybody appears indignant about one thing. It isn’t but clear if the billionaire is aware of simply what he’s moving into.
Contributors: Rasha Abdul-Rahim – Director, Amnesty Tech Abe Brown – Senior editor, Forbes Evan Greer – Director, Combat for the Future Edward Ongweso Jr – Workers author, Motherboard Shadma Shaikh – Co-founder, FactorDaily
On our radar:
Novice hour: The Kremlin accuses its adversaries of plotting to kill a Russian journalist however the proof doesn’t add up. Producer Johanna Hoes on Putin’s weird allegations.
Mexican journalism – a battle to the loss of life:
Journalism, on the run. Mexico, its tradition of violence towards reporters who’re killed, with impunity.
Contributors: Andrés Manuel López Obrador – President of Mexico Reyna Haydee Ramírez – Journalist & co-founder, Pink Sonora de Periodistas Ana Cristina Ruelas – Former director, Article 19, Mexico and Central America & Researcher, El Colegio de México A C Seminar on Violence and Peace
Geneva, Switzerland – The UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights criticised Mali’s resolution to ban French media retailers and known as on its army rulers to reverse their resolution.
“We’re deeply dismayed by the Malian media regulator’s resolution to definitively droop Radio France Worldwide [RFI] and France24,” mentioned a spokesperson for Excessive Commissioner Michelle Bachelet on Friday.
“These suspensions are the newest in a string of actions curbing press freedom and the liberty of expression in Mali, and are available at a time when extra, not much less, scrutiny is required.”
Mali’s army leaders first imposed the suspensions on March 16, accusing the 2 broadcasters of airing false allegations about experiences of human rights violations by the military.
On Wednesday, the Excessive Authority for Communication introduced these provisional suspensions could be definitive.
Journalist associations have denounced a rise in assaults and smear campaigns in opposition to reporters over the previous 12 months, specifically in opposition to representatives of French media retailers. Overseas and native reporters overlaying Mali have denounced a worsening of the local weather for media professionals within the nation.
“We didn’t have this type of scrutiny earlier than,” mentioned a freelancer contributing to French media, who requested to not be named for safety considerations. “The state of affairs has bought worse since tensions between France and Mali began to extend. It’s a political situation.”
‘Pervasive chilling impact’
On Friday, the Committee to Defend Journalists additionally known as on the authorities to reverse their resolution to ban RFI and France 24.
“Malian authorities’ resolution to solidify these suspensions signifies simply how dedicated they’re to denying these of their nation entry to info,” mentioned Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa programme coordinator, in an announcement.
On February 6, French journalist Benjamin Roger, a reporter on project for Jeune Afrique, was arrested and expelled inside 24 hours of his arrival within the Malian capital, Bamako. The authorities mentioned the reporter didn’t have press accreditation. Every week earlier, they introduced it could turn out to be more durable for media representatives to acquire a media allow.
“Press accreditation has hardly ever been demanded till now,” mentioned Reporters With out Borders in an announcement, “and missing it has not prevented journalists from working freely.”
On April 8, Reporters With out Borders marked one 12 months from the kidnapping of French journalist Olivier Dubois, a correspondent for French publications Libération, Le Level, and Jeune Afrique. On March 14, the al Qaeda-linked Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), a coalition of armed teams, launched a video exhibiting he was nonetheless alive.
French assist employee Sophie Petronin was kidnapped in Gao in 2016 and launched after 4 years. In 2013, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, two journalists of RFI, have been kidnapped and killed by gunmen within the Malian city of Kidal as they completed an interview with a Tuareg separatist chief.
In the meantime, the UN denounced how such a state of affairs is inducing these reporters who’re nonetheless contained in the nation to apply self-censorship.
“The present local weather is one with a pervasive chilling impact on journalists and bloggers,” UN Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani advised reporters on Friday.
“Our workplace continues to doc critical allegations of violations of worldwide human rights legislation and worldwide humanitarian legislation in lots of components of the nation, and we stay severely involved by steps to additional shrink the already restricted civic area.”
Tensions between Mali and France have elevated since a army coup led by Colonel Assimi Goita on August 8, 2020, that overthrew elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was supported by France.
In June 2021, France, a former colonial energy within the area, halted its joint army operations with Malian forces awaiting ensures that civilians return to positions of energy.
French President Emmanuel Macron introduced he would begin a withdrawal of troops, about 5,100 troopers, stationed within the area since 2013 below its so-called Operation Barkhane spanning 5 nations within the Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
In response to the military’s energy seize in Mali, the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc and the African Union suspended Mali from their organisations and threatened sanctions.
In January, Malian Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga accused France of selling insecurity and division within the nation and expelled its ambassador.
Based on Reporters With out Borders, Mali is ranked 99th out of 180 nations within the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.