Ken Roth has now conceded that the video he said was of carnage caused by Syrian regime barrel bombing in Aleppo, was actually of carnage caused by Israeli regime bombing in Gaza. As here:
He then links to an image, sourced from a BBC article that was published on May 5th, as a genuine ‘example of Aleppo’s destruction after Assad’s barrel bombs’. As here:
The BBC article is about a report from Amnesty International, published last week, which has documented how, in Aleppo:
government forces and many rebel groups are committing war crimes on a daily basis.
But nowhere in the article is it actually stated that the destruction shown in the image that Roth linked to was caused by a barrel bomb. Indeed, it doesn’t even say that it was caused by Syrian regime bombing at all.
The caption accompanying the image states:
That it unambiguously shows the aftermath of a regime barrel bomb would appear to be nothing but Roth’s own interpretation.
However, given that the article is about both rebel *and* regime crimes, I am not sure that interpretation is reasonable.
A bit of further digging reveals that the image in question was taken by AFP photographer George Ourfalian on April 9th 2015, and is sourced to Getty Images. The blurb accompanying the photo states that:
A general view shows destruction in the Hamidiyeh neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as local popular committee fighters, who support the Syrian government forces, try to defend the traditionally Christian district on the third day of intense battles with Islamic State group jihadists
So the photo would actually appear to be of a ‘pro-regime’ neighbourhood that had been coming under attack from ISIS.
Now, that doesn’t of course preclude the possibility that the destruction we see in the photograph was caused by a regime barrel bomb. It may well be the case. But could it not just as well have been caused by ISIS artillery or rocket fire? Or even a ‘conventional’ regime airstrike?
And how does Roth know that it was caused specifically by regime barrel bombs? Because despite a few hours of Googling around, i’m still none the wiser.
My suspicion, quite frankly, is that Roth doesn’t actually know *for certain* either.
He’s just Googled ‘Aleppo barrel bombs’ (or something along those lines), and then linked to the first picture he came across from a vaguely credible source.
If this is the case, then it’s simply more slack, unforgivable shoddiness from such a high profile human rights campaigner.