On Sunday, during the broadcast of World News Tonight, ABC anchor Tom Llamas and foreign correspondent Ian Panell claimed ABC News had obtained video of what “appears to show the fury of the Turkish attack on the border town of Tal Abyad” on October 11.
According to Gizmodo, the video’s authenticity was first questioned by “right-wing Twitter users”, who revealed that the ABC broadcast on “Syria” was in fact YouTube clips of a Kentucky military gun demonstration.
The explosions resemble a video titled, “Knob Creek night shoot 2017.” Knob Creek Gun Range is in the town of West Point, Kentucky. It hosts a biannual event called the “Military Gun Shoot & Military Gun Show” where weapons are fired at night and the public are invited to see the spectacle for a fee in April and October.
President Donald Trump denounced the network’s fake footage on Twitter. “A big scandal at @ABC News. They got caught using really gruesome FAKE footage of the Turks bombing in Syria. A real disgrace.”
Turkey has been pushing into Syria, advancing against Kurdish forces. Turkish supported militias reached the strategic M4 highway in northeast Syria and captured and killed several Kurdish troops and civilians. The highway is a major logistical lifeline for the US troops stationed in the western part.
The Washington Post reported that an “anonymous” senior administration official said it was “total chaos” in Syria. The left-wing rag also noted that the militias, known as the Free Syrian Army, were “crazy and not reliable”. This happens to be the very same army which had counted on US-donated weapons to fight the legitimate Syrian government.
The Pentagon is clearly not eager to start a war with its NATO partner Turkey and on Saturday President Trump ordered US troops to leave northeast Syria within 30 days. Syrian troops have meanwhile been advancing to prevent further encroachment by Turkish forces as well as the loss of their oil fields east of Deir Ezzor.
The network has admitted its false reporting and tweeted on Monday: “We’ve taken down video that aired on World News Tonight Sunday and Good Morning America this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy.”