Damascus Declaration: Placing all terrorist organizations on terror lists, launching joint systematic action to face them

Damascus, SANA – A final statement was issued on Saturday, capping two days of activities within the International Media Conference Against Terrorism held in Damascus.

The statement, named “Damascus Declaration”, called for placing all of the terrorist organizations on the UN and international terror lists and considering them “a common enemy” to all countries and people of the world.

It demanded Security Council decisions and resolutions be issued to compel all countries to confront terrorism by all possible means and cut off support and funding support to terrorist organizations.

The Declaration called for launching a systematic regional and international action with cooperation and coordination among all the countries on the political, security and military levels to organize confronting the terrorist organizations and come to holding to account any country that provides any form of support to them.

Setting up an international legal system to prosecute the backers of terrorism and taking measures to ban media outlets from promoting the activities of terrorist organizations were focused on in the Declaration.

Among other demands was providing support for the countries and governments facing terrorism, mainly Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, Tunisia and Algeria.

Drawing up a joint media work plan for spreading awareness of confronting takfiri thinking and refuting the so-called “Islamophobia” was also called for.

The Declaration did not lose sight of the Palestinian Cause, stressing that this issue will remain at the core of the ongoing conflict with Israel, designating the latter as “the most dangerous epitome of state terrorism.”

It stressed that the axis of the resistance is “the hope of the region’s countries” to get rid of injustice, repression, aggression and takfiri terrorism.

The participants in the conference announced the formation of a committee tasked with following-up on its outcomes as a prelude for launching an international media gathering against terrorism that would be based in Damascus.

At the end of the conference, the participants addressed a message to President Bashar al-Assad in which they hailed Syria’s “matchless steadfastness” in confronting the terrorist aggression, stressing that Syria, which is leading the war against terrorism, will remain the “haven of freedom-fighters in the world.”

Information Minister: Media of Resistance have strongly entered the battlefield

Earlier, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed that the media of the resistance, including the Syrian media, have successfully managed to enter the battlefield with its modest capabilities, backed by a strong will and determination for survival and victory.

He was speaking during the second session on the second and last day of the conference.

He referred to the state of confusion currently suffered by the tendentious and hostile media as they have been confronted by the media of the resistance that have highly contributed to exposing the disinformation practiced by the former about the nature of the terrorist war targeting Syria and the region.

Al-Zoubi highlighted the important role of the media of the resistance in confronting terrorism, referring to the need for further unmasking the true image of criminality and extremism under which Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations are operating.

“In order for our media not to lose their credibility,” said al-Zoubi, they must further focus on circulating pictures and materials that uncover the horribleness of the crimes committed by ISIS in challenge of the various media outlets that are acting as platforms for this and other terrorist and takfiri organizations

The first session was held earlier today under the title of “the importance of media in military field task.”

Major General Osama Khaddour, Director of Political Administration, stressed the role of the Conference as a platform for developing the resistant media in confronting the aggressive terrorist war, which targets the Resistance Front in general and Syria in particular.Media conference

General Khaddour pointed out to the importance of the accuracy of the information in the military reporting, which comes at the expense of the speed.

He said that the Military Media Department has allowed media teams and missions from all around the world to visit areas of clashes throughout the past few years being messengers for conveying the reality of events taking place, adding that during 2014, 33 field visits were arranged to tour  areas of clashes from 11 media outlets in coordination with Ministry of Information and the Directorate of Foreign Media, in addition to 13 visits from French, Danish , Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish media outlets as well as those from eastern Europe.

“More other  26 visits from 12 media outlets from North and South American media outlets, 18 tours from 12 Russian outlets, in addition to delegations of journalists from Japan, China and tens of Arab and friendly channels were arranged”, Khaddour said, adding “this indicates the volume of work in covering war reporting.”

He reviewed the tasks of the military media in the Political Administration during the aggressive war on Syria, focusing on providing information for clarifying the developments in the military work against the terrorist organizations and highlighting the civil initiatives in support of the Army.

Khaddour pointed out to the role of military media in confronting the hostile media and combating propaganda it spreads, pointing out that one of the military media’s tasks is using leaflets- which have reached 30 million copies and hundreds of text messages, to citizens in the areas of military operations.

He also talked about the works of documentation carried out by military reporting regarding documenting the terrorist crimes, stressing the need for huge and rich archives to be a reference in the upcoming stages.

He presented a number of suggestions including spreading the legal culture on the optimum use of social media networks and coordinating the media policies among the media outlets to unify the discourse directed against terrorism and focus on highlighting the damage caused by terrorism on the state, the society and the individual.

He also stressed the need for enacting laws and legislations that prevent terrorists from using media outlets for spreading propagandas and lies.

For his part, Hezbollah Media Relations’ official, Mohammed Afif, said that the military media is used to affect armies of enemies and their audience, as it is also used for making a positive impact to encourage the fighters to be steadfast, considering that the psychological war is part of the military media efforts and it is a domain that requires specialized people, expertise and constant study and evaluation.

On the difficulties of this field of media, Afif clarified that this sort of media is closely linked to wars, army commanders, organizations and their political decisions, adding “here lies the dangerous overlapping between the overt and covert and this overlapping causes sometimes regulatory differences.”

He called for upgrading the media methods for attracting the public opinion and clarifying the full image in light of the expansion of the internet and the growing role of the social networking websites.

A number of participants suggested establishing operations room for the friendly media, including those of Syria, Iraq and other countries, that would pursue one project for shaping a unified public opinion that is able to cross borders and reach out to other countries.

They stressed the importance of developing the means of the media that cover war at this critical stage, calling also for developing a national strategy for fighting terrorism and dealing with it as being an international cross-border threat, and for establishing a think-tank for the study of terrorism.

Other suggestions focused on issues of enforcing accountability against the media outlets involved in inciting extremism and terrorism and activating judicial cooperation among countries in the field of extraditing criminals and suspects to limit their movements among the countries of the region.

The two-day Conference kicked off its activities on Friday at the Opera House in Damascus with a speech by Information Minister, the representative of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ali Karimian, Secretary General of the Islamic Radio and Television Union also delivered a speech in the inauguration of the Conference.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem,  Iran’s Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ali Jannati and Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem talked at the first session of the Conference which was held under “the title of the regional and international alliance against terrorism.”

In the second session, held under the title of “the role of media in the ongoing wars and the formation of the new world,” Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, in addition to a number of Arab and international media figures, delivered speeches.

Around 130 journalists from Russia, Iran, Cuba, Spain, China, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Cyprus, Britain, Germany and Kuwait are participating in the two-day conference, in addition to Syrian journalists.

Discussions focus on the role of the national, friendly and hostile media in the political and intellectual discourse, the importance of military reporting, the role played by media in the ongoing wars, the formation of the new world and means of creating a regional and international alliance for countering terrorism.

The conference started by screening a film about the Syrian civilization and the high development rates in Syria before 2010.