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Opposition media exaggerate 'South Storm' gains in Daraa: rebel commander

(Soufyan Jbawi; Translation by Yusra Ahmed)

The battle of “South Storm” started 4 days ago by Daraa’s rebels to liberate their city from the regime forces. They have formed a central operation room with 7 sections, like emergency, medical, media, information and coordination section.
Besides that a spokesman of the battle and a media room were established as well to control and organize the media messages to serve the battle. 

However, on ground achievement is still moderate, some explained it by the big size of regime’s forces, while others see that chaos and mess in media and recklessness in messages and news, played very bad role in the battle. For example, the time for launching the battle was announced days before the actual start by some media figures, while only hours after the battle start, many activists announced liberating wide areas of Daraa and killing hundreds of regime’s soldiers.

Shafie Abazid, a member of the media room for the battle of South Storm explained that mess and unorganized media coverage of the battle and announcing sensitive information like the beginning of the battle, helped the regime to take cautions and get ready to the battle, and hitting the city with hundreds of barrel bombs and rockets 2 days prior to the battle beginning. 

Some activists used some sensitive information about the battle’s details they have to achieve a scoop. Moreover, some activists surfaced videos of clashes between rebels and regime forces, which helped the regime to identify the bases of the rebels. 

In his talk to Zaman al-Wasl, Abazid mentioned that the room of the central leadership have agreed on adopting a central media strategy to unite the battle’s media coverage to concentrate on the expression of “South Storm” and to prevent publishing any video or statement out of the room and its website, however, only some groups abide by that decision. 

In the same time, the operation room was not able to restrain the media chaos and publishing inaccurate news, which cause disappointment for many people after discovering the real situation. 

Abazid demanded punishing any media body or activist help in publishing details of the Free Syrian Army “FSA” and requested relying only on the information and official statements of the Media office for the South Storm battle or the official spokesman.

Zaman Al Wasl
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