How A Dubious BBC Report Gave Israel The "Green Light" For Last Night's Attack On Syria

Tyler Durden's picture

Syrian state television has confirmed that Israel attacked a military base outside of Damascus overnight on Friday, which Israeli media reports involved both surface-to-surface missiles and airstrikes, while Syria says its air defense systems were engaged and intercepted two missiles. Like other recent strikes inside Syria, the Israeli jets reportedly fired from over Lebanese airspace, in order to avoid both Syrian anti-aircraft missile systems and provoking a Russian response. Though the extent of the damage or casualties is not yet known, Syrian media has confirmed material damage to the base, and other reports indicate mass power outages in some of parts of Damascus occurred immediately after the attack, which SANA says happened at 12:30am local time. 

It appears the base is likely the same one featured in a November BBC report which showed satellite images detailing the purported construction and renovation of an "Iranian military base" near El-Kiswah, which lies 14 km (8 miles) south of Damascus. As we've noted before, the BBC report was dubiously sourced to "a Western intelligence source" and the story was quickly utilized by Israeli leaders to ratchet up rhetoric in preparing its case before the international community for further attacks on the supposed Iranian targets. Israel has long justified its attacks inside Syria by claiming to be acting against Hezbollah and Iranian facilities and arms depots. 

Image source: SANA

Indeed, BBC itself used ambiguous language in saying the satellite images "seem to show" construction activity at the site referenced by the intelligence source between January and October this year. However, the images don't actually show much at all related to an Iranian military presence, but merely a series of two dozen large low-rise buildings - likely for housing soldiers and vehicles, which would be expected of any state army or sovereign nation.

Furthermore, the very title of the November piece - "Iran building permanent military base in Syria - claim" - underscores the complete lack of evidence for such a claim, which the BBC notes in the article is "impossible to independently verify."

Yet in reporting last night's Israeli strike on Syria, the BBC uncritically referenced its own prior unconfirmed "claim" to paint a picture that Israel is actually taking action against Iran and Hezbollah: "Israel has hit weapons sites before, in a bid to prevent arms being transferred to Syria's Lebanese ally Hezbollah. Arms convoys in particular have been singled out by the Israeli air force." 

And the BBC followed this with:

Last month the BBC revealed a claim that Iran was building a permanent military base near the town. A series of satellite images showed construction at the location of the alleged base, which was made known to the BBC by a western intelligence source.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously warned that Israel would not allow Iran to establish any military presence in Syria.

So it appears the BBC is playing war propagandist for Israel, instead of including any level of critical inquiry regarding Israel's unprovoked act of aggression against its neighbor. In short, the BBC spread what it acknowledged to be a mere "claim" based solely on an unnamed "Western intelligence source". Then Israel used that claim to attack Syria, after which the BBC in circular fashion justified the attack based on its own original dubious "claim".

Israeli media and politicians are currently using BBC published satellite images as "proof" that Israel attacked an "Iranian base" in Syria last night. Image source: BBC

Meanwhile, just about every major Israeli newspaper in today's reporting is prominently featuring the prior BBC report as justification for the latest attack on Syria. The Times of Israel provides one such example among many when it says:

The alleged Israeli attack came three weeks after the BBC reported that Iran was building a permanent military base in Syria just south of Damascus. The British broadcaster commissioned a series of satellite pictures that showed widespread construction at the site.

Or see this op-ed in the Jerusalem Post today which references the BBC report as a watershed moment:

The attack raises several questions. Why wait so long to strike the Iranian base? What did “western intelligence sources” hope to accomplish by publishing information on the Iranian base? Why were the Iranians at the site given time to leave by their base becoming so public? The month’s activity appear to be part of a complex game being waged by Iran to entrench itself in Syria and Israel’s attempts to warn the Iranians off. Whatever was taking place at El-Kiswah had plenty of time to be wrapped up and moved if the Iranians were concerned about it being struck. If the reports about Israel’s threats to target sites between 40-60km from the Golan are accurate then it would indicate that the warnings have been manifested.

And nearly every major Israeli media source is also republishing the BBC satellite images as part of their reporting on the overnight strikes.

As we've long pointed out, anytime that Israel carries out acts of aggression against Syria, it can just blame Iran or Hezbollah and escape international criticism or condemnation. International media and Western governments have already demonstrated a penchant for towing the Israeli line whenever Iran can be conceivably blamed as a culprit - evidence or no evidence - this as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it official Israeli policy to oppose Iranian presence in Syria. 

Yet what key facts do the BBC and others leave out?

On Tuesday Israel's own Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that there are no Iranian military forces in Syria, but instead merely stuck to acknowledging "Iranian experts and advisers". In comments to Israel's Ynet news, Lieberman admitted, "It is true that there are a number of Iranian experts and advisers, but there is no Iranian military force on Syrian land."

Clearly, Defense Minister Lieberman's statement flies in the face of claims made by Netanyahu in his speech before the UN General Assembly this year when Netanyahu said, "We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria... And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border."

In other words, Israel's top military chief very publicly contradicted both Netanyahu's and the BBC's claims of Iranian military bases on Syrian soil, yet the BBC neglected to mention such essential information. Thus, it appears that the mainstream media is preparing us for war... but sadly, this is nothing new.

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chunga's picture

Firing from Lebanon's airspace into Syria is very sleazy.

Juggernaut x2's picture

You can bet Orange Jewlius won't be Tweeting about this

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

That's totally unrealistic. You know full well the enormous power - left and right - possessed by those allied with such a nation.

Juggernaut x2's picture

You will know a man by his actions- not his words- and no response to this speaks volumes about Trump

Scar Bro's picture

Guys, this is mandatory reading:

I will post again and again. Apologies in advance.

As per Trump, I think it's time to accept realities.

Anybody's picture

Judging by the downvotes, you hit the nail on the head.


Thanks for the link.

pods's picture

Don't come crying when you get shoved into an oven for real. 

Fucking kikes. 


bobcatz's picture

In the MidEast Israhell is the freakin Problem.

Déjà view's picture

Israel knows...

"I don't know much about Hitler. Except that last thing, about the Jews. There has never been a country that put its heel down on the Jews that ever lived afterwards."

— Huey Long (Williams p. 761)

U.S. Senator Long...assassinated †1935 State Capitol building Baton Rouge by Dr. Carl Weiss

Pinto Currency's picture

Israel desperately needs to drag the US into a war with Iran.

IH8OBAMA's picture

Kick those fucking Iranians all the way back to Tehran!



HowdyDoody's picture

On December 1, the UN condemned Israel's occupation of the Syrian Golan and demanded it withdraw. This attack is more likely intended to be a big 'suck on this' from Israel to Syria and the UN.

On the positive side, it looks like the Russians have trained the Syrians to use the recently delivered Buk and Pantsir S1/S2 air defense systems as 3 out 5 of Israel's missiles were shot down.

Blankone's picture

The stories of shooting down incoming missiles look to be just more fake news to save face. I noted that even Syria only claims they hit two incoming missiles.

Syria also claims they fired their missiles against the incoming jets, with no success.

Putin/Russia has agreed to supply the S400 systems to Saudi Arabia and Turkey - both of which are enemies of Syria. BUT, Putin/Russia has refused to supply the S300/S400 to Syria.

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

Iran military base in Syria = authorized by Syria = LEGAL

It's as simple as that.

On the other side of Syria...

US military bases in Syria = NOT authorized by Syria = ILLEGAL

ShakenNotStirred's picture

If you use your *legal* house to accumulate ammo and shoot your neighbor, it's perfectly *legal* for the neighbor to burn your house and hunt you down. It's called "self-defense". You may have all the problems you want, but Israel don't give a fuck.

If your purpose is to attack your neighbor, the *legality* of your house is meaningless.

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

So you're basically saying that if I don't like you because your mere presence next door to me makes me 'feel' threatened, I can just shoot you dead in cold blood and simply claim self defense?

Does this mean that all libtards now have justification to shoot any Trump supporter they come across because they 'believe' all Trump supporters to be racist and dangerous?

ShakenNotStirred's picture

In which planet are you living? Since 1979 Iran is responsible for terrorist attacks agains civilians across the globe.

They made their bed and Israel will not wait for the bullet to act, unlike the dumb west. You have difficulty to get this simple idea?

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

Please oh please tell us which terrorist attacks Iran is responsible for (across the globe!) since 1979. Inquiring minds want to know.

ShakenNotStirred's picture

Hezbollah, politically, logistically, strategically and financially supported by Iran:

There are many more, google it.

Of course Iran "never attacked anyone". The mullahs are too cowards to do the dirty job by themselves, it's much better to send someone else for that.

East Indian's picture

Did Iran attack Israel from its "base"? 

Or has the existence of the base has been proved without doubt?

And even if there are Iranian bases in Syria, they could be as illegal as the American bases there. Was there a clear and explicit permission from Syria to Iran to erect these bases, assuming they are indeed there?

America has invaded Syria and erected unauthorised bases. If America hits Iran from those bases, whom should Iran attack in retaliation - America or Syria?

ShakenNotStirred's picture

Why you think Iran want to get near Israel borders? To sell lemonade? Fortunately Israel can monitor the brand of the underwear of these mullahs with hi-tech satellites and act preemptively. Syria is a terrorist entity like Iran gov. so permissions are irrelevant.

A terrorist giving permission to another terrorist. Gimme a break.

AllBentOutOfShape's picture

Looks like we got a little wahhabi kike-sucking bitch on our hands here.

ShakenNotStirred's picture

Looks like we got a terrorist and charlatan here.

Given Iran is so innocent, I am waiting for your own sources.

BOPOH's picture

Young Henry Kissinger was a protege of Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht.

Young Jared Corey Kushner is a protege of Henry Alfred Kissinger.

What a small world!

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

What they won't tell you is that Zerghedge *IS* one of them. Consider the fact that they blame - get this - the BBC for the attack!!!!! It couldn't possibly be the fault of those who ordered the military action...

chunga's picture

The way I read it is that Israel is using BBC's hasbara reporting as an excuse.

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

The encapsulated text, the underlying assumption, the truth presented is: "[...] A Dubious BBC Report Gave Israel The 'Green Light[.]'" It didn't. The real story is not the BBC at all. The real story is the actions of the actual elements in command, and those who influence them (the international billionaire).

Scar Bro's picture

The BBC is an intelligence agency working for the zionists. The only country in the world with it's balls on the railway track with the approching train, is Iran. That is why you can trust pretty much everything they say and anyone allied with them.

Radical Marijuana's picture

"... it appears the BBC is playing war propagandist for Israel, instead of including any level of critical inquiry regarding Israel's unprovoked act of aggression against its neighbor."

Ever since the BBC reported on the collapse of World Trade Building 7 about 20 minutes before it happened, on September 11, 2001, it has been painfully obvious that the BBC had been captured by Zionists. Of course, one could argue that the decisive events in the history of Zionists capturing control over the Anglo-American Empire where when the international bankers captured control over the Bank of England, and later, made the US Federal Reserve Board.

After the international bankers capture control over issuing the public "money" supplies as debts, whereby those frauds are enforced by governments, it is only a matter of time until every other sociopolitical institution has its control also captured by its funding. The vicious feedback spirals of the funding of all aspects of the political processes have one of their relatively tiny manifestations in the ways that the BBC serves as propagandist.

Since it has become politically impossible to stop the vicious feedback spirals of the combined money/murder systems from becoming worse, faster, "we" are headed toward these kinds of criminally insane consequences, such as Paul Craig Roberts' "Can't You See War On The Horizon?"

One may well, as an individual, learn about the degree to which civilization is dominated by Huge Lies, which are maximizing maliciousness, HOWEVER, one still has no practically possible ways to either effectively prevent, nor fully prepare, for the degree to which those developments are unfolding their tragic trajectory at about an exponentially accelerating rate, since everything is operating through fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems, especially including, of course, various mainstream mass media, such as the BBC.

There is nothing but the dynamic equilibria between different systems of more or less organized lies operating robberies. Furthermore, those are becoming more unbalanced every day, because of the degree to which the combined money/murder systems have been able to dominate every other sociopolitical institution, in ways which have resulted in the ruling classes becoming increasingly psychotic psychopaths, while those they ruled over have become increasingly impotent political idiots.

In my view, reading Zero Hedge is like having a front row seat, like riding on the cowcatcher of an accelerating train headed towards being wrecked. Moreover, it is usually the most up-voted comments under various articles which especially emphasize the degree to which that is so ...

chunga's picture

I hear a lot of the people who still believe the 9/11 story say too many people would have to be involved that would have to stay quiet.

The same thing is going on now with the murdered DNC staffer. It's not the same scale as 9/11 but the silence is. 

Hudis Muffakah's picture

I hear that a lot too but it's not entirely true. People don't have to keep quiet and often don't. The effectiveness of establishment forces at marginalizing and otherwise silencing those that do speak out is something that has to be overcome. We are making inroads here. Let's keep the heat on these assholes, we may never win, but it's the right side if the fight to be on.

BOPOH's picture

Zion Hedge is one among many Mossad patronats.

Now you know.

chunga's picture

Naw, I doubt it, they were aiming. Sleazy for using the Lebanese as human shields.

HowdyDoody's picture

Recently delivered Buk and Pantsir S1/S2 systems took out 3 of the 5 missiles. The other two hit open fields.

ShakenNotStirred's picture

Given that Lebanon is full of Hezborats, there is no loss, only gain. To liquidate two enemies with one missile is only smart. There would be no better show that Syrian rockets raining on the Hezborats. My popcorn is ready.

PrivetHedge's picture

Is this the same Hezbollah military who kicked Israel out in 2006 and since has grown vastly stronger?

They have beaten not just you but the American special forces in Syria, what chance does Israel have against them - all the IDF can do is cowardly missile strikes and kill women and children in Gaza.

You really have No Idea how pathetic you sound trying to claim you are battle capable, seriously pathetic.

ShakenNotStirred's picture

In the next war, you will see yourself what chances Israel has. Stay tuned.

ShakenNotStirred's picture

It's called "clever".

Israel has enough military tricks to guarantee the Arab defeat every time.

chunga's picture

Yeah that's a real clever trick. These clever tricky people or yours are going to be the cause of WWIII and I doubt using Lebanon as a human shield will deter the Russians from wiping it off the face of the earth if they go too far.

PrivetHedge's picture

Don't worry, Russian missile technology is _very_ accurate.

roadhazard's picture

Israel has said, "no Iranian bases in Syria."  So Iran thinks if they put a base on an existing Syrian base no problem. To top it off it was also a huge ammo dump... BOOM !

Tallest Skil's picture

We will only feel better when every one of your genetic markers is wiped from this planet.

CzarVladimirI's picture

Go suck a fat dog's dick asswipe.