PHOTO: An Israeli F-16 jet fighter
UPDATE 0600 GMT, AUGUST 30: In an unwitting display of irony, Iranian State media headlines on Sunday, “Resistant Media Battling Spread of False News about Syria“.
Press TV features the visit of the Syrian Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi, to a hospitalized Iranian journalist shot in fighting in western Syria:
Zoubi said the “resistant media” are working to spread the truth about the developments in Syria and expose the lies disseminated by malicious media outlets….
Zoubi said the Syrian and Iranian media are cooperating closely to relay the truth about the crimes committed by the Israeli regime and Takfiri terrorist groups in the region.
Neither the Information Minister nor Press TV offered comments about the “news” presented by Fars, the outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
In its latest propaganda effort, the outlet of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has announced that the Syrian air force has killed “senior Israeli and Jordanian officers” as well as “a large number of Takfiri militant commanders” in southern Syria.
Fars News claims three Israeli and Jordanian officers died alongside 42 commanders from the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra.
The site said the airstrikes were on Dael, north of Daraa city. There has no claim elsewhere — not even from Syrian State media — of the Israeli and Jordanian casualties or of scores of dead Jabhat al-Nusra leaders or of mass casualties in Dael.
Fars, which coordinates its propaganda operations with officials from the Assad regime, has been known for its sensational falsehoods long before the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. It has revealed that the US Government is connected to extra-terrestial aliens and Adolf Hitler and that “Obama Plans to Depopulate Montana — Civil War a Certainty”. It has discovered that the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is Saddam Hussein’s grandson.
However, even by its high (or low) standards, Fars’ output this month on Syria has been exceptional, as it has tried to rally support against advancing rebels.
Last week, Fars proclaimed — amid Israel’s airstrikes across southern Syria that hit more than a dozen military installations — “Syrian Army Shoots Down Israeli Fighter Jet“.
There was no other information, except for the claimed location of Quneitra Province near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. No other media outlet in the world — again, not even President Assad’s services — announced the downing of the jet, and no evidence such as video, photographs, or wreckage was produced.
However, that did not stop other websites from gleefully recycling the “news”, sometimes portraying it as their own discovery. Syrian Perspective — a mix of declarations of Assad victories, foul-mouthed insults, and conspiracy theories — poured on more claims, “Syria Ups the Ante and Shoots Down Zionist F-16 Bomber and Helicopters”.
Veterans Today — a conspiracy-theory buffet of stories such as an Israeli nuclear bomb dropped near Damascus — did give Fars credit as it reprinted the headline and explained: “This is a reprint of an April 22nd event to remind everyone that Israel aggression is supported by the Western community via its silence.” Infowars, which often sets the benchmark for conspiracy theory, picked up the Iranian propaganda via the pro-Syrian Russian outlet Sputnik News.
The self-proclaimed “Centre for Research on Globalization”, based in Canada, did not note Fars. Instead, it carried out the in-depth research of reading Syrian Perspective’s article. It then added its own flourish, “Syria Shoots Down Israeli Warplane F-16 Bomber, Using Russian S-300 Air Defense System”.
So far Syrian Perspective, Veterans Today, Infowars, and the Canadian centre have not picked up the latest “exclusive” from Fars.