Saturday, October 3, 2015

Russian Disinformation on Airstrikes in Syria

by Genevieve Casagrande

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on October 3 that Russian Su-34s conducted airstrikes targeting an ISIS-held “command center” near Raqqah city, northern Syria. However, local Syrian reporting did not substantiate this claim. In fact, Syrian activists released comparisons of the airstrike footage, revealing that the strike targeted the rebel-held town of Al Latamneh in Hama Province, western Syria. Syrian state-run news agency SANA also released footage of the same airstrike; however, SANA claimed the airstrike targeted the town of Jisr al-Shughour. As the Russian Ministry of Defense continues to claim airstrikes against ISIS, particularly in core ISIS-held terrain, it will remain important to distinguish the true targets and intentions of Russian military action in Syria amidst Russian disinformation.

The Russian Ministry of Defense released airstrike footage of an alleged strike against ISIS positions in Raqqah. 

Syrian state-run news agency SANA released footage of the same strike, claiming it targeted Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib Province.

Activist Eliot Higgins released evidence revealing that the airstrike targeted the rebel-held town of Al Latamneh in Hama Province.