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HomeFact Check2013 Syrian Massacre Falsely Shared As Footage Of Turkish Soldiers Executing Contractors...

2013 Syrian Massacre Falsely Shared As Footage Of Turkish Soldiers Executing Contractors For Shoddy Work

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Claim
Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for shoddy work that led to deaths of thousands during devastating earthquake

Fact
Footage is of mass execution of civilians carried out by Syrian military in April 2013

A distressing video, purportedly showing a mass execution led by men in military uniform and consequent dumping of bodies in a large pit filled with tyres, is doing the rounds on social media. According to several users, the video shows “Turkish soldiers shooting contractors whose shoddy work killed thousands of innocent people [during the devastating earthquake in February this year]”. 

The videos are of varying lengths, ranging from 0:45 to 04:35 seconds, and we have received them on our WhatsApp tipline (9999499044), too, requesting it to be fact-checked.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

Fact check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “Turkey soldiers contractors mass grave”, which did not throw up any credible news reports of such an incident.

A reverse image search of keyframes of the video led us to this DW report in Spanish, dated April 26, 2022, featuring a thumbnail of the video. According to the report, the footage is of the “Tadamon Massacre” in Damascus on April 16, 2013.  “Disturbing scenes filmed that day in the Syrian capital show Assad regime security forces shooting ten innocent civilians in less than seven minutes. In broad daylight, the executioners take the condemned to a grave dug in an abandoned alleyway in the city. Then they shoot without hesitation,” read the report.

An April 2013 video of a Syrian mass execution carried out by its military falsely claimed to show Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for shoddy work.

Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search for “Tadamon massacre”, which led us to this Guardian report, dated April 27, 2022, about a rookie militiaman who secretly watched a video of 41 people being brutally and dumped in a mass grave in the Damascus suburb of Tadamon. The leaked footage “has cast an unprecedented light on crimes previously believed to have been widely committed by the regime at the height of the Syrian war but always denied or blamed on rebel groups and jihadists.”

An April 2013 video of a Syrian mass execution carried out by its military falsely claimed to show Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for shoddy work.

A further search led us to this Guardian video explainer, dated April 27, 2022, that sheds light on the horrors of war in Syria. “This is the story of a war crime by one of the Syrian regime’s most notorious enforcers, branch 227 of the country’s military intelligence service. Newly released footage obtained by the Guardian shows a massacre, which was committed in the southern suburbs of Damascus in April 2013; groups of civilians rounded up, blindfolded, handcuffed and marched towards an execution pit unaware they are about to be shot dead,” read the report.

An April 2013 video of a Syrian mass execution carried out by its military falsely claimed to show Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for shoddy work.

“When the killings were over, at least 41 men lay dead in the mass grave in Tadamon, their murderers pouring fuel on their remains and igniting them, laughing as they covered up a war crime just several miles from Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power,” read the report, which showed clips that confirmed the viral video is of the same incident. Similar reports can be seen here and here.

According to an Arab News report, footage of the massacre, carried out by Syrian militia members loyal to President Bashar Assad, emerged only in April 2022. following an expose by the UK’s Guardian newspaper and the online New Lines Magazine. “The amateur video, taken by the killers themselves, was discovered by a militia recruit in the laptop of one of his seniors. Sickened by what he had seen, the rookie passed the video on to researchers, who later confronted one of the killers identified in the footage,” read the report.

An April 2013 video of a Syrian mass execution carried out by its military falsely claimed to show Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for shoddy work.

Conclusion

An April 2013 video of a Syrian mass execution carried out by its military falsely claimed to show Turkish soldiers shooting contractors for shoddy work.

Result: False

Sources
The Guardian news report, April 27, 2022
Arab news report, June 02, 2022


If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form.

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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