RT fact checks 4 media fails on Russia’s anti-ISIS op in Syria

Su-25 attack planes take off at Hmeimim aerodrome in Syria. © Dmitriy Vinogradov
On the same day Moscow launched airstrikes against terrorists in Syria, accusations instantaneously emerged claiming Russia had failed to attack Islamic State and was instead killing civilians and striking ‘moderate rebels.’ RT did some fact checking to dot the i's and cross the t's.

In a rush to back the anti-Russian allegations, outdated pictures of casualties involving children were extensively shared across social media platforms. For example, a photo was posted of a Syrian rescue worker carrying an injured girl bearing the description: ‘Russian strike in Homs that killed 33 civilians, including three children.’ As it turns out, the photo first appeared in social media on September 25. The Russian anti-terror operation started five days later, on September 30

READ MORE: Putin: Claims Russian jets killed civilians in Syria emerged before airstrikes started 

On September 30, another picture widely reposted on Twitter turned out to be an AFP photo of a bombing which had occurred on November 4, 2012 in the city of Al-Bab.

Meanwhile, CNN rushed to break the news that Russia was bombing Syrian rebel forces and not Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants, displaying a banner stating “U.S. SAYS RUSSIAN BOMBS HIT ASSAD ENEMIES, NOT ISIS” during Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s speech on October 1. However, Carter stated nothing of the kind, but merely noncommittally postulated: “…it does appear that they were in areas where there probably were not ISIL forces."

Several media outlets as well as Twitter users spread the news that one of the Syrian rebel leaders, Iyad al-Deek, was killed in a Russian airstrike in September. However, earlier media reports claimed that the same person had been “kidnapped” by IS in January 2014, while in June local media said that he had died, calling him “a martyr.

READ MORE: Information warfare? Russia accused of killing civilians in Syria