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Fake News Attack: Clashes Between Pro-Russian & Pro-Iranian Factions In Syria

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Fake News Attack: Clashes Between Pro-Russian & Pro-Iranian Factions In Syria

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: Ammar Abdullah / Reuters

On January 28, the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu Agency (link) and several Russian-language media outlets (link) started to spread rumors about alleged clashes between “the pro-Russian Tiger Forces” and “the pro-Iranian 4th Division” in northwestern Hama, near the villages of “Shahta, Bredidg, Innab and Haydariye”.

Citing “sources in Syria”, Anadolu Agency said that the reason of the clashes is some “differences” and the sides are deploying reinforcements in the area. The state-run media outlet also claimed that there were casualties among the sides. The wild speculations went further and Anadolu Agency stressed that “local sources” say that the clashes are a part of the plan to “limit Iranian influence” in the region.

The aforementioned media outlets present these reports as some kind of fresh data. However, in fact, this is a week-old fairy tale.

Originally, reports about “clashes” between “pro-Iranian” and “pro-Russian sources” appeared on January 22 when al Modon Online (link) said that they were taking place in the area. However, the al Modon Online version was a bit different. According to it, the pro-Russian force was consisting of members from “the 8th Division” and the “5th Assault Corps”. Later, this rumor was spreaded by some anti-Russian and anti-Assad bloggers. Some versions even claimed that 70-100 people were killed in the clashes. No media outlet was able to provide evidence of these clashes besides claims of “anonymous sources”. By January 28, this rumor had developed and the part about the causalties” had disappeared to make it more reliable.

Now, this baseless rumor is being spreaded by Russian-language mainstream media outlets. The similar situation was observed in 2018 when various mainstream media outlets were claiming that “hundreds” of “Russian fighters” were killed by the US-led coalition in the province of Deir Ezzor (source):

On February 8, 2018 the US-led coalition released a statement saying that on February 7th it had struck “pro-regime forces” attacking “Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters” in the Euphrates Valley. According to local sources, the US strikes hit pro-government forces in the area between the village of Khasham (controlled by the government) and the CONICO gas facility (controlled by the SDF). Pro-government forces, supported by some PMCs, were allegedly trying to recapture the gas facility from the SDF.

The Pentagon stated that the strikes were defensive. The Russian side said that the US had attacked local militias carrying out operations against ISIS cells. However, the difference in these claims is not the most interesting part.

Almost immediately after the first reports of the US strikes, western MSM outlets started releasing reports based on anonymous sources that stated that between 100 and 300 “pro-Assad fighters” were killed by the strikes. A few days later, once again relying on anonymous sources, 100 to 300 allegedly killed “pro-Assad fighters” morphed into 100 to 300 killed “Russian fighters” – i.e. PMCs. Some “experts” and outlets even claimed that this number was much higher, in the realm of 600 killed.

The story developed further on April 12, when Michael Pompeo, then the CIA director recently nominated to be US State Secretary, claimed that the US had killed “a couple hundred Russians”. On April 20, US President Donald Trump provided his own statement based on the same story, claiming that there was a direct engagement between US and Russian troops in Syria and “many people died in that fight”.

This entire story demonstrates how a clear media forgery could reach the wide international audience and start being repeated as a fact. Since February 7, when the strikes took place, there has been zero evidence that can confirm any major casualties among Russian PMCs in this incident. 300 or 600 killed Russians in Syria is not something that can be hidden; however, no photos or videos of the bodies, names or any other evidence has ever been presented. The analysis of open data made by both pro-Syrian and pro-US analysts has concluded that 5 Russians may have reportedly died during the week when the US strikes took place. However, no details regarding the nature of their deaths are available. Sources in the SAA and other pro-government formations also deny any such casualties among Russian PMCs.

On February 14, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that five “presumably Russian citizens” could have been killed in Syria and described reports about “mass” casualties among the Russians as fake news.  The MSM has continued repeating the “300-600 killed Russians” story for almost half a year now. The narrative works because there is no official data on Russian PMCs in Syria. The MSM can effectively repeat a story which has no factual basis, while claiming that the Kremlin is hiding hundreds of casualties, because the Russian government continues to maintain a position of strategic ambiguity regarding the issue of Russian PMCs’ activities in Syria.

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  • katakanBR

    turkish fake news as always

  • Tudor Miron

    Not even funny.

  • BL

    I’ve noticed the losing side of the war is getting so desperate that they have started reporting their delusional dreams as real news. Zionist sources have especially been spreading these false rumors for years now.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      As I have been posting all along, Americunt and Zionist agenda is to create total mayhem in the region and want a Russo-Persian fall out over Syria. The daily Zionist air raids and ZERO Russian response has given them hope and they will spread more fake news and disinformation to cause more rifts. If Putin was smart and not in Zionist pockets, he would have given a stern signal like selling Iran SU-35 and other power shift weapons. Even Al-Jazeera which is mouthpiece of CIA and Zionists has relatively realistic analysis:

      Is Trump baiting Iran into an armed confrontation?
      Analysts warn of heightened probability of conflict with Iran as ‘hardliners’ take control of Trump’s foreign policy
      Sina Toossi, a Washington, DC-based security and
      nuclear policy analyst, said the Trump administration’s Iran policy now
      “seems firmly under the control of hardliners” such as US Secretary of
      State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, both of
      whom had previously advocated regime change in Iran.
      “Even if Trump does not desire further military
      entanglements in the Middle East, Pompeo and Bolton appear to be edging
      the US towards military confrontation,” said Toossi, research associate
      with the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which advocates
      diplomacy with Iran.
      “Already Pompeo is suggesting that a ‘regional conflict’ is
      inevitable if the world fails to latch onto the White House’s Iran
      strategy,” he told Al Jazeera.

      • BL

        Putin is not in Zionist pockets. If he was he wouldn’t have intervened in Syria against Zionist interests. Without Russian airpower Syria was likely doomed. Iran doesn’t need Su-35 to defend itself against US/Zionist aggression. It can defend itself without it right now. You are correct about US/Israel trying to bait Iran into a bigger conflict which is why Iran is smart enough not to take the baits every time Israel does some strike and makes a big deal about it in its media.

        • Jens Holm

          hahaha. Turks produce a fake, and You blame whome ????????

          Well actually the Sunni-Shiit conflict has been going on since 650 or something. I am aimpressed You already has notised it.

          If Israel wasnt there, it would be exact the same.

          In Your version the Saudian King probatly serve tea for the longbeards i Qam, and the next day an Ayatoalla or 5 serve tea for all the cardriving princesses in Ankara, Riad, Mecca and Medina.

      • Jens Holm

        Zionist are n ot in that at all unless AKP all are jews.

    • Jens Holm

      Zionist are not in that at all. Your floppy disk has been full – for how many years ?

      • BL

        ^ Jew

  • Redadmiral

    Why does SF give this crap coverage????

    • Syria insider

      Fuck you that’s why.

      • Jens Holm

        A shame I cant give You a minus or 5.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Its always wise to see what the enemy is up to, and their childish propaganda is part of that.
      From their propaganda ( or ‘poopaganda’ as I first mistakenly typed ) we can see the state of mind within the US Coalition of Terror.

      • Jens Holm

        Well, the subject actuallly is Turks making a fake about Iranians and Russian Tigers in Syria.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Turkey of course is in NATO.

    • Garga

      They better cover this kind of fake news and debunk them, otherwise we’ll hear them from western MSM and hear nothing from this side, wondering what is happening?

      • Jens Holm

        It was debinkmed the minute I saw it. A lot is. Hard to get a good filter taken all fake away.

    • scott_ewing

      So that people know that it’s crap.

      • Jens Holm

        Yes, nice to get that one verified.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      SF covers all relevant news, one can not hide from facts and reality. It is good to have a diverse view point that is not based on Zionist style group think. A major conflict is brewing in the region.

    • Jens Holm

      Because the world has more then one oppinion.

      Do You really think countries would spend billions and billions for no reasons knowing they are totally wrong.

      You probatly hardly get our western oppinions about things, and if so, You only see our bad sides filled by dirty air by Your Great, Great Dictators having only 1 oppinion for each country.

  • Sukhoi-35

    Rumor has it turkey/pro turks are scared and desperate because SAA Idlib Operation will be starting this year. By the end of 2019, most if not all of Idlib will be painted red :)

    • Mustafa Mehmet

      year that long ?

      • Syria insider

        Siege of my idlib.

    • Jens Holm

      Thats a lie. Turks in those matters only can loose face. They are not scared as long as the Turks accept and understand Erdogan is a great man regaining the good old days of the Ottomans.

      SAA is worth nothing. Or are most soldiers there even Syrians.

  • Mr Bray

    Not so fast………..

    Firstly, with regard to the Russian Contractors, an unknown number were indeed killed by US forces, but the larger number were killed by a 3rd party. There is a story hidden within a story here which failed to gain traction in the Alt-Media at the time.

    The fact that Russians and Syrians were killed by the US has been confirmed by Ofiicial (and semi-official Russian, British, US, and Israeli ‘leaks’) and later by -Official- releases from the US Military (and even reported in the mainstream media).

    Also from official sources there is a US Congressman or Senator on record confirming it, and even a US General went in front of the TV cameras and confirmed it to the whole world (US Army Brigadier General Jonathan Braga I think).

    This is were the ‘story within a story’ comes in – Apparently, the reason this bigger story was officially blacked out (and sent into the memory hole) was because a small neutron type device was used by a 3rd party DURING the US conventional attack in an attempt to start WW3. There are even reports in the mainstream media that US Generals were concerned that this was indeed going to be the trigger event that caused the long anticipated full-on Russian retaliation for the almost constant provocations. After the incident all Russian and US forces went on high alert (this is also to be found if people want to dig it out) but clearly the deception was noted and escalation did not occur.

    For those paying attention, there have been reports (and actual footage still on the net that appear to confirm this) that small nutron type devices have been used in Yemen, in Iraq, and in Syria. Apparently there was even an attempt to use one (foiled by the Russians and the device captured) on or near the Crimea Bridge.

    Althoug countless ‘leaks’ talking about 9/11 nukes and ‘backback nukes’ have been in both the mainstream media and alt-media, I have not found anyone yet who has pulled it all together that there appears to be a 3rd party (British MI6 / US Deepstate / Israeli Mossad?) intent in provoking the Russians into a nuclear response of some description (Putin himself is even on record as confirming this and promising they will have no time to repent before he killed them).

    I am not commenting to convince or put forward a case, but just to stimulate some thought.

    • Mr Bray

      Side note to my early comment – Why is it that the Russians have NEVER denied that the Crimea Bridge incident was an attempted nuclear false flag?

      Media types from the mainstream and alt-media have put the question to several senior people including Lavrov, and no straight answer – either confirming or denying – the nuclear part of the incident has ever been received.

      Also, since December 18, at least x8 mainstream newspapers and TV channels have run reports on ‘miniture-nukes’, ‘backpack nukes’ and ‘SADM’ devices. Why?

      Heck, just last week several very big media organisations such as Sputnik news and the Daily Mail (UK) ran stories about these things!. Why, and why now?

      https://sputniknews.com/military/201901161071510972-nuclear-backpack-suicide-mission-report/

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2548830/How-American-troops-planned-stop-Soviet-invasion-nukes-strapped-back.html

      Not all apparent ‘fake news’ is fake – it is sometimes the only way that Intel or DISCLOSURE can be put before the masses before it gets scrubbed and covered up. The key is being able to pick out the nuggests of truth from the BS. It is not an easy task and with information overload / saturation 99% can not do it.

  • jako

    CLASHES BETWEEN PRO-RUSSIAN & PRO-IRANIAN FACTIONS IN SYRIA !!!

    300 Turkish soldiers and their pro-Turk militias dead as result of that “clash”!

  • AM Hants

    Who would benefit, if they could make out their were problems between Iran and Russia?

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      the ones they try forget it one major fact. That the russians and iranians as well syrians, know there is not such a problem. So whom you think this propaganda is directed to?

      • UberMaKedoN

        to the motherfuckin’ warmongering sheep from the west

        • Jens Holm

          Well, I cant talk for everybody, but we hardly believe anything comming from You apart from we dont like You and You dont like us.

          So what some Turks by their SANAtorium goes the same way as toiletwater.

          We just are not as stupid as You even we can be manipulated by the more clever ones incl. our own.

          Since some Helicopter evacuans of FSA or was It ISIS dowen there too actually was Russian bringing an American videogame, we believe in hardly anything from there – too.

          So many here has changed a lot of letter in the holy Choran. They think it says, You have to lie all the time – not that You can if needed.

          No wonder so many in ME are confused as having no heads. Your local history books cant see, You live at the same continent too. Those are constructions of ther worst kind too.

          Even You have internet and even DNA, the rest of the world still has to lusten to old twisted history crap of the worst kind.

          You deny to change any of that and even blame us for it. Clean Your own houses first. West only is a small part of Your big selfmade problems allowing Leaders like Yours taken You around by Your noses, so they recognize, how they smell of oil and golden bathtubs.

          • UberMaKedoN

            Im not from middle east, im from Europe and im a orthodox christian. Tell this shit to someone from libya, afganistan, iraq, jugoslavia etc where illegal wars were made for oil and other resourses theft and millions innocent civilians died as a result of DIRECT MILITARY ACTION and bombing approved by your goverment, who after destroying a country they create and fund brutal organizations like ISIS, Al nusra, Al qaeda to do the dirty work and keep the rest of the people scared and controlled.

          • Jens Holm

            I have been against that and told my Goverment since we went into Afghanistan.

            But for sure I dont have the same reasons for it as You. In stead I many times has asked for a wall somewhere west of Istanbul.

          • UberMaKedoN

            I blame western politics not regular people who actually thinks and knows whats bad and whats good.
            “So many millions in that belowed region of Yours wasnt even alive” – wtf are you talking about? i told you i don’t live in mid east

          • Hasbara Hunter

            He is a Danish Hasbararat…he is always talking bullshit

      • Zionism = EVIL

        Iraq war playbook

        But if Pompeo and Bolton succeed “in baiting Iran” into leaving the
        2015 deal, it is likely the neo-conservative establishment will replay
        the Iraq war playbook and “begin pushing for a military attack under the
        pretext of stopping the Iranian nuclear programme”, Toossi said.

        In an article published on Friday, the foreign policy website
        Lobe Log also warned a war against Iran is “becoming ever more likely”.

        “Donald Trump’s domestic troubles, combined with the current makeup
        of his foreign policy team, provide a confluence of circumstances,
        perhaps a perfect storm, to pull the United States into a war with
        Iran,” wrote Jim Lobe and Ben Armbruster.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          they been farting about it the last 30 years unfortunately for this scum of the earth Iran is not a defenseless nation and they are scared shitless of what awaits for them so………. they will remain only with threats when it comes to Iran or any nation that can fight back.

          • Jens Holm

            They just havnt learnt to behave.

        • Jens Holm

          Here we go again. Iranians and the Hesbollahb with the Fez and 3 hour mirror talk didnt say anything at all.

    • You can call me Al

      The government of Antarctica !!?.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Its a public secret Russia defend Israel at any cost. Kremlin did its best to push Iran out of Syria to please Israel, but Assad refused.
    Therefore Russian forces and Iran forces are fighting secretly against its other, to please Israel.

    • Willing Conscience (The Truths

      But it’s also a secret that Assad only refused because Erdogan wouldn’t leave as well, which upset the Israelis. Even the Iranians don’t want to be in Syria, they’re only there because they have to be, If they didn’t have a reason to be there they could do other things with their men and equipment [Libya/Yemen], but until Erdogan leaves, Iran won’t leave either. Erdogan’s the spanner in the works, he’s stopping the Iranian withdrawal which would provide Israeli security, and a possible deal with Trump concerning nuclear ambitions.

  • Smaug

    In this case, I would agree with South Front for my own reasons. But the fact that South Front constantly inserts his opinion as fact in a “news” article is a case in point of why this is a professional blog, not a news source.

    • Julian Clegg

      Mainstream media do it too. I should know; I work in mainstream media.

      • Smaug

        Liar.

      • Jens Holm

        You sell shoes for next Goverment change ? Hard times in Syria. So many only has one leg :)

  • Thunder

    information disinformation i notice some truths some unintentional lies careful southfront lest they use you for their disinfo psy op

    • Jens Holm

      The mainparts of the articles are signed “Soutfront is not responsible for, whats written in this article”. By thats You can put in Your own filter and fx also see, who the authers are by fx a search machine.

      I read a lot I dont like – sometimes only partly – but they do represent oppinions – I learn too. All is not about lying or not.

      Fx Í have learned a lot of what kind of weapons Russians have and had even from the late days of WW2. Before that I only knew most of the Western weapons that well. Some special equipment I had never heard about before.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Illusion and dilution. USA NATO fabricated propaganda.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      The Americunt arseholes call it “psy-ops”, more like psycho desperate babble. No one believes a word the pathological liar Americunts and Zionist parasites yelp.

      • Julian Clegg

        Unfortunately many people do believe it. “Barrel bombs,” “Assad gas attacks,” “novichok nerve gas” etc etc. All these fake stories are still widely believed.

        • Jens Holm

          Yes, all the 550.000 died by selfdetonations and 12 millions actually are Tourist.
          3-4 mio. even support Erdogan and the Lira by getting money from EU even riding tourist camels now and then.

      • Jens Holm

        Manny to. You just are not allowed to know by Your Dictator.

    • Jens Holm

      Xoli is a zinoistic jew of the world stealing wax from all the bees for his 7 armed candelabre. Xoli is a zinoistic jew of the world stealing wax from all the bees for his 7 armed candelabre. Xoli is a zinoistic jew of the world stealing wax from all the bees for his 7 armed candelabre. Xoli is a zinoistic jew of the world stealing wax from all the bees for his 7 armed candelabre. Xoli is a zinoistic jew of the world stealing wax from all the bees for his 7 armed candelabre. Xoli is a zinoistic jew of the world stealing wax from all the bees for his 7 armed candelabre.

      His real name is Ravioli.

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    There hasn’t been any News at all from Turkey since the coup attempt, all the unbiased journalists and publishers have either been locked up or to scared to tell the truth, all we get out of Turkish news now is propaganda, but it’s just as informative as the News if you read it the right way.
    Erdogan’s not that much smarter than a well trained monkey, and when he reverts back to his savage animalistic side he’s very easy to work out, ‘smash Kurds, steal farmland, smash anyone, steal oil, me big hero, demigod’.
    What a stupid monkey he is. They’ll hang him from a tree when his popularity rating falls to under 50%, all those journos and publishers he locked up and tortured will be lynching him in the media before they hang him though, then the people on the streets will find a tree, stick him on the stool and tie the rope, and then the Turkish people will finish the job properly.

    • Jens Holm

      I agree in that. Centralising like that makes chaos when he dies, but of course thats no problem, if he is related to Noah or Methusalem.

  • Jon

    Follow the fundamentals.

    Turkey is served by discord between Russia and Iran.

    • Jens Holm

      And nato as well.

  • Icarus Tanović

    Laughable idiotic wishful thinking. 😂

  • Barba_Papa

    >>No media outlet was able to provide evidence of these clashes besides claims of “anonymous sources”.<<

    And this is why our first instinct when presented with socalled “anonymous sources” should be pics or get the fuck out! Either put up some evidence or shut up! Otherwise you're just posting rumors. And I don't care if its Reuters, CNN, the BBC, Dutch news, RT or Southfront. Pics or get the fuck out!

  • Jens Holm

    Fine to get confirmed it was fake. Even so it made no sense to me.