ABC News uses Kentucky gun range video to claim Turks ‘slaughtering Kurds’ in Syria

ABC News uses Kentucky gun range video to claim Turks ‘slaughtering Kurds’ in Syria
# 14 October 2019 23:22 (UTC +04:00)

ABC News is under fire for airing a video that purported to show a Turkish attack in northern Syria against civilians amid Turkey's Operation Peace Spring, when in fact it was from a 2017 military gun show in Kentucky, the U.S, APA reports citing Daily Sabah.

The video was first shared Sunday on World News Tonight where host Tom Llamas said: "This video, right here, appearing to show Turkey's military bombing Kurd civilians in a Syrian border town." It was also broadcast again the following day on Good Morning America.

The shocking footage of explosions quickly attracted attention on social media, but soon after people started to question the video's authenticity.

Social media user Wojciech Pawelczyk was the first express doubt and point out uncanny similarities with a video from two years ago.

Quick research revealed that the original clip was uploaded to YouTube in 2017. Titled "Knob Creek night shoot 2017", the video is from a biannual nighttime event called the "Military Gun Shoot & Military Gun Show" held at a gun range in the town of West Point, Kentucky.

When the two videos are compared side by side, ABC's version also seems to be edited, less saturated and more blurry.

ABC News has since issued an apology and correction, saying they had taken down the video in question from their site and Youtube "immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy."

"ABC News regrets the error," the network said.

There have been similar defamation and manipulation efforts on social media ever since August 2016 when Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield, its first cross-border anti-terror operation in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's protection Units (YPG). The same smear campaigns continued during Operation Olive Branch, launched in January 2018, as well as the still ongoing Operation Peace Spring, which was launched on Oct. 9, 2019.

Supporters of the PKK and YPG have been posting countless manipulated and doctored photos from the Syrian conflict and other disasters to mislead the international community and hurt the Turkish military's image.