Dear Mr Stuart
I write further to our earlier email.
For the avoidance of confusion, can you confirm whether Al Jazeera has indicated that it had recently obtained the footage?
Can you also confirm whether it is your contention that the article mis-reports comments by Philip Hammond?
I look forward to hearing further from you within the next seven days.
|From:||Mel Huggett (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Sent:||20 July 2015 09:55:21|
Dear Mr Stuart
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|Sent:||19 July 2015 14:08:02|
Bashar al-Assad’s airmen laugh as they drop barrel bombs on fellow Syrians – The Telegraph, 20 May 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,
The article refers to “New footage obtained by al-Jazeera” in the subheading and states in the first paragraph that “New footage has emerged showing Syrian aircrew using barrel bombs”.
The Telegraph includes the al Jazeera footage in the online version of its article. However the section of the video commencing at 1 minute 54 seconds, in which a crew member uses a cigarette to light the fuse on a long, slender munition which is then ejected overboard, appears at 4 minutes 32 seconds in this You Tube video which was published on 27 October 2012.
At least part of the al Jazeera footage was therefore over two and half years old – and possibly even older – at the time the Telegraph article was published.
Further statements in the Telegraph article suggest that the al Jazeera footage is contemporary:
- The inclusion of a quote from President Assad from February 2015 denying that his government uses “barrel bombs” indicates that the al Jazeera footage can be considered subsequent evidence countering this claim.
- Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is quoted saying of the al Jazeera footage: “It shows the casual and indiscriminate way in which Syrian regime forces are dropping these horrific weapons out of helicopters onto civilians below. For months we have seen reports of barrel bombs hitting hospitals and schools, killing thousands.” The use of present tenses (“are dropping”, “have seen”) strongly indicates that the al Jazeera footage is to be understood as depicting current events.