English, Fake News

Old video of Syrian military executing civilians is passed off as Turkish army executing contractors


A video showing handcuffed men being executed by armed men is being shared widely. It is being shared with a claim that video shows Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for their shoddy work, which resulted in death of thousands of innocent people. Through this article let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

Claim: Visuals of Turkish soldiers executing contractors for their shoddy work.

Fact: These visuals show Syrian military executing civilians during the Syrian civil war in 2013. The video came to light in 2022, and several news agencies reported the video. In wake of the recent earthquake in Turkey, contractors, architects and engineers are under scanner for their shoddy work, resulting in the collapse of thousands of buildings. However, there are no reports of any mass execution of these contractors. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

In February 2023, Turkey has experienced one of the deadliest earthquakes, wherein the death toll stands at more than 45,000, according to Turkey’s disaster management authority.

Thousands of buildings collapsed, making the situation worse. Even the newly built apartments, which are bound to withstand the tremors, collapsed.  Following this, the contractors of the buildings came under scanner of the authorities, for their shoddy work, which led to increase in death toll. According to news reports, authorities have issued warrants and even a few arrests have been made.

However, there are no such reports of mass execution of contractors in light of the recent earthquake.

Viral video is from Syria: 

Reverse image search of the screenshots of the viral video yielded multiple news reports, that reported about the same visuals in 2022 (here & here). As per these reports, the visuals show Syrian army executing dozens of civilians in Tadamon, near Damascus, during the Syrian civil war. These articles reported that the revelation was part of the Guardian investigation.

Taking a cue from this, further search yielded the Guardian and New Lines Magazine articles, which have reported the news initially. As per these reports, the video shows Syrian military men killing civilians at the time of civil war in 2013. Further, the report identified the armed man in the viral video as Amjad Youssef.

According to the reports, the video was leaked to researchers Annsar Shahhoud and Uğur Umit Ungor in 2019 and was reported in 2022 after authenticating it.

Thus, these reports affirm that the viral visuals are old and not related to recent earthquakes of Turkey.


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