Video Purports to Show “U.S. Sponsored Rebels Involved in Organ Harvesting of Syrian Children While They Are Still Alive”


Fact Test - False

The claim(s):

On May 11, 2017, a Twitter user posted footage purporting to depict Syrian children being victimized by organ harvesters with the text: “Horrifying Video From #Turkey: Harvesting the organs of Syrian children while they are still alive! #Syria.”

Two days later, on May 13, 2017, another user posted the same footage with the text: “US sponsored rebels involved in #OrganHarvesting of Syrian children while they are still alive! @TulsiGabbard #Syria.” These claims were each shared hundreds of times, and can be found replicated on various other alternative reporting websites.

The truth:

These claims are false.

After conducting a search for the origin of this story, Fact Test was able to pinpoint a posting of the aforementioned video from December 11, 2015 on YouTube, by a channel called SMART News Agency, under the title: “الطائرات الروسية ترتكب مجزرة في قرية القصابية بريف إدلب الجنوبي.” This title, when run through Google’s translation service, produces: “Russian planes commit a massacre in the village of Al-Qasabiya in the southern countryside of Idlib.” As Wikipedia notes, Idlib is a city in northwestern Syria, not Turkey.

Other footage related to this incident can be found here (the title translates to: “A massacre committed by Russian aircraft against the people in the town of Qasabiya in rural Idlib”) and here (the title translates to: “The families of the victims and ambulance crews confirm that all those who died in the Qasabiya massacre are civilians”).

News reports on these events, generally, can be found here, here, here, and here.

A report regarding the Russian airstrikes entitled The 14th Annual Report on Human Rights in Syria 2015 (January 2015 – December 2015) from shrc.org notes the events: “On 11 December 2015, Russian war planes targeted a bread distribution point in al-Qasabiya village in the countryside of Idlib, killing 7 people.” This date corresponds with the posting of the video, linked above, by SMART News Agency.

Yet another share of this footage, likewise from December 11, 2015, can be found here on Twitter. The text of the tweet reads: “FOOTAGE ER of #al_Qasabiyah aftermath of #Russia airstrikes targeting popular market & a masjid #Idlib #Syria Dec 11.”

The white logo on the backs of the blue clothing worn by the adults shown in the video, who are healthcare staff, comes from the Al Sham Humanitarian Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) devoted to providing health and other care services (such as shelter, water, and food) in areas of emergency.

Following the wider circulation of the allegations that the girl depicted in the footage above had been a victim of organ harvesting, news agencies in the region, rooted in Syria, interviewed the girl and her parents regarding these events.

Those videos can be viewed here (May 13, 2017) and here (May 14, 2017).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s