October 10, 2016 (LD) – The Associated Press (AP) through a gimmick it calls “AP FACT CHECK,” claimed after a recent US presidential debate that presidential candidate Donald Trump was untruthful about Syrian President Bashar Al Assad fighting the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS).
AP’s article, “AP FACT CHECK: Trump wrong that Assad fights IS,” claims:
Not true. Syria’s President Bashar Assad considers the Islamic State group to be among numerous “terrorist” groups that threaten his government, but his military is not fighting them. It is focused on combatting Syrian opposition groups, some of which are supported by the United States. The fight against the Islamic State militants is being waged by a U.S.-led coalition, with help from Turkey, by training, advising and equipping Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters.
However, despite AP’s claims, AP’s own reporting directly contradicts its “AP FACT CHECK,” as pointed out by Syrian activist and geopolitical commentator Mimi Al Laham in a recent Tweet.
In their April 2016 article, “After Palmyra, Syrian troops take another IS-controlled town,” AP would report that:
A week after taking back the historic town of Palmyra, Syrian troops and their allies on Sunday captured another town controlled by the Islamic State group in central Syria, state media reported.
The push into the town of Qaryatain took place under the cover of Russian airstrikes and dealt another setback to the IS extremists in Syria. An activist group that monitors the Syrian civil war said that government forces are in control of most of the town after IS fighters withdrew to its eastern outskirts.
The advance came a week after Syrian forces recaptured Palmyra from IS and is strategically significant for the government side. The capture of Qaryatain deprives IS of a main base in central Syria and could be used by government forces in the future to launch attacks on IS-held areas near the Iraqi border.
Not only does AP directly contradict its own reporting on Syrian forces over the past year with its recent and clearly disingenuous “AP FACT CHECK,” it also contradicts claims that Russia is also uninterested in fighting ISIS – admitting clearly that Syrian government gains against the terrorist organization took place under the cover of Russian airpower.
Also, AP would even report that Russian ground forces were present at Palmyra, directly on the front with ISIS.
AP’s May 2016 article, “Russia builds military camp near ancient site in Palmyra,” would admit:
Russia has built a military encampment inside a zone that holds the UNESCO world heritage site in the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra, where Islamic State militants were driven out recently by pro-government forces.
The Russian military described the camp Tuesday as “temporary,” saying its few housing units were being used by explosives experts who are removing mines left behind by the militants, and that the Syrian government had given approval to build the camp.
It is uncertain why AP has resorted to such blatant, clumsy lies, especially under a series of articles it is boldly calling “AP FACT CHECK.” However, it is clear – based on AP’s own reporting – that they are in fact lying intentionally and in direct contradiction to their own reporting.
It is also interesting how AP boldly titles its recent series as “AP FACT CHECK” yet provides no citations or evidence for its “fact checking.”
AP has perpetuated intentional lies dressed up as news reporting for years, if not from its inception, deceiving global audiences regarding everything from “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, to the characterization of political conflicts ranging from the so-called “Arab Spring” to political instability in Southeast Asia.
Caught in a blatant lie contradicting its own reporting should put the world on notice that AP is not a legitimate news service, nor should it be trusted as a journalistic source until those responsible for “AP FACT CHECK” are exposed, condemned, and expelled from AP, and AP provides a proper explanation as to how such blatant lies could cross its pages in the first place.
For the Syrian and Russian soldiers and airmen who bravely died fighting ISIS in combat AP itself reported on, no greater disservice could be done than to deny such combat even took place. AP’s recent “AP FACT CHECK” was meant to portray recent political debates in a certain light, but instead, it has only managed to cast AP itself as illegitimate, deceitful, and untrustworthy.