Several pro-opposition sources reported on January 17 that four Russian service members were “killed” during clashes in the southeastern countryside of Syria’s Idlib.
These claims, which were quickly adopted by many outlets such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), were first made by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and a fake Facebook page claiming to represent the Russian Hmeimim Air Base.
The so-called “Central Channel for Hmeimim Air Base” Facebook page was exposed more than a year ago as a fake news source.
A new Facebook feature launched late in 2018 revealed that the fake news page was being run by three admins, two of them live in Turkey while the third lives in Canada.
Despite being exposed as a fake news source and falsely claiming to be an official page of the Russian state [Ministry of Defense of Russia had denied this], Facebook is yet to shut the malicious page down.
The page has been whitewashing claims made by HTS for more than two years now. This indicates that it could be linked to the terrorist group.
Many pro-opposition sources are still relying on the fake news page as a “credible source” to this day. This has turned the page into a hub for hopeless opposition supporters looking for empty words to make up for their repeated losses.