British Media Uses Fake Video Footage to Accuse Syria’s President of Killing his Own People

The Telegraph has brought out a new dribble of disinformation regarding the US-NATO led war in Syria. In an article published in May 2015, entitled Bashar al-Assad’s airmen laugh as they drop barrel bombs on fellow Syrians, 20 May 2015,  The Telegraph intimates (based on an Al Jazeera video report) that the Syrian Air Force is killing Syrian civilians on the orders of Bashar Al Assad. The extensive bombing raids by US and allied forces in Syria allegedly against the ISIS are not mentioned. 

Below is the analysis of  Robert Stuart in his open letter to The Telegraph.

Stuart shows how The Telegraph has “skilfully” used stock footage from 2012, to support its lies and fabrications.

Meanwhile Britain has joined the humanitarian bombing campaign without parliamentary assent, not to mention the unspoken truth: British covert support to the ISIS terrorists in liaison with the US, Turkey and Israel. 

Michel Chossudovsky, GR Editor 

*       *       *

Dear Sir or Madam,

I wish to complain that the above print and web article breaches Clause 1 of IPSO‘s Editors’ Code of Practice, relating to Accuracy.

The article refers to “New footage obtained by al-Jazeera” in the subheading and states in the first paragraph that “New footage has emerged showing Syrian aircrew using barrel bombs”.

The Telegraph includes the al Jazeera footage in the online version of its article. However the section of the video commencing at 1 minute 54 seconds, in which a crew member uses a cigarette to light the fuse on a long, slender munition which is then ejected overboard, appears at 4 minutes 32 seconds in this You Tube video which was published on 27 October 2012.

At least part of the al Jazeera footage was therefore over two and half years old – and possibly even older – at the time the Telegraph article was published.

 Further statements in the Telegraph article suggest that the al Jazeera footage is contemporary:

  • The inclusion of a quote from President Assad from February 2015 denying that his government uses “barrel bombs” indicates that the al Jazeera footage can be considered subsequent evidence countering this claim.
  • Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is quoted saying of the al Jazeera footage: “It shows the casual and indiscriminate way in which Syrian regime forces are dropping these horrific weapons out of helicopters onto civilians below. For months we have seen reports of barrel bombs hitting hospitals and schools, killing thousands.” The use of present tenses (“are dropping”, “have seen”) strongly indicates that the al Jazeera footage is to be understood as depicting current events.

Yours faithfully

Robert Stuart


Excerpt of Telegraph Article

Bashar al-Assad’s airmen laugh as they drop barrel bombs on fellow Syrians

20 May 2015,

New footage obtained by al-Jazeera, shot on board a Syrian military helicopter, contradicts the dictator’s claim that his forces have never used barrel bombs

Aircrew sit next to the bombs (on floor, foreground) as they fly to their destination Photo: al-Jazeera

New footage has emerged showing Syrian aircrew using barrel bombs, one of the most feared weapons in President Bashar al-Assad’s arsenal.

Aircrew sit next to the bombs (on floor, foreground) as they fly to their destination

Aircrew sit next to the bombs (on floor, foreground) as they fly to their destination Photo: al-Jazeera

The video footage, which contradicts Mr Assad’s claim that no munitions of this kind have ever been used by his forces, shows an airman crouching inside a Syrian military helicopter, chatting to his neighbour as he lights the fuse of a barrel bomb.

Once the white touch paper is burning, the man casually pushes the weapon out of the aircraft and sends it hurtling towards the ground.

Copyright The Telegraph, 2015

Read complete Telegraph article

Bashar al-Assad’s airmen laugh as they drop barrel bombs on fellow Syrians, 20 May 2015

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Articles by: Robert Stuart

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