A fake news story has been circulating on both mainstream media and alt-media saying that Russia and Iran have issued a joint threat to ‘use force’ in the event of the US targeting Syrian forces again. It was also reported that the issue was quoted as being a ‘red line’, a term generally used by the United States.
This blatantly false story was picked up by the following media outlets
The Sunday Express and Zero Hedge both cite something called Ilam al Harbi media as the source of information for the story.
A quick English language Google search for ‘Ilam al Harbi’ comes up with several articles from Yemen Press, none of which lead to a story about the Putin/Rouhani phone call or anything else concerning Russia/Iranian responses to the US attack on Syria.
Additionally there is a Saudi based telecom company called al-Harbi whose website can be found here. It is not a news website in any way shape or form.
A report from the usually reliable Al-Masdar news has produced an Arabic language document purportedly from a joint military command centre used by Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Although, Iran, Russia and Syria do share intelligence and cooperate in the Syrian war against terrorism, the existence of the specific ‘joint command centre’ in question, seems to be misleading and inaccurate if not entirely fabricated in this context.
No such body as the ‘joint operations room’ in this context appears to exist nor has it ever existed according to any source, dating from the beginning of Russian involvement in the civil war in September of 2015 up until today. The reports mentioning the document in question do not for example cite the formal joint intelligence ventures of the so called 4+1 Coalition of Syria, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah.
In all likelihood, the document is a forgery produced by those who seek to spread false stories about the strategy of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The second most likely scenario is that the document was produced by middle or low ranking military personnel who do not speak for any of the aforementioned parties. Such individuals would likely be enthusiastic patriotic members of the Syria/Russia/Iran/Hezbollah coalition who want to send an unsanctioned and ultimately counterproductive message to the US.
Because the document is in Arabic, it is unlikely to have originated in either Russia or Iran.
The actual content of the well documented phone call between the Russian and Iranian Presidents entirely contradicts the dubious document and is totally in line with official and de-facto Russian and Iranian policy.
Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani pledged to continue support for the Syrian government in its war against terrorism. The two leaders additionally pledged to cooperate further on issues of regional stability.
They also called for an investigation into the chemical attack which America used as the proximate cause of the missile strike on Syria.
Further information on the phone conversation can be found in the original report from The Duran.
It is also unlikely that an inauthentic or totally unsanctioned document was leaked by official sources in order to intimidate the US. With many fearing that the US will indeed push things to the brink of world-war, it is not in the interests of Russia, Syria or Iran to allow such a statement to slip through the crack, no matter who authored it.
Russia, Iran and Syria want to end the conflict, not monumentally expand it as some in the US certainly do.
The geo-political goal of Iran, Russia and Syria are is show a united front and an ability to robustly defend Syria against aggression, but their goal is not to invite a US invasion through the very kind of provocation that America’s trigger-happy deep state would jump at rather than back down from. Instead, Russia, Iran and Syria’s goals are clearly and transparently expressed though official channels.
In this sense the document is of no probative value to the case Syria, Russia and Iran are making before the UN and other official channels: namely that tensions should calm, the US should cease all further aggression and that an international investigation should be conducted to clarify western confusion over the chemical attack in Idlib Governorate.
Whoever has spread this fake news clearly wants to paint Russia and Iran as violent, unhinged and destabilising as the United States.
The reality is in fact almost the complete opposite of what is being reported.
Fake news is being used to try to increase tensions. This is not only irresponsible but it is dangerous, as dangerous as the lies upon which the US attack was based.