Analysing a crude “anti-Assad regime” propaganda video

The video below landed on my Facebook feed as part of a sharing campaign by teary-eyed souls lamenting the fate of Syria’s children being shelled in schools by the cruel “Assad regime”:

My analysis of it:

  1. To begin with, the video is admittedly staged, since the teacher states he is filming “history in the making”, i.e. he knows what is going to happen and is recording it for posterity.
  2. Helpfully, so that the viewer is left in doubt about who is to blame, one child manages to interject the teacher’s speech, using a rather un-child-like language, with “Filthy regime!”
  3. The children actually start reacting to the explosion before any sound of a falling shell is heard (except for the boy in front, who seems rather nonplussed about what’s going on).
  4. There seems to be some kind of smoke coming through the classroom windows but it’s hard to imagine how it could be connected to the explosion allegedly taking place outside at a considerable distance.
  5. Crucially, there’s a cut in the video at 0:46, at the exact moment the teacher filming with the cellphone crosses the door to the outside courtyard, indicating that the footage of the explosion can not have been shot at the same time. Also, the classroom windows as filmed from the inside do not correspond to the ones shown briefly in the outside footage, nor does the courtyard. And there’s no smoke visible outside except for the explosion cloud the distance.

The video was produced by Planet Syria, an organization of “non-violent Syrian activists.”

Sadlly, this video is being shared as real by people whom I thought had better developed critical skills!


Note: You have to be connected to Facebook to see the video.


co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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Dear Off Guardian Editors,

Australian news media outlets ran a story in early November about a 4-year-old girl, Raghad Khanfoura, apparently killed by Russian airstrikes on 1 October 2015 while visiting her grandparents in Habeet village. Their source for the story is the notorious Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Sydney Morning Herald article:

One aspect of the story that stinks is that nearly a month passed before the Western MSM took it up. A story of this type, if it were true, surely would have been picked up straight away as evidence of Russian military incompetence. Another aspect that smells is that the child’s male relatives are apparently with the Free Syrian Army if the story is to be believed.

One might also ask what sort of mother takes her children back into Syria from a safe haven in Turkey to visit grandparents living in an area where there are jihadis terrorising rural communities.

The story has now found its way into The Guardian:

This is not to deny that a real girl called Raghad Khanfoura may have existed and was killed (most likely by the people who claim her as one of their own).

There is also a Youtube video about a 3-year-old girl called Limar or Limaar supposedly killed by a Russian airstrike in Dara’a near the Syrian-Jordanian border in November:

To my knowledge, Russian airstrikes are concentrated in northern Syria near Turkey. There have been no Russian jets flying near Jordan.


we are living in an orwellian age. Truth gets branded as lies and lies get potrayed as truth. Lets tremember that Qautar Israel Turkey Saudi Arabia are far more fascistic and totalitarian than the Assad regime further more the destabalisation of Syria occured around 2011 only because it pracaticed independence and soveriegnty against the west. Y3esterdays news gets wrapped in todays fish.

Marc Krizack
Marc Krizack

While I agree with your first point 2 points, your other points are incorrect. A shock wave travels faster than the speed of sound, and the children could have been reacting to that. What looks like smoke coming in the windows is the diaphanous curtains blown by the shock wave. Not sure about the windows from the inside and the outside. But the fact that the teacher is calling this historic and the bomb exploding while he is filming does seem quite an unusual “coincidence.”