Fares Shehabi is on social media denouncing the corporations & businessmen who run “NATO media” & taunting BBC for leaving east Aleppo after its “liberation.” Was a BBC crew there in the first place before the Syrian army took over & when warplanes were bombing the place to smithereens?
Reporters without Borders ranks Syria one of the deadliest places in the world for journalists: 177 out of 180 countries. Not only are reporters kidnapped & murdered by militia opposition groups but they are intimidated, arrested, denied visas, & deported for “false reporting” as the Swedish reporter was last week.
Unlike propagandists Eva Bartlett & Vanessa Beeley, Shehabi doesn’t outright denounce all “corporate media” but just the ones behind “NATO media.”
That makes sense since Shehabi is one of Syria’s top industrialists & businessmen. His hereditary wealth is invested in food products, pharmaceuticals, real estate, & banking. As the head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Industry he worked with the Assad regime to develop a manufacturing base in the city which, according to his estimates, once accounted for almost half of Syria’s industrial capacity. That would explain his concern, after the Syrian army took over east Aleppo, about the looting of 1,200 factories by militia groups, though not his silence about their destruction by warplanes.
Shehabi has significant political pedigree in the Assad regime & is considered to be a top candidate for Syrian prime minister, according to Russian media. His dead uncle Hikmat Shehabi was an ally of Hafez Assad (father of Bashar) who appointed him chief of military intelligence & deputy to the military chief of staff for the Syrian army between 1974 & 1998.
Hikmat Shehabi played a significant role in Syria’s double-dealing & betrayals of the Palestinian struggle which involved negotiations with Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Moshe Dayan, & other Israeli leaders.
Uncle Hikmat’s association with intelligence operations in a surveillance state might suggest why his nephew Fares is so involved with managing propagandists like Bartlett, Beeley, Pierre Le Corf, Andrew Ashdown, & Jan Oberg. It’s likely at a certain point they will become dispensable to Shehabi. If we do our job right, that will be sooner rather than later & before they have corrupted more than they already have.