Western government-funded intelligence cut-outs trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.
By Ben Norton
Update (September 29, 2020): A few days after this article was published, the authenticity of these leaked materials was indirectly confirmed by the British government, which reported that hundreds of Foreign Office documents detailing its Syria propaganda operations were hacked in an alleged cyber attack.
Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.
Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.
The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.
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