“The British media has been caught yet again with its pants down in the effort to sell a NATO-led attack on Syria, with the revelation that BBC News used a years-old photo of dead Iraqi children to depict victims of an alleged government assault on the town of Houla.
In a report issued hours after the massacre, the BBC used a photo that was first published over nine years ago and taken in Al Mussayyib, Iraq. The image shows a child skipping over the dead bodies of hundreds of Iraqi children who have been transported from a mass grave to be identified.
The caption used by the BBC to describe the image stated that the picture was provided by an activist and “believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial”. After the “mistake” was exposed, the BBC changed their original article but did not issue a retraction.
The photographer who took the original picture, Marco Di Lauro, posted on his Facebook page, “Somebody is using my images as a propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre.” Di Lauro told the London Telegraph he was “astonished” the BBC had failed to check to authenticity of the image.
“What I am really astonished by is that a news organization like the BBC doesn’t check the sources and it’s willing to publish any picture sent it by anyone: activist, citizen journalist or whatever. That’s all,” said Di Lauro.
Information surrounding the massacre at Houla clearly suggests that the murders were carried out by death squads and not shelling by government tanks. Video footage of the child victims (warning – graphic) appears to show gunshot wounds to the face and stab wounds. None of the victims appear to have lost any limbs.
As RT reports, “Many of the victims were executed at point blank-range,” a fact inconsistent with the explanation that tank shelling was responsible for the bloodshed. It’s equally as likely that terrorist death squads, responsible for numerous deadly bombings in Syria that have killed scores of people, were responsible for the massacre”.