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    A man walks past damaged buildings in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province, Syria, May 15, 2016

    NGO's Photos "Proving" Alleged Russian Strike on Idlib Are 6 Months Old

    © REUTERS/ Khalil Ashawi
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    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blamed Russian Aerospace Forces for conducting airstrikes in Idlib, it seems the group has once again spoken out before getting their facts straight as the exact same photo was first used by Al-Jazeera six months ago.

    Reuters reported citing the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that Russian Aerospace Forces had allegedly carried out airstrikes in Idlib.

    The Russian Ministry of Defense denied conducting any such strike. Russian jets did not conduct any operations in the Syrian province of Idlib, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday.

    ​"There were neither military tasks nor airstrikes by Russian jets in the province of Idlib," Konashenkov said.

    The photo purportedly of a ‘Russian airstrike on Idlib’ was in fact first used by Al- Jazeera six months ago.

    Screenshot of the article's headline
    Screenshot of the article's headline

    The photo was used by Al-Jazeera on November 30, 2015, when it published an article by Diana Al Rifai. In the article it was said that a bakery which was established by Turkey’s largest humanitarian organization, IHH, was targeted by suspected Russian airstrikes in Idlib.

    Screenshot of the article's headline
    © Photo: Aljazeera
    Screenshot of the article's headline

    Russia was blamed by Syrian opposition activists for the attacks which left 44 people dead.

    It is not the first time that Russia has been blamed for attacks it did not carry out.

    In September 2015, evidence emerged showing that the "White Helmets," a controversial quasi-humanitarian organization was fabricating ‘evidence’ of Russia's ‘disastrous’ involvement in Syria.

    The organization had  published a photo on its Twitter account, depicting a bleeding girl claiming that the poor child was injured along with a number of civilians during the Russian airstrike launched on September 30.

    However, the false claim was immediately exposed: Twitter users discovered that the photo of the wounded girl was actually taken on September 25, 2015, five days ago.

    The White Helmets in their haste to point the finger of blame at Moscow managed to tweet about Russia's airstrikes several hours before the Russian Parliament actually authorized the use of the Air Force in Syria.

    Back then, investigative journalist and peace activist Vanessa Beeley pointed out that the White Helmets (formerly called the Syria Civil Defense) was not created by Syrians and certainly does not operate in Syria's interests.

    Funded by the UK, US and the Syrian Opposition Party, the controversial organization works mainly with the rebel group Jabat al-Nusra, the infamous al-Qaeda affiliate.

    The "White Helmets demonize the Assad government and encourage direct foreign intervention," Beeley told Sputnik.

    Western media has also presented Russian anti-Daesh operations in Syria as their own.

    Back in February 2016, TV Channel France 2 showed footage of Russian planes bombing Daesh, claiming them to be the work of the US-led international coalition. The French state-funded media also accused Moscow of not bombing Daesh and “targeting civilians” all the while showing footage, originally released by the Russian Defense Ministry.

    France 2 isn’t the only media that used footage of Russian airstrikes to praise the actions of the US-led anti-Daesh coalition. Last November, PBS NewsHour showed a video of Russian planes hitting Daesh oil storage facilities and claimed it was the work of US airplanes. In December, Euronews did the same thing.

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    Tags:
    aerial targets, air strikes, fake evidence, White Helmets, Russian Ministry of Defense, Reuters, Igor Konashenkov, Idlib, Syria
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