Nun Exposes Syrian Chemical Hoax*
By Mother Agnes Mariam and James Corbett
Mother Agnes Mariam is a Carmelite nun who has been living and working in Syria for the past 19 years.
Now, she is seeking to set the record straight on the lies and disinformation that is driving the NATO powers toward war against the people of Syria.
There is proof the footage of the alleged chemical attack in Syria was fabricated, Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, mother superior of St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria, told RT. She says she is about to submit her findings to the UN.
This is the GRTV Feature Interview with our special guest, Mother Agnes Mariam de la Croix.
James Corbett: Alright, let’s start by talking about yourself. For those who don’t know about yourself and your background, tell us a little bit about your experience in Syria.
Mother Agnes Mariam de la Croix: I am not Syrian. I am, my father is Palestinian from Nazareth. He is a Palestinian refugee from 1948 in Lebanon. I was born in Lebanon. I converted to Christ at 19 years old and entered the — Contemplative Order. Then, in 1994, we became a Foundation in Syria, of a Monastery. This was in ruin, a 6th century Monastery lying in — 15 km north to the Damascus and after the completion of the restoration work, we established there an international community for dialogue, peace, openness to both Muslims and Jewish. So I am there, as I tell you, since 1994 and we were a Contemplative Monastery, completely out of the public scene, you know.
But during the event and the demonstration, we noticed a big, a huge difference between what we were living, what we were seeing, what we were experiencing on the ground and what others around us were living and the everyday, you know, everyday, because of the International Media, to the point that we felt it was a trick. Something was going wrong and this, you know, induced us, as a community. And as the head of this community, I was involved in getting better information and tried to spread this information for the sake of innocence. Because while the International Media were just talking about peaceful demonstration, a huge peace demonstration, and fueled the oppression, never giving the name of the victims in the background. You had death squads, working in the midst of the civilian population and making everyday out of terrorism. Because we are living on the ground, we can raise our voice. It’s not like, you know, coming from outside and being a stranger. This is what we do.
James Corbett: Well, let’s talk about this issue because, of course, getting accurate information is extremely difficult from Syria right now, especially as it seems we’re ramping up for another type of military action there and obviously everyone is wondering about the chemical-weapons attack that was alleged to take place last week on the outskirts of Damascus. What can your network tell us about what actually did or did not happen there?
Mother Agnes Mariam de la Croix: You know, it’s not the first time we can underline a kind of sweet —, a way of acting of the Syrian Government, because this is the way the mainstream media are always wanting to present this Government. Every time you have a very special agenda, a very special event that will occur either in the Security Council, United Nations Security Council or when you have a —, this poor Government will perpetrate something that will achieve him. So there is something that is not reasonable. Okay. And, on the other hand, we have been, you know. I work in Damascus and not very far, we were just nearby the hotel where the commission of enquiry for chemical-weapon had just arrived. So from this to the — Square and to Jobar (Jawbar), no more than 2 km. How is it possible, you know, for a chemical-weapon to be blown-up and not to have any smell, not to have anything. Second, everybody begin to ask this terrible question. How is it possible that in a neighbourhood like Jobar or like G , where you have a conflict — running on in the mountains?
It is, you know, in the frame of the big Damascus —, those neighbourhoods, you know, they barely have any Syrian. Why? Because they are destroyed. Okay. And, if they are not destroyed the civilian, especially with the beginning of the counter-attack of the army, because the army has counter-attacks, I think the 21st August or the 20th —, we don’t know why or how you have so many civilian in one place. Second, how is it possible in — and in such a, you know, frame, where families are suffered, barely you have a civilian living there, how is it possible that to have so many children together. This is, you know, scary, so did they deliver them? Why? And you see them all together. And we ask for an enquiry. Why? Because we want to know who gathered those children and who killed them. Okay. Second, we have heard in the same day, because it was before our eyes, more than 40 ambulances of the army coming out from those outskirts to the hospital in M. And we have been told that they were soldiers that were suffocated by the guards, by the chemical. So where is the truth? Okay. We call — And then, I will tell you something. Why this rapidity to issue an accusation immediately to enter in a war that will, you know. This war cannot chastise the Government or I don’t know who is the perpetrator. Let us — suppose.
But this war, as we have seen everywhere else, this humanitarian war or this chastisement, punishment war will punish innocent, you know, and this is not acceptable. And nobody is accepting it and as we are saying to the world, enough is enough. We don’t know why you are always orienting your strength and your power against the civilian, against the innocent. You say big title but, in reality, what you are doing on the ground is killing innocent. You know, it’s not just we want to defend a party against anybody. No! All of those people are human beings. But the innocent, those people who are not, you know, sided; that are not taking any side with anybody, just being there in Syria, what will you do with them. You will kill them. We have had how many injured people and killed people in our very past. We had 1 million in Iraq. We had 100′s of 1000′s in Libya and till today.
So what is the justification of such a mass murder, committed to punish we don’t know which perpetrator because how is it possible to issue accusation before a real compliant inquiry. This is against all the laws. You cannot and that’s what the Vatican is saying, that’s what all the spiritual, who are leaders of Syria, are saying, that’s what peace, nobel peace laureates are saying. But are we going to be heard? Because now this Coalition, they were 150 and we see that they are maybe 6 or 7 countries.
This Coalition, you know, what is the legitimacy of this action? And if there is no legitimacy, it means that every injury, every death that will occur from this invasion is a crime. And that’s why we call for reason, we call for de-escalation of this conflict, we call for the, you know, a kind of cease-fire but a real cease-fire. We have to talk to those first-hand, who were also attacking the enquiry because someone doesn’t want the truth of this chemical-attack will be, you know, really known and completely verified. So we call for
1) that the Commission of Enquiry on Syria will come to Syria, will make it’s enquiry, will observe. International Observer, we need International Observer so that the public opinion will be sure that it is not a trick, that it is not a hoax, that it is not a justification that entered in some kind of hidden —. Objective, aim, you know, whatever there could be as reason of — as right to defend our own interests, you know, or even right to protect. It’s not like this. We have to stand against such an act because it is not the first time they are trying it. And every time it fails. It didn’t give any added value to a turbulent situation.
So I am really serious and I will tell you something else and this is what is said in our neighbourhood. In our neighbourhood, there is no Government. We are under the armed opposition control. But the armed opposition is split in various sections. The Liberal one, that is called Free Syrian Army, normally this Free Syrian Army is supported by the Coalition, the International Coalition against the Syrian Government. But also and this is the part. The Free Syrian Army is telling us that in case of an American aggression, Al Qaeda, Jhabat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Lebanon will have the supremacy and will slaughter everybody.
And everybody in Syria, you know, is under this scare. It’s like in a scary movie, everybody is just wondering what will happen. Where is the United Nations? Where are all the principles on which our civilization is lying? Where are the principles, the laws of the international, humanitarian law? Where are we heading? Who is ruling us? There is no more International Community. We don’t have any hope in the United Nations, so there is no references, no! It means that the innocents are completely, you know, delivered without any defense to the occurrence of those powers, super powers. I think that we are entering in a barbarian era. It’s like another big invasion. It’s an invasion and we have nobody to defend us.
(Note: Missing Words Shown as — )
“Footage of Chemical Attack in Syria is a Fraud”
I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.”
In her interview with RT, Mother Agnes doubts so much footage could have been taken in so little time, and asks where parents of the supposedly dead children are. She promises to send her report to the UN.
The nun is indignant with the world media for apparently turning a blind eye to the Latakia massacre by rebel extremists, which left 500 civilians including women and children dead.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to pay attention to revelations made by Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib.
RT: The United States has used internet photos and video footage of the supposed chemical weapons attack in Eastern Guta to build a case against the Syrian government. Have you been able to look at these files? What do you have to say about them?
Mother Agnes: I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.
The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.
The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don’t see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children?
I am not saying that no chemical agent was used in the area – it certainly was. But I insist that the footage that is now being peddled as evidence had been fabricated in advance. I have studied it meticulously, and I will submit my report to the UN Human Rights Commission based in Geneva.
RT: Recently you’ve visited Latakia and the adjacent areas, you’ve talked to the eyewitnesses to the massacre of civilians carried out in Latakia by Jabhat al-Nusra. What can you tell us about it?
MA: What I want to ask first of all is how the international community can ignore the brutal killing spree in Latakia on Laylat al-Qadr early in the morning of August 5, an attack that affected more than 500 people, including children, women and the elderly. They were all slaughtered. The atrocities committed exceed any scale. But there was close to nothing about it in the international mass media. There was only one small article in “The Independent”, I believe.
We sent our delegation to these villages, and our people had a look at the situation on-site, talked to the locals, and most importantly – talked to the survivors of the massacre.
I don’t understand why the Western media apply double standards in this case – they talk about mass murder that the use of chemical weapons resulted in non-stop, but they keep quiet about the Latakia massacre.
RT: Do you know anything about the fate of hostages captured in Latakia?
MA: In the village of Estreba they massacred all the residents and burnt down their houses. In the village of al-Khratta almost all the 37 locals were killed. Only ten people were able to escape.
A total of twelve Alawite villages were subjected to this horrendous attack. That was a true slaughterhouse. People were mutilated and beheaded. There is even a video that shows a girl being dismembered alive – alive! – by a frame saw. The final death toll exceeded 400, with 150 to 200 people taken hostage. Later some of the hostages were killed, their deaths filmed.
At the moment we are looking for the hostages and negotiating their release with the militants, but so far we haven’t managed to achieve that.
RT: We often hear reports of Christians being persecuted by the militants. Just the day before yesterday there was an attack in the village of Maaloula, where the majority of population is Christian. Are Christians in Syria facing grave danger?
MA: Everyone in Syria is facing grave danger. There was a case of Muslim religious leaders being kidnapped and beheaded. They were humiliated and tortured. Ismailis, the druze, Christians – people from all parts of Syrian society – are being mass murdered. I would like to say that if these butchers didn’t have international support, no one would have dared to cross the line. But today, unfortunately, the violation of human rights and genocide in Syria is covered up on the international level. I demand the international community stops assessing the situation in Syria in accordance with the interests of a certain group of great powers. The Syrian people are being killed. They fall victim to contractors, who are provided with weapons and sent to Syria to kill as many people as possible. The truth is, everywhere in Syria people are being kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed. These crimes remain unpunished, because the key powers chose international terrorism as a way to destroy sovereign states.They’ve done it to other countries. And they will just keep doing it if the international community doesn’t say “Enough!”
RT: You’ve managed to get hold of some sensitive information. Does this make you fear for your life as someone who keeps documents that may compromise the militants? Has anyone threatened you?
MA: You are right. I do get threatened. They are trying to discredit me. I know there is a book coming out soon in France that labels me as a criminal who kills people. But any believer should first and foremost trust their conscience, their belief in God, and that will help them save innocent lives. I don’t care much about my own life. My life is no more precious than that of any Syrian child, whose body could be used as evidence to justify wrongdoing. This is the biggest crime ever perpetrated in history.
RT: What should the Syrians do to stop the tragedy they are going through?
MA: The Syrians themselves can do nothing to stop it. They can only rely on the international community, friendly nations, world powers, such as Russia, China, and India. With a lot of enthusiasm we did welcome the news that the British parliament voted against the participation of their country in the possible war against Syria. There is a terrorist war going on against Syria right now. The international community and Syria’s friends should join forces and say: Enough! And they need to use every opportunity to do that. Otherwise this threat Syria is facing now will turn into a threat to universal peace.
RT: What should the Vatican and other hubs of Christianity do to put an end to this tragedy?
MA: The Pope says he has no planes, no bombs, and no armed forces. Instead, he has the power of the truth, and the truth he has told. There are messages coming from everywhere in the world urging against a military intervention in Syria. Those who want to hear them will. The Pope, the patriarchs, Nobel Prize winners, including women, keep saying the same in unison: Let’s stop fighting. No conflict can be solved by military means. Stop adding fuel to the flame!
All the prominent public figures in the world have risen to speak against the war. Everyone has spoken their mind, but the US prefers to turn a deaf ear. The world public opinion has turned against the US. It’s the first time in history that America is alone. They are claiming that they are backed by ten countries. But I insist they aren’t, because the people of these countries disagree with their governments. Even the American people disagree with their government.
RT: Do you believe that this tragedy will end and Syria will remain a homeland for all Syrians, regardless of their ethnical or religious identity?
MA: I’m not Syrian myself, but I’ve been living in Syria for 20 years. I’d like to remind everyone that Damascus is the most ancient capital in the world. I would like to remind everyone that Syria is the cradle of civilization. I would like to remind everyone that this is the holy land that gave birth to the main world religions. What is happening in Syria should serve as a lesson for everyone. I mean that in existential rather than political sense. I am convinced that with God’s help the Syrian people will be able to remain strong, heal their wounds, reconcile and chase out all the foreign mercenaries and terrorists. I believe there will be peace in Syria. But for that we need help from the international community.