Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov has again blasted Western mainstream media reports about the humanitarian situation in Syria, saying that the ‘sources’ they use, which often turn out to be bogus, harm their reputation as newsmakers. Sputnik looks back at the most outrageous fake news stories from the Syrian conflict.
At his regular press briefing Friday, referring to the latest MSM accusations against Russia in Syria, Konashenkov noted that “the cookie-cutter reports on the situation in Syria, based on the ‘testimonies’ of local ‘activists’ taken from social networks only serve to harm the reputation of international organizations and authoritative news media, rather than helping to solve Syria’s humanitarian problems.”
Such groundless reports will not help feed or provide medical aid to Syrians, or put roofs over their heads, the spokesman emphasized.
With the Russian military actively fighting to help free Syria from terrorism, and simultaneously sending dozens of tons of aid, providing medical assistance and sappers to demine liberated cities, Konashenkov couldn’t hide his indignation about the defamatory content of many media reports. These, he said are equivalent “to a garbage pile of fakes and bare-faced lies, for which colossal budgets have been spent.”
© PHOTO: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian defense ministry’s official spokesman
Ultimately, Konashenkov recommended that instead of spreading this fake news, Western media would have been better off simply sending their vast budgets as aid to Syrians who have suffered from this war.
Commenting on Konashenkov’s report, RIA Novosti contributor Andrei Kots wrote that it has again demonstrated that the “traditionally dry and laconic tone of representatives of the Defense Ministry at the beginning of the Russian military operation in Syria has morphed beyond recognition. Generals no longer hesitate to openly deride the latest ‘sensations’ in the media.”
“And it’s easy to understand them,” Kots stressed. “Taking many of the stories found in Western media seriously really is quite difficult.” What kinds of fakes did Konashenkov have in mind exactly? There are several types, the journalist explained.
‘Russian Madmen Deliberately Target Schools and Hospitals’
Perhaps the most prominent of the organizations the MSM relies on for its Syria content is the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a source regularly cited by media, but also by organizations such as Amnesty International, the Atlantic Council, Human Rights Watch, and others.
Unfortunately, as researchers looking into the origins of this influential resource have discovered, SOHR is run by just one man – Osama Suleiman, who lives and works not in war-torn Syria, but in pleasant and peaceful Coventry. SOHR liberally publishes stories about what’s happening inside Syria, including figures on civilian casualties, all without sharing its methodology or how it actually gathers its information. That, combined with Suleiman’s mysterious origins, has led to concerns.