In fairness to Gary Johnson, even NY Times is clueless about Aleppo
Johnson’s gaffe occurred during an interview with MSNBC on the continuing battle for Syria’s biggest city, which has been the focal point between President Bashar Assad’s forces and rebel sectors.
When Johnson was asked what he would do about the situation in Aleppo there was confusion.
“About Aleppo. And what is Aleppo?” he responded.
“You’re kidding?” came the reaction from the MSNBC reporter.
“No,” Johnson said.
The reporter then went onto explain that “Aleppo is in Syria… It’s the epicenter of the refugee crisis.”
The New York Times, however, did not appear to know what Aleppo was either, and reported it as the “de facto capital of the Islamic State,” website Moon Of Alabama spotted.
To make matters worse, New York Times editors realized the error and then changed it to “the stronghold of the Islamic State,” which was still wrong. It is, in fact the city of Raqqa that is referred to as the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold in Syria.
Parts of Aleppo still remain under government control and IS does not have a strong presence in the city.
The line was then changed to “the war-torn Syrian city.”
As if things could not get worse for the publication, they managed to botch up the correction note by referring to Aleppo as the Syrian capital, not Damascus.
A correction to the correction was then made around an hour later.
Johnson’s blunder was also mocked by Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to Iraq, but then Hill embarrassingly got confused and made the same error as the NYT by referring to Aleppo as the ISIS capital.
“But the capital of ISIS — very much in the news, especially in the past two days, but for last two years. And for him to draw that kind of blank — and, by the way, boy was that a blank stare on his face. I was wondering if he was talking something called ‘an Aleppo,’ and was confused by that. I couldn’t figure it out. It was just mind-blowing,” Hill said, shooting himself in the foot.