Trigger Warning: Descriptions of violence

A disturbing video in which men in uniforms can be seen dumping blindfolded people into a pit and then shooting them is circulating viral on social media as visuals from Turkey. It is claimed that the civilians are contractors who are under government scrutiny over allegations of creating sub-par structures which likely led to the loss of thousands of lives in the recent earthquakes.

On WhatsApp, this clip is shared with multiple captions. One such text reads, “Turkish soldiers shooting contractors whose shoddy work killed thousands of innocent people. They were paid for Seismic Dampers to absorb earthquakes but they buried car tyres under the foundations of huge High Rise buildings.”

Alt News has received multiple requests on its WhatsApp helpline (+91 7600011160) to verify this clip.

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This clip is also circulating on Twitter and Facebook. Below we have provided some stills from the viral clip for visual identification for the readers.

Twitter user Dilip Kumar Singh shared the video with a caption in Hindi that says, “Turkish soldiers shot building contractors whose shoddy work killed thousands of innocent people. They paid for seismic dampers to absorb earthquakes but they used car tires under the foundations of tall buildings. Is this possible in India?

Fact Check

Alt News performed a keyword search on Google and came across an article by News Line Magazine published in April 2022. This article featured an image of a soldier that matches one of the soldiers seen in the viral clip. The report says that the clip is from Syria where military personnel committed a massacre of hundreds of civilians in 2013.

The article provides a details of the investigation into the identity of the soldiers seen in the viral clip. It says that the video is from the neighbourhoods of Tadamon, a suburb in Syria. The two soldiers identified are “Amjad Youssef, 36, who at the time of the massacre held the military rank of warrant officer, and the now-slain Najib al-Halabi, born in 1984, who held no official rank as he was serving in the armed militia known as the National Defense Forces (NDF)”.

A report was also published by The Guardian in April 2022 with the same details. The video was first leaked by a source to an activist in France, and then to the researchers, Annsar Shahhoud and Prof Uğur Ümit Üngör, from the University of Amsterdam’s Holocaust and Genocide Center.

Researcher Annsar took the alias Anna Sh and spoke with Syrian military personnel through Facebook for over two years which led to the findings and a confession from Amjad, the soldier in the fishing hat.

A video report of the same was uploaded by The Guardian on its website.

To sum it up, a video of soldiers killing civilians in Syria in 2013 was falsely shared as visuals from Turkey where the government is executing contractors for faulty constructions that likely led to the loss of thousands of lives in the recent devastating earthquakes.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc