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Fake News: Israeli Airstrikes Hit Syria’s Al-Bukamal

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Fake News: Israeli Airstrikes Hit Syria’s Al-Bukamal

Illustrative: An Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter jet takes part in a graduation ceremony for IAF pilots at the Hatzerim base in Israel’s Negev desert on December 26, 2018. (Jack Guez/AFP)

On November 21, several outlets, including international news agencies, reported that Israeli warplanes had carried out airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian military positions near the city of al-Bukamal in southern Deir Ezzor.

The news of Israeli airstrikes was first promoted by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The monitoring group said warplanes “thought to be Israeli” targeted positions near al-Bukamal.

The SOHR went on to claim that fifteen Iranian-backed fighters, all non-Syrians, were killed in the mysterious airstrikes on al-Bukamal.

The report was quickly picked up by many TV channels and news agencies, including the France-Press Agency, AFP, that declined to confirm the SOHR’s information.

The news was denied late on November 21 by a Syrian military source, who told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV that all reports of Israeli airstrikes on al-Bukamal were “untrue.”

“Syrian army units as well as the allied and auxiliary forces are well prepared to face any terrorist attack and any aggression,” the source said.

In the last two years, the SOHR and other pro-opposition sources promoted false reports of Israeli airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian forces in Deir Ezzor on several occasions.

In some cases, explosions during clashes with ISIS were mistaken for airstrikes. In others, there was nothing to justify these false reports, which were likely just a propaganda stunt.

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