Toy guns and doctored videos: what’s really going on in Syria?

Published June 13th, 2012 - 11:06 GMT
Members of the FSA pose with local children
Members of the FSA pose with local children

Looking outside in, the Syrian people are being slaughtered by their own government, either by the army or the mysterious Shabiha militia, but not everything is as it seems… 

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been a victim of their own success because as they become increasingly desperate for the outside world to take notice of Assad's atrocities, the lines become blurred as to what is truth and what is propaganda.

Channel 4 correspondent, Alex Thomson, found this out first hand when he traveled to Syria to report on the crisis. He was hosted by FSA opposition fighters, who, he alleges, led him and other journalists straight into a trap.

Writing for his blog, Thomson said: “I’m quite clear the rebels deliberately set us up to be shot by the Syrian army. Dead journos are bad for Damascus.” 

And Thompson is not the only one being set up. Yesterday pictures emerged in the Daily Mail of the supposed pro-Assad thugs who had committed massacres of women and children in Houla and elsewhere.

But we can exclusively reveal that the men in the photos were posing with fake guns. Lior Nedivi, Independent forensic expert, firearms examiner and crime scene investigator told Al Bawaba that the guns were a replica of the Desert Eagle model and would be capable of making noise only.

“That would explain the holes in the bottom of the slide,” he said.

So, while the rebels are fighting for the Syrian people, they are putting out mixed messages to journalists and the online community. Video sharing site, YouTube, is not immune to the disinformation either.

According to Syrian Twitter users, rebels have been uploading videos of Iraq during the worst of its crisis and labeling them as Assad atrocities. Some claimed to show Assad’s forces building bases around Homs but in fact were identical to those uploaded three months previously.

With this kind of misinformation, it becomes more and more difficult for the international community to put words into action and support the Syrian people's dream to topple Assad once and for all. 


By Helen Brooks



© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (

You may also like