Alleged victim Anas Said Ali

Anas Said (or “Sayyed”) Ali allegedly died of his injuries either “a few days later” (BBC reply, 2 December 2013, para 6) or “two weeks later” (Dr Saleyha Ahsan, Human Rights Watch report, November 2013, p15) in hospital in Turkey. 

However the Violations Documentation Center in Syria claim that “Anas al-Sayed Ali” died on the day of the alleged attack, 26 August 2013.

The BBC states Anas was 18 years old whereas reports by Human Rights Watch, taking their information from Dr Ahsan, state that he was 15. [See p15 here and search “Anas Said Ali” here]

According to the Panorama narration “he’d been waiting to pick up his little sister from school” (who was aged 14 and allegedly survived); however writing in The Independent Dr Ahsan suggests he was among a group which rushed to the school after the initial alleged bombing. [1]

Anas is incapacitated so little upon his arrival as to be able to step down from the back of a truck (2:08) and to then walk briskly towards, and to then trot into, Atareb Hospital (Panorama 31:58 and 32:15). This contrasts, for instance, with alleged victim Lutfi Arsi, who is filmed being carried into the hospital (albeit in subsequent scenes he can be seen walking around the hospital courtyard without any apparent difficulty).  

At 36:51 in Panorama Anas incongruously speaks in English (“I’m so bad, so bad”). In its 18 February 2014 reply the BBC states: “Anas Said Ali had graduated from the school, having studied English, hence his ability to speak English. 

In an interview for ABC Dr Saleyha Ahsan states that Anas was “the only son of his family” and that his father attended him at the hospital, however no-one who could plausibly be described as Anas’ father is present in any of the numerous scenes in Panorama in which Anas features. [2]

Anas’ relatively light skin tone and smooth forehead (the latter especially notable in the image with the green bottle below) contrast markedly with the final image, supplied by the BBC in its 18 February 2014 response.

In respect of all the alleged victims featured in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’, please note the existence and sophistication of HOSPEX “macro simulation” techniques and the personal connection which exists between Dr Saleyha Ahsan and an army officer in charge of running HOSPEX exercises.




Anas Said Ali in Atareb Hospital (far left, red t-shirt). Image from The Independent


Sequence of Anas Said Ali at Atareb Hospital. Despite his alleged injuries, he demonstrates a maintained interest in the camera. His appearance changes markedly in the time he is at the hospital (see final image below).


Anas Said Ali allegedly being treated in Atareb Hospital (36:53 Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ at the moment where he incongruously speaks in English (“I’m so bad, so bad”).


Figure which would appear to be Anas Said Ali from You Tube video shot at Atareb Hospital on 26 August 2013 (


Anas Said Ali allegedly being treated in Atareb Hospital (42:32 Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ Compare appearance with image below.


Image of Anas Said Ali provided by BBC Audience Services on 18 February 2014. Note tone and skin texture of face and forehead compared to other images above.


[1] Ian Pannell, writing in a BBC Audience Services response, says this of the apparent contradiction:

I would disagree that this constitutes a “distinctly different account”. We were told that Anas was at school to pick up his little sister. It is entirely possible Dr Ahsan acquired further information that he had rushed to the scene after the first attack (which occurred a couple of buildings away). Either way, he was at the school to pick up his little sister.

Response to point 12, page 7 of the document downloadable here

This version of events appears to be corroborated by this account by Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch:

One 15-year-old boy had gone to pick up his sister from school after a bomb fell on an apartment building nearby. As he was waiting outside the entrance, the MiG jet fighter returned to drop another bomb that fell on the school courtyard, splashing a burning, napalm-like substance all over him.

[2] At 5:53 in the ABC interview Dr Ahsan states:

There was a boy, there was a boy, 18 years old, his name was Anas, and he was the only son of his family, he was quite tall, I couldn’t make out his face because his eyes were swollen and almost closed, his hair was almost melted and he had this black tarry stuff stuck to his head and his face and he just kept saying ‘I want to sleep, I want to sleep’, his dad was standing near him, his dad was so quiet and keeping himself together for his son and we managed to give him pain killers, got fluids into him as soon as possible, was trying to cool him down, and he’s the only son, the eldest kid and he died in Turkey.

From 38:06 – 38:11 in Saving Syria’s Children Anas is seen being transported by stretcher out of the hospital. One would naturally expect the boy’s father to be among the group of men attending to Anas at this point, however none of the five young men carrying Anas would appear to be his father.

BBC Audience Services has stated on this point:

As for his father, perhaps he chose not to appear on camera, we do not recall him amongst the scores of distressed and shocked people crammed into the hospital working flat out to save lives or find out whether relatives were alive or dead. Many made the decision not to be identified for fear of being imprisoned and tortured by the government (something else which has been well documented).

Response to point 12, page 7 of the document downloadable here

About Robert Stuart

Researching the 2013 BBC Panorama documentary Saving Syria's Children and associated BBC News reports.

5 responses to “Alleged victim Anas Said Ali

  1. Pingback: Fabrication in BBC Panorama’s ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ | Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

  2. Pingback: BBC Falsely Claimed Incendiary Bomb Victim “Died on His Way to Hospital in Turkey” | Counter Information

  3. Pingback: BBC Falsely Claimed Incendiary Bomb Victim “Died on His Way to Hospital in Turkey” | Counter Information

  4. Pingback: How the FSA/ISIS Fake Chemical Attacks to Force Regime Change | Friends of Syria

  5. Pingback: “Saving Syria’s Children”: The Sequel – Counter Information

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