A week after the Trump White House issued a statement announcing U.S. armed forces will move out of Northern Syria, ABC News aired footage it claimed shows “slaughter in Syria,” which appears actually to be from a Kentucky gun range.
ABC News aired the clip both Sunday and Monday, accompanied by chyrons displaying “Crisis in Syria: ISIS prisoners escape as death toll rises in attacks” and “Slaughter in Syria.”
Wow! ABC News is trying to pass gun range videos as combat footage from Syria pic.twitter.com/zfTWtwwSfZ
— Woj Pawelczyk (@Woj_Pawelczyk) October 14, 2019
“This video, obtained by ABC News, appears to show the fury of the Turkish attack on the border town of Tal Abyad,” said Ian Pannell, senior foreign correspondent, on Monday’s “Good Morning America.”
This followed anchor Tom Llamas on Sunday making a similar claim, saying of the footage, “This video right here appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurdish civilians in a Syrian border town. The Kurds, who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS. Now, horrific reports of atrocities committed by Turkish-backed fighters on those very allies.”
The footage appears actually to be taken from Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, during one of its popular biannual Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show events. A spokesman from the range told the Washington Examiner the videos appear as though they were taken on Knob Creek’s property.
“As of right now, it seems to be our footage,” the range spokesman said.
ABC News has since taken the footage down, saying it “regrets the error.”
ABC News says it "regrets the error." This is a huge embarrassment for the news division, especially because the video aired on both "World News" yesterday and "GMA" today. https://t.co/ydJMvjXCVR
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 14, 2019
The situation in Syria and subsequent reporting on the conflict between the Turks and the Kurds comes after a White House press release declaring American troops will move out of Northern Syria due to the lack of U.S. interests in the conflict.
“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” the statement said. “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”
The reporting, including this notable error from ABC News, also comes after other recent mainstream media flubs, which may be characterized as careless at best and maliciously deceptive at worst, such as this story the Washington Post ran (which warranted 15 corrections), the round-two Brett Kavanaugh smear campaign driven by New York Times reporters Robin Progrebin and Kate Kelly, and the media hysteria and corruption-laced “reporting” on Trump and Ukraine.