Operation Peace Spring, Fact Check

YPG/PKK accounts use fake chemical weapon attack photos

Pro-terrorist accounts share fake photos to blame Turkey for using chemical weapons in northern Syria

Enes Canli   | 17.10.2019
YPG/PKK accounts use fake chemical weapon attack photos

ANKARA

YPG/PKK supporters have stepped up social media smear campaigns against Turkey's ongoing anti-terror operation in northern Syria by posting fake photographs, videos and information to blame Turkey for using chemical weapons. 

The YPG/PKK social media accounts publish photos -- taken at different places and times -- of the internationally prohibited bombs such as chemical and phosphorus bombs to blame Turkey, saying the bombs were used in northern Syria by the Turkish military.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG.

On Thursday, Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkish military does not have any chemical weapons in its inventory, and added: "Everybody knows this fact."

He also warned that terrorist organization was preparing to use chemical weapons and to put the blame on the Turkish military.

One of those accounts shared a doctor's examination of a patient, by saying the Turkish military used a chemical weapon. In fact, the photo was taken in April 2017 after the Assad regime's chemical bombardment.

Another manipulative account shared two fake photos claiming they were taken in the operation area. One of them was taken in March 2018 during the bombardment of Assad regime in the Eastern Ghouta, Syria. The other photo was taken in January 2009 during Israel's phosphorus bombardment in Gaza, Palestine.

Some pro-terrorist accounts used some hashtags on social media and tried to manipulate people by sharing photos of explosions. In fact, those photos were taken in Aleppo, Syria in June 2016.

A manipulator account uploaded a photo on social media that shows wounded people suffering due to chemical and phosphorus bomb attacks. However, the photograph of a child with head burns was taken at a U.S. base in Afghanistan in 2009.

Similarly, a photograph of a man being treated after suffering injuries by a phosphorus bomb appeared to be due to one of the Israeli attacks against Gaza in January 2009.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

* Writing by Fahri Aksut, Davut Demircan, and Sena Guler

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