Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 13, 2019

How The BBC's Quentin Sommerville Created Fairytales Of Underground Hospitals In Syria

In August 2013 the BBC produced a fake video headlined "Saving Syria’s Children" about an alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria which it claimed was caused by the Syrian government. Robert Stuart has since pressed the BBC to admit the obvious fabrication of these scenes.

Today the BBC posted on its website another Syria clip under the title Idlib's secret hospitals hiding from air strikes:

Air strikes have been targeting hospitals in the rebel-held province of Idlib, Syria, despite the fact that it is a war crime. Medics have been forced underground in order to survive.

The UN accuses the Syrian government and allied Russian warplanes of conducting a deadly campaign that appears to target medical facilities.

BBC's Middle East correspondent, Quentin Sommerville, visits one hospital in a secret location.

Sommerville starts with standing next to a destroyed building claiming that it has been a hospital that was bombed. He says: "This is the only building that was targeted here."


It isn't the "only building that was targeted" there. It is the only building that was there. The building is standing within an orchard. There are no other buildings or infrastructure around it. Why would anyone have built a hospital far from a town? There are no signs that building ever was a hospital and is doubtful that it was one.

The next shot has been shown in other TV clips (on Channel 4?). It shows the entrances to some caves but no car, no persons and nothing else is around it.


Suddenly six explosions happen at the very same time.


Immediately after the explosions, but not before them, the sound of a passing jet is heard.

I have never heard or seen of a jet that manages to release six bombs that land in such a tight pattern and explode all at the very same time. Compare the impact pattern and explosion timing with this recent U.S. carpet bombing (vid) of an island in Iraq. And why please was the camera in place that made such a tight shot of it?

This was clearly a stunt made with some buried explosives that were centrally ignited at the same time. The jet noise was later added to the shot.

In the next scene two people walk down a concrete stairway within a regular building.


The scene cuts to one filmed at the entrance of roughly dug cave while the reporter insinuates that both are the same.


The reporter claims that the cave is a hospital.


He walks further down the stairs into the cave ...


... and ends up in a well built building with straight painted walls and a nice balustrade. This might be a hospital but there is no sign that it is one. What is certain is that it is not underground or in a cave.



The whole claim of the BBC clip is that the hospitals are underground because they get bombed. But the part that is supposed to prove that is clearly cut from a real building scene to a walk down into a cave scene and back to a real building scene. The sequence is clearly a propaganda fake.

The clip continues with Sommerville talking to some 'doctor' who answers in Arabic.


Then follow scenes from the Atmah Charity Hospital which is a real hospital. It lies north of Idleb city and right next to the Turkish border near the Olive Tree refugee camp near the town of Atmah. It is sponsored by Orient Charity, established by the Syrian anti-Assad businessman Ghassan Aboud who lives in the UAE, and is operated by the Muslim Brotherhood aligned Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). Ghassan Aboud also owns Orient News which is a Jihadist outlet. There follow the typical pictures of injured children which are used to create more hate against the Syrian government and the millions of children it protects from the U.S. sponsored Jihadists attacks.


On his Twitter account Quentin Sommerville posted another version of his Idleb tale. It is longer and the cut differs significantly from the clip on the BBC website.


Some scenes are similar. The 'bombed hospital' is there. The fake 'bombing' of the caves is also in it. The interview scene with the Arabic speaking doctor in the 'underground hospital' is missing in this version but the same person reappears.

Sommerville speaks with the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria about the coordination system for hospitals. The hospitals are supposed to tell the UN there geographic coordinates which the UN then hands to Russia with the request not to bomb those places. The UN's Pomos Moumtzis defends the system. Sommerville claims that 40 such hospitals have been bombed in recent months. Syria's Idleb governorate never had that many hospitals.

What is happening here is that the Jihadis, with whom Sommerville traveled and who he rightly says are seen as terrorist even by the 'west', report the coordinates of their headquarters and weapon depots as hospitals. The UN has no way to check their claims. When the Russian or Syrian airforce then bomb those places the Jihadis claim that their hospitals were hit.

There are more false sequences in the longer clip Sommerville tweeted.

At 4:27 the cameraman rides on the back of a motorcycle through a covered alley or basement into a 'hospital entrance'. More than a dozen motorcycles are parked there and there is professional ventilation.


It is the very same 'underground hospital' and the same Arabic speaking 'doctor' as in the first clip. Notice that the 'doctor' rode his motorcycle through town while wearing his supposedly clean clinic clothes.


Sommerville narrates: "This hospital is very deep out of reach of the bombs. We were told to move fast too."

The above scene cuts to two men running down a basement stairway seemingly from the hospital. It is the same stairway as in the first clip but filmed from a slightly different perspective and in a different take.


Summerville continues: "Even under this solid rock we await the next attack." The scene cuts to two men running down an underground tunnel with rough walls.


It is the same tunnel as in the first clip.

The sequence as a whole makes no sense. If the hospital is 'out of reach of the bombs' why run further down from it?

In the first clip the storyline around the same 'underground hospital' is the opposite of the storyline in the second version. In the first clip the reporter walks first down the stairway and then down the rough tunnel to allegedly reach the 'underground hospital'. In the second longer clip the reporters leave from the 'underground hospital' down the stairway and further down into the rough cut tunnel to be more safe from bombs.

Which is the real sequence Mr. Sommerville? Is the hospital at the lower end of the rough wall tunnel or is it at the upper end? Could you please make up your mind?

At 5:00 min Sommerville says that he travels further south towards the frontline escorted by the Jihadist controlled 'Salvation government'. The scene cuts to a drone shot of a refugee camp insinuating that it is in the same southern area. But the camp is like all refugee camps in Idleb in the north directly at the Turkish border. The border wall which Turkey erected can be clearly seen behind it. The place is far from the frontline.


The two Sommerville videos show how the BBC works. First a politically wanted narrative is created. Scenes are then taken and cut into sequences that fit that narrative. The same or similar scenes can be used to create a different version of the same narrative or even a completely different one. Neither of those narratives needs to be anywhere near the realities on the ground.

Unfortunately many people fall for such cheap propaganda junk.

Posted by b on September 13, 2019 at 19:36 UTC | Permalink


Underground Idlib
Bit long..

Posted by: anna | Sep 13 2019 20:08 utc | 1


I recognize the quarry with tunnel entrances plus the bombing. I believe it may have been in one of the Russian DoD videos. A convoy of headchoppers drive into the tunnel shortly before a ground penetrating bomb goes in.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 20:17 utc | 2

Video showing the bombing. A puff of dust where the bomb strikes the ground, followed by a flash at the right hand tunnel entrance and then the whole area erupts.

Will try and find the full video showing the headchoppers going into the tunnel.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 20:27 utc | 3

It seems that in its zeal to keep staffing costs down amid public calls to revoke the compulsory annual BBC licence fee payment required of all UK subjects who own TV sets, and to maintain its relevance, the BBC has told its crime and thriller drama script-writers to write the news plot narratives and gets gullible twats like Somerville to act them out with extras drawn from the Syrian White Helmets Academy of Dramatic Arts. Pyrotechnic effects underwritten by Saudi Arabia and ultimately by British taxpayers who should be asking for their money back: they should not be paying the BBC twice to produce such shoddy garbage.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 13 2019 20:32 utc | 4

On yesterday's longer BBC piece not available to an international audience:

Ollie Richardson @O_Rich_

Thread on the @BBC
's latest (12.09.19) edition of propaganda designed to mask the UK's role in arming and financing Al Qaeda in Syria. A BBC broadcast was imposed on me, but I recorded this segment anticipating that a pack of lies was coming. Here is part 1/3 of the skit: ...

Posted by: b | Sep 13 2019 20:48 utc | 5

Sommerville claims that 40 such hospitals have been bombed in recent months. Syria's Idleb governorate never had that many hospitals.

But... But... You forgot a map of hospitals in Idleb. :D

Posted by: alaff | Sep 13 2019 20:49 utc | 6

The disinformation is endless with regards to the Syrian war. Especially from the anti-Assad camp. We all know who are the most prolific bombers of hospitals and civilian infrastructure, and those are the empire and their minions.

Posted by: ben | Sep 13 2019 21:19 utc | 7

Every terrorist hideout is a hospital so please don't let those mean Russians and Syrian army men hurt them.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Sep 13 2019 21:27 utc | 8

Why continue propaganda ops after US claimed to kill the Idlib Jihadi leadership in an airstrike?

LOL. High probability that the airstrike was also propaganda so that they can claim that it's the people of Idlib that are resisting SAA+Russians now, not Jihadis.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 13 2019 21:29 utc | 9

The cameraman for this fabrication was Darren Conway. He is the same person responsible for the BBC Panorama faux-documentary "Saving Syria's Children" that was broadcast on 30th September, 2013 and which has been exposed as a fake by the tireless work of Robert Stuart.

Posted by: Cochore | Sep 13 2019 21:53 utc | 10

How do these people live with themselves? Get up every morning and spew lies. Take the kids to school and feed the dog. Not knowing the ramification of their actions and the lives that their actions cost. I guess that's the life you lead when everything is attached to the value of money. So much illness in this world.

Posted by: so | Sep 13 2019 22:10 utc | 11

BBC is in hot contest for der Spiegel's Claas Relotius prize:

Keep it up boys!

Posted by: Choderlos de Laclos | Sep 13 2019 22:24 utc | 12

As noted above, this is basically the 2013 BBC Panorama Saving Syria's Children (SSC) team, with Sommerville substituting for Ian Pannell, who left the BBC in 2017 and now works with ABC, plus SSC cameraman Darren Conway (OBE) and SSC "fixer/translator" Mughira Al Sharif, who is credited with "camera" in the first Sommerville clip (in addition to Conway?), and about whom more here:

The SSC crew used then-ISIS partners Ahrar al-Sham for security in 2013 and filmed a vehicle bearing the ISIS flag at comfortably close quarters:

Posted by: Robert Stuart | Sep 13 2019 22:38 utc | 13

so @11:
Their actions may not always be driven by money but by an ideology.   Getting wealthy in the process would be a bonus.

Posted by: Ian | Sep 13 2019 22:40 utc | 14

Cannot find the full video showing drone footage prior to the strike.
Running a picture search, I see it is first used as a propaganda piece in May 2019. The video I remember is from a few years back.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 13 2019 22:54 utc | 15

No doubt each and every one of those 40 hospitals was "the last hospital standing in Idlib".

Posted by: 0use4msm | Sep 13 2019 23:11 utc | 16

I think the best and most civil way to solve this issue is to send Bashar Al Assad to the international criminal court. There, he can prove to the entire world that he was not behind any chemical attacks or any major airstrikes that inflicted civilian casualties.

Posted by: Arod | Sep 13 2019 23:17 utc | 17

Maybe they can send him to the same court as Julian Assange where you know he'll get a fair shake.

Posted by: Gerard | Sep 13 2019 23:30 utc | 18

@ Arod 18.. As a preamble to that action should be the requirement to have Bush Blair and Madeline Albright (deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was price worth paying) stand trial first for their actions just to establish it's credentials of impartiality, and we can throw Kissinger for good measure. You can be their representative if you would like...

Posted by: Maximus | Sep 13 2019 23:32 utc | 19

"We don't have anesthesia, but we have music!" National Geographic has debuted an official trailer for the documentary titled The Cave, the latest film from Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad who last made the Oscar-nominated doc Last Men in Aleppo. This is premiering at the Toronto Film Festival coming up soon, and will be released in theaters sometime later in the fall. Not to be confused with the horror film The Cave, or the Thai rescue film also called The Cave. Fayyad's new documentary titled The Cave tells the story of a hidden underground hospital in Syria and the unprecedented female-led team who risk their lives to provide medical care to the besieged local population. This looks as compelling and as heartbreaking, and also as inspiring, as Fayyad's Last Men in Aleppo, another important story from Syria being shared with the world.

Here's the first official trailer for Feras Fayyad's documentary The Cave, direct from NatGeo's YouTube:

Posted by: Arod | Sep 13 2019 23:45 utc | 20

Someone just commented using my former username (Arod), listen I am not a troll but someome just used my username typed a comment about a documentary. I did not write that comment! I wrote the comment at #18 but I did not write the comment @21 which was about some random documentary.

Posted by: Aziz | Sep 13 2019 23:51 utc | 21

British surgeon who helped carry out operations in Aleppo fears that the hacking of his computer led to a hospital being bombed by suspected Russian warplanes.

In a world first, renowned consultant David Nott gave remote instructions via Skype and WhatsApp which allowed doctors to carry out surgery in an underground hospital.

But, after footage was broadcast by the BBC, Mr Nott believes his computer was targeted, allowing hackers to gain the coordinates of the M10 hospital.

Weeks later a "bunker buster" bomb destroyed the M10 when warplanes, believed to be Russian, delivered a direct hit to the operating theatre, killing two patients and permanently closing the hospital.

Mr Nott believes that the timing of the attack and the precise nature of the target could only have been gleaned from the coordinates on his computer.

Posted by: Arod | Sep 13 2019 23:52 utc | 22

Something must be wrong with me, because my first thought was, "If they're secret, how can anyone be targeting them? That's like saying they're aiming at the invisible man."

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 13 2019 23:55 utc | 23

@19 no I dont think we should send julian assange to icc, he is a hero not a war criminal.
@20 I agree we should send all war crimianlas to ICC but I would never represent these people.

Posted by: Aziz | Sep 13 2019 23:57 utc | 24

So, Arod @18, Syria's President has to prove his innocence? What kind of "justice" works that way?

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 14 2019 0:00 utc | 25

I just watched this on BBC yesterday and couldn't believe how overt the propaganda was complete with small children looking at the camera longingly.

Gotta be a special place for those who would use these poor children's suffering to further their BS narrative.

I'm happy that the piece has now been efficiently fact-checked and revealed for what it is: journalistic malpractice.

Posted by: nick | Sep 14 2019 0:09 utc | 26

Syria's President has to prove his innocence? What kind of "justice" works that way?
We have a winner

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 14 2019 0:10 utc | 27


Not every person can distinguish an imaginary criminal from the real one. Gaziz seems to be one of them. One has to be condescending to such.

Posted by: court clerk | Sep 14 2019 0:11 utc | 28

Outstanding work, b! This is exactly what's being advocated by Caitlin Johnstone, advocated by many of us barflies, and consistently practiced by you--Destroying the Empire's BigLie Media Narratives. ICYMI, here's her essay on that topic. The following is from a thread about a topic related to American Exceptionalism that as noted is seldom discussed American Privilege:

"American privilege is having your insane culture normalized around the world via Hollywood and other media so that nobody stops and wonders why we're letting this bat shit crazy nation rule our planet, and so no one makes you feel bad about your American privilege."

And before American Privilege there was the British version: The White Man's Burden. We get a taste of what the modern version of British Privilege would be from BBC propaganda. Both intended to globally project their Cultural Imperialism in both an offensive and defensive capacity with the Outlaw US Empire's efforts being the most successful. As shown by the BRICS efforts I posted and linked to, there's an increasing effort to promote a countervailing system of humanist values, which is a component in combating the Hybrid Third World War in which we're all involved.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 14 2019 0:22 utc | 29

thanks b... great breakdown on the bbc bullshite... why is the usa-uk-israel-ksa clan paying so many millions for this cheap shit?? you would think with all their connections they could fabricate better bullshit... you link @5 is embarrassing for them.. i guess they figure only dim twats swallow the pablum bbc offers.. thanks for your work...

Posted by: james | Sep 14 2019 1:17 utc | 30

Here’s how it works:

You beg the “rebels” to grant you access and then you are escorted around shown that which they want you to see, and then they give you video clips to use and you do the story on their terms. Kind of like the days of Like North Korea where reporters are escorted by a minder and kept on a short leash. It will n North Korea, reporters push the envelope and report only on the oppressiveness of the regime, and never tell their audience things like there is fairly good education, healthcare, and their manufacturing base is sophisticated enough to make their own smart phones. In Syria, reporters never vary from the script the hosts present them. It’s not only because they won’t be invited back, it’s because they will be murdered. Remember the early stages of the war? Remember how many journalists were being killed? What were those journalists reporting? Why the truth of course.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 14 2019 1:51 utc | 31

Someone mentioned the White Helmets. Here's a picture of a White Helmet leader hanging out with "Hong Kong protest figurehead Joshua Wong" and a Ukrainian mayor at a shindig in Berlin. No doubt it was organized and paid for by Uncle Sam and his trillion-dollar-per-year deficit.

I wonder if Hong Kong protesters know that Wong is partying in safety and comfort while they are risking their lives by attacking police and getting beat up.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Sep 14 2019 2:18 utc | 32

Don't these propaganda clowns know they the more desperate they are at creating false narratives, the more they are losing credibility? Everyone outside the western circle of sheeple are more wary than ever about the CIA's fingers on just about everything.

Posted by: JW | Sep 14 2019 2:23 utc | 33

Thanks for continuing to write truth to power b

The mighty propaganda machine of the West continues to crank out fake news for the Plato's Cave displays of the brainwashed and addicted. Ongoing control and projection of the narrative is necessary to keep the weak holding on for dear life to the Merry-Go-Round of the Western "culture".

Blessings to those that keep trying to throw spanners in the works to make the insanity stop.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 14 2019 2:31 utc | 34

Ahhh Arod # 23, the place is crawling with SAA spies they even post video online. The place is crawling with vicious contending killers who like nothing better than getting the USA and its 5eyes lackeys or Russian or Syrian Air Force to eradicate their nuisance competition. See Afghanistan experience or even Iraq. PROOF is needed not the puerile imaginings of outsiders otherwise we will all end up with ZERO credibility like the OPCW.

This claim by the doctor is ridiculous but let him have his moment of self flagellation and grief.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 14 2019 2:54 utc | 35

Thanks for your recall Peter AU 1 # 3, I also recall that image of at least 24 months ago. Note bunker buster bombs would be visible as they enter the frame. There is NO incoming here, it is all placed demolition. I can't translate the Russian commentary but it would seem to me that demolitions such as this would be routine by SAA and Russian military personnel after they have cleared jihadis except for those sites that may serve as future military bases. I am thinking this may be from the Daraa battles in the South of Syria bordering Jordan.

Thank you b for being hot on the trail of the BBC BS brigade. The sooner the license fee is abolished and the BBC shut down, the better.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 14 2019 3:16 utc | 36

In the old days, in London, when I wanted to check current affairs from different angles, I turned to the Guardian, Channel 4 News, and the BBC. People may remember, for example, the fearful row about the BBC’s reporting of the Falklands War - because it was trying to be even-handed it was accused by Thatcher’s government of helping the Argentinians.

Anyone interested in these things knows that each of those news outlets has - over the last couple of years - been nobbled by the enemy. I don’t even know what to call the enemy - NATO? The Neo-Cons? What is shocking is the ruthless, no-expense-spared, fury with which the enemy spreads its lies. They take this propaganda war very seriously indeed.

It is a slight consolation that the BBC is spending its capital - its reputation in the world for fairness and objectivity - at a tremendous rate., if it is fairness and objectivity in current affairs you are looking for, nowadays you don’t the BBC.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 14 2019 5:33 utc | 37

uncle tungsten

I recall the original video as being from Idlib. Possibly the the earlier version, although the tunnel setting and explosion are very similar, are of different tunnels. The earlier one I recall was drone footage whereas this one is taken from the ground.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 14 2019 5:50 utc | 38

As noted above, this is basically the 2013 BBC Panorama Saving Syria's Children (SSC) team, with Sommerville substituting for Ian Pannell, who left the BBC in 2017 and now works with ABC, plus SSC cameraman Darren Conway (OBE) and SSC "fixer/translator" Mughira Al Sharif, who is credited with "camera" in the first Sommerville clip (in addition to Conway?
Posted by: Robert Stuart | Sep 13 2019 22:38 utc | 13

My appreciation for your dedicated work, Robert.

What are the possibilities of someone bringing a private prosecution against Quentin Sommerville and the BBC for sponsoring terrorism? That would be a very worthwhile campaign. Whether Sommerville is guilty of complicity in war crimes also needs to be investigated. By protecting headchoppers he is at the very minimum protecting war criminals.

Posted by: BM | Sep 14 2019 6:04 utc | 39

Underground Idlib

My first thought was who dug those tunnels and where are these people now. I mean, where are buried. I seriously doubt fighters would dug all that themselves nor they would set witnesses free. Yet reports about forced labor are scarce, which is not that surprising as a couple missing persons would go unnoticed in refugees rush.

As the reference research WW2 German Riese project tunnels, forced labor and killing of laborers when Red Amy approached.

Posted by: pppp | Sep 14 2019 6:29 utc | 40

As the video posted by Anna shows, the terrorists had offices and hospitals in caves. Why is a good question since Anna clearly shows that the Russians watch and only bomb places where terrorists store ammo and rockets. Also why the terrorists defenses crumble so fast. Obviously there is no carpet bombing because Russia dont have the planes for it. And for the bombing to be so effective, those must have been stores for equipment. Bombing 40 hospitals wont make the terrorists crumble. But 40 stores of supplies would.

The bigger question is, some of those caves have tiled walls and obviously took great effort. Its like the pyramids of Egypt but without the slave labor of the jews to build it.. Who pays for it??? A few I can understand but there are hundreds of such caves. Obviously a single bomb to the entrance would kill everyone inside no matter how big it is by sucking out all the air and the concussion. The Japanese learnt of this the hard way.. It also leaves the equipment intact for later use by the SAA.

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 14 2019 6:36 utc | 41

Has anybody seen a coherent explanation of the real situation on the ground at the Rukban regugee camp near Al Tanf? Especially one that gives a balanced view of the constraints the refugees are under, how UN aid is getting in, and what access the Russians are getting to the area?

This article states that some 17,000 refugees left in August with assistance from the Russian and Syrian governments, but some 25,000 remain:

"Back in August, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyanskiy said that over 17,000 civilians had already left the camp with the assistance of Moscow and Damascus.

The Syrian government and the Russian reconciliation centre have been assisting those wishing to leave the camp."

Given that the conditions are so bad, and the refugees are allegedly held against their will by jihadis, why would 25,000 still remain, if 17,000 were able to leave? Are they unable to make up their minds? Are they denied access to a part of the camp the Russians reached to help people get out? Are they actually jihadi families? There is something seriously missing from all the reports I have read.

Posted by: BM | Sep 14 2019 6:44 utc | 42

in response of how NK treats journalists, Eva Bartlett of Syria fame did a number of reports from NK and she said she had more freedom than in many western countries. As long as you dont show fake propaganda and show the NK'ians in favorable ie real light, they have no problems. They were not asked to take particular shots or taken to particular places but left to do everything themselves.

I remember cops pulling me over for taking pics of barns in south dakota.. Many such events.. I remember cops pulling me over so many times I can write a book on it. Once for having a white bag on the front seat.. For looking too young.. For looking like a car bugler because I was under the dash fixing speaker wires.. For having driving lights on before they had those on cars as standard.. For changing lanes to avoid police.. Free kountry my testicles..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 14 2019 6:45 utc | 43

I dunno how many have been following the issue of the 'brit-australian' trio who are in custody in Iran, but there are some oddities about these cases which suggest MI6/ASIS are moronic and barefaced enough to try and propagandise the inevitable result of their own hamfisted stupidity.

No one had heard of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Jolie King and Mark Firkin a week ago, then John Bolton copped the flick and suddenly australians & englanders are told that Iran has more than British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe slotted up, that two pom/oz types and a genuine Australian were also being held.

Jolie King and Mark Firkin had been arrested relatively recently and charged with espionage. They had been apprehended while flying a drone around a military establishment not far from Tehran.
They claim to be innocent civilians who had been flying their drone, taking vids with it and publishing them online in every country they drove through on the overland/sea jaunt from Darwin to London. Apparently both are University graduates who claim they didn't see the harm in doing what they were doing . . . yeah right, I guess it is possible to be that stupid but it is pretty unlikely. I'm old enough to remember that it wasn't that long ago when going into many of the nations between Oz and Iran with a ghetto blaster that would allow you to record and which had an AM or FM radio receiver would get you into the slammer quick smart.
Although the internet & associated cryptography has likely made such laws irrelevant, I cannot believe that a couple of months ago when the Grace II thing was kicking off any brit or australian could think flying drones around Iranian bases wouldn't get them into trouble. Would anyone care to imagine what would happen to someone on holiday from Iran who got spotted flying a drone around Fort Dietrick or similar? No matter how many posts they had made about doing the same in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama & Mexico. Wouldn't that appear as if it were just cover lest something did go wrong?

But that is nothing cos up until today we have been told that nothing is known about another woman who has been in prison for a year on 'unknown charges'.
According to today's graun we still don't know the charges, but we do know she is another pom/oz type, Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic who we are told:

"The University of Melbourne’s website lists Dr Moore-Gilbert on its “Find an expert” page as a lecturer at the university’s Asia Institute.

It says she “specialises in Middle Eastern politics, with a particular focus on the Arab Gulf states,” and that she had published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings, authoritarian governance, and on the role of new media technologies in political activism."

Well don't her specialties line up closely with another brit educated woman caught teaching local Iranians how to stir trouble online in Iran, one Zaghari-Ratcliffe convicted of espionage after now england PM, then secretary of foreign affairs B Johnson, slipped up and admited she had been training Iranians, in Iran.

This attempt to propagandise the arrests of spies may even succeed I suppose as most people just don't follow this stuff closely enough and the praised to the max western media is unlikely to disabuse them of their ignorance.

Posted by: A User | Sep 14 2019 6:59 utc | 44

For travel bloggers, very few pics of their trip up through asia and into Iran. No pics whatsoever of local people on the way. Just a few travel agent style scenes.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 14 2019 7:16 utc | 45

Peter AU 1 @44

Would anyone care to imagine what would happen to someone on holiday from Iran who got spotted flying a drone around Fort Dietrick or similar? No matter how many posts they had made about doing the same in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama & Mexico. Wouldn't that appear as if it were just cover lest something did go wrong?
They were well aware that using drones could get them into trouble, they said so themselves talking about Cambodia, so in no doubt the same applied to Iran.

The ruins of Angkor Wat Cambodia are a sacred place and you are warned that no drones are permitted,but you still are flying your drone and that all females must be fully covered ,but you don't care ,you just think you are untouchables, but you will fly your drone once too often in a restricted area and be caught.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 14 2019 7:36 utc | 46

Their youtube channel here

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 14 2019 7:45 utc | 47

Fatally naive, using a drone in Iran without permission. They could have been shot. As likely from an ill-disciplined soldier as official orders.

The lecturer from Melbourne, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, is a specialist in current ME politics. I.e. her business is rooting round in highly sensitive issues for her academic research. OK, but that's risky, and she should have been aware. You will remember that Italian doctoral student from Cambridge, Giulio Regeni, who was tortured and killed in Cairo, whilst conducting academic research in Egypt on the country’s trade unions. You investigate sensitive issues, and somebody may not like it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 14 2019 9:16 utc | 48

Bravo b

Posted by: ian seed | Sep 14 2019 10:14 utc | 49

Interesting from the Jerusalem Post ... interesting pic too...

Posted by: Maximus | Sep 14 2019 10:35 utc | 50

Compare the impact pattern and explosion timing with this recent carpet bombing (vid) of an island in Iraq

yeah, could these be penultimate eruptions, effete blasts from the man ostensibly on top? the Iraqi officers at 0:35 look kinda horrified to me, or at least a little worried.


only a psychotic culture does everything in its power to disrupt the physical and mental well-being of all sentient beings, while simultaneously striving to protect everyone from everything all the time.

Posted by: john | Sep 14 2019 10:55 utc | 51

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Sep 14 2019 6:36 utc | 41

The Jews built the Pyramids? Bit skeptical about that one, the exodus story was suspect enough...

Posted by: Rancid | Sep 14 2019 10:59 utc | 52

breaking news excuse the interruption..

Yemeni Drones hit worlds larget refinery Aramaco facilities

Posted by: snake | Sep 14 2019 11:25 utc | 53

The cave attack, while having some issues, seems to be legit on a preliminary examination. A frame by frame examination shows there's 3 distinct missiles impacting the site. The first hits almost dead center (the missile itself is visible in a frame, its shadow in the following frame), the second one hits to the left at the edge of the compound (clearly visible in 2 frames) and the third one hits closer to the camera (visible in 1 frame), the one creating the expanding dome when exploding.
All warheads go off 4-5 frames after impact which suggests ignition delay of 0.15-0,2 seconds which would be reasonable for such a device.

Video properties of downloaded BBC clip (from Youtube)
1280x720, 25 fps

There's a couple of issues with the clip (some curious artifacts) that might suggests it's been tampered with but, I believe, that would need a qualified person in forensic analysis of such material to determine if this indeed is true.

Posted by: Hmpf | Sep 14 2019 12:41 utc | 54

#snake | Sep 14 2019 11:25 utc | 53

Best news in a long while snake. I really hope this screws up the Aramco IPO which it must do since it seems clear that the oppressed Shia of eastern Saudi whose land is where the el Sauds have been stealing resources from, lent a helping hand to their brothers & sisters in Yemen to make this happen.
The whabists deserve everything they get from now.

What sort of an a-hole would you have to be to steal trillions from people then delight in keeping them impoverished, oppressed, without access to education, housing or healthcare? Torture and beheading is payment enough believe the el Sauds, a gang of murdering hypocritical wife beating apostates who have the gall to accuse Shia of being heretics. el Sauds are the worthless scum.
The el Sauds spend more on one lousy corrupt drunken party than they have ever spent on the people whose oil they have stolen for the last 100 years.

Posted by: A User | Sep 14 2019 13:09 utc | 55

Another humorous aspect to the BBC is even though they collect the fee from every British TV set, the ‘sponsored content’ and downright clickbait on each page is up to around 20%, plus the footer ‘Why You Can Trust the BBC’ .

Posted by: NotBob | Sep 14 2019 13:14 utc | 56

For Israel the following pictures can be a nightmare. Those who know it will understand what it is about.

Other photos from the series:

Posted by: t r u t h | Sep 14 2019 13:18 utc | 57

A User

"What sort of an a-hole would you have to be to steal trillions from people then delight in keeping them impoverished, oppressed, without access to education, housing or healthcare? "

I have been thinking about that lately and not just the Saud's.
Poor, hungry, uneducated, oppressed people are much easier to manipulate and easily bought to do the dirty work of terror, killing and war. Keeping people in that impoverished state is intentional for the elite that do not want to actually do the dirty work.

" I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half." Jay Gould

Posted by: arby | Sep 14 2019 13:19 utc | 58

@Igor and Rancid re. Jews building pyramids

The pyramids )at least the great Pyramids at Giza were not built by slaves. The (free settlements) where the workers lived) are excavated.

The earliest possible evidence of the Jews potentially being in exhistence (A pottery fragment which may mention the house of David, or the mention of a roaming bandit-like people called the Hibirru by the Egyptians) is around 1300 BC. The pyramids were built way before that (2600-1750 BC) apart from 2 small ones.

Posted by: intp | Sep 14 2019 13:29 utc | 59

UK's link to al Qaeda is clear for decades, same link Israel, KSA< Qatar, Turkey and US all have, but the UK is definitively ahead here, very deep ties. By now the whole world knows BBC is UK' regime mouthpiece and made several fake news pretending Syrian & Russian Gov to be committing war crimes, where if fact the UK is actually deep sunk in war crimes or crimes against humanity in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine and most recently in HK. The only way this crimes will stop is to hurt the UK where it hurts the most, their financial industry, hit it hard and the lion will turn into sheep, maybe the recent attacks in Saudi Barbaria's oil facility will do just that, but a game change financial collapse must happen in the City so funds to support global terrorism is stopped.

Thank you b for this compelling piece.

Posted by: Canthama | Sep 14 2019 13:57 utc | 60

I saw this piece on BBC World Report, the free satellite channel, and even without doing any research, it struck me as incredibly weird. Notice even in your screenshot that there's a shot of the "underground" hospital with a window and some people walking around outside in broad daylight(!). Plus the reporter goes on and on about how the tunnels are all "hand-dug" but then they turn the corner and he's inside a very modern-looking facility.

One note - when I saw this on TV, they had captions underneath (black line at the bottom) naming the hospitals as the (perfectly stable, ground-level) footage of them "being blown up" rolled. Didn't see the captions on your screenshots, tho.

Reminds me of all those pure fantasies they used to talk about in 2001 about Osama's multi-level underground super fortress in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 14 2019 14:01 utc | 61

intp says:

The pyramids )at least the great Pyramids at Giza were not built by slaves. The (free settlements) where the workers lived) are excavated

question is, who built the boxes at the Serapeum of Saqqara?

Posted by: john | Sep 14 2019 14:07 utc | 62

The proof is in the pudding, the propaganda is in the editing.
My own cognitive dissonance was such that I used to view Panorama as a flagship
of responsible/respectable journalism.
While knowing that the BBC is part of the Westminster pedophile ring and its coverup.
OMG witch-hunt! Must not witch-hunt! Bunch of anti-semitism-tossers, the lot of 'em.

Posted by: Mishko | Sep 14 2019 14:20 utc | 63

It was a wise man who said:"The truth is in the movies, the lies are in the news."
All too often I find myself agreeing with him.

Posted by: Mishko | Sep 14 2019 14:24 utc | 64 broadcast this half-baked BBC tosh on 3 of its 4 TV Channels - ABC 2, ABC News24 and ABC Comedy22.

Forgive the levity but my reaction to having endured it for the third time was: "Whoa! Sour grapes? Much?"

The sleazy Poms haven't looked this frustrated, helpless and stupid since they were the recipients of a very skillful Massacre Lesson in Afghanistan in 1842. One wonders how much arm-twisting was required to persuade the producers of "Pointless" & "Would I Lie To You?" that making stuff up about Assad and Russia might help viewers to forget that Russia and Assad have been shredding the Judeo-Christian Colonial Conspiracy since Russia waded in 48 months ago?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 14 2019 15:11 utc | 65

whistle blower Assange to remain in jail past sentence

First they join the Union, then they vote to leave, and their remains say hell no, we are not leaving.. so now no one knows. if I were the EU I would eject Briton..from the Union without a deal..

Where are the videos showing the Jews were forced to build the Pyramids? Not even one lawsuit seeking money damages? Where are the armbands, where are the pictures, books, images, advertising, hats, tee shirts of those who were buried alive or entombed to care for the Pharaohs. ? Where are the memorials? Unless I see a fake video of the slaves driving the Jews to build the Pyramids, I refuse to believe Jews built the Pyramids. or slept in the Pyramids, or climbed on the Pyramids or even viewed them after someone else built them. If you had said they Jews bombed the Pyramids I might have believed that?

Posted by: snake | Sep 14 2019 15:27 utc | 66

snake @66
There is no evidence even the Pharaohs built the Giza pyramids, they contain no hieroglyphs at all, and they just did not have the technology to build it using millions of 2 ton limestone blocks. It is almost certain the pharaohs found the Giza pyramids which had been built thousands of years before. The Sphinx enclosure shows clear signs of water erosion over a very long period, but the Giza plateau has not received much rain at all the last 10 000 years.

Any claim the jews built the pyramids is nonsense.

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 14 2019 16:02 utc | 67

I thought there was something really odd about this BBC piece. The opening shot shows a `bombed hospital'. So where is all the medical waste, broken equipment, beds, old dressings, gloves, IV sets etc. Even in a simple first aid post the medical waste sure piles up. In an emergency you need a team just to move this stuff and keep things clean and functional. There is nothing to suggest its a hospital or even a clinic. In future they should grab a bag of medical waste a throw it around! I sure am getting pissed off with this propaganda -- everything from WMD, yellow cake, aluminum tubes through to Russia gate-- its cost trillions and wasted so much time.

Posted by: CJ | Sep 14 2019 21:20 utc | 68

In a world first, renowned consultant David Nott gave remote instructions via Skype and WhatsApp which allowed doctors to carry out surgery in an underground hospital.

But, after footage was broadcast by the BBC, Mr Nott believes his computer was targeted, allowing hackers to gain the coordinates of the M10 hospital.

Weeks later a "bunker buster" bomb destroyed the M10

Posted by: Arod | Sep 13 2019 23:52 utc

Because, you know, everyone knows, when Russian Hackers want to break into someone's computer they just point their BBC TV remote on screen and preess the red button. And here we go, from TV to the computer filmed. Better than with Harry Potter.

And then, it is all because of Skype. Microsoft keeps broadcasting GPS coordinated (even of deeply underground facilities) of everyone talking by Skype. And Whatsapp too.

UK MSM: Mad Skillz meme meeting Cool Story Bro meme
UK population: target audience that ia worth nothing more reasonable


Posted by: Arioch | Sep 15 2019 0:41 utc | 69

@intp 59

Even if King David existed - problematic - he certainly wasn't a Jew. Judaism wasn't really invented till around 800BC - maybe 1000BC being generous.

The Torah records David worshipping EL and Baal and Astarte, not Yaweh.

Judaism is a result of the cult of Yaweh - a minor diety in the Caananite pantheon - making Yaweh the top God and forcing worship of other gods to be discontinued "I am a jealous God". The cult wrote the Torah to make it seem like Jews had been around since time immemorial - plus they stuck in God granted land titles to Canaa. You can see an echo of this with the Mormons who are really busy in genealogy so they can restrospectivley baptise ancestors into the Mormon faith

Posted by: Charlie | Sep 15 2019 1:12 utc | 70

To add to b’s observations:

Clip 2 and 3 - (bombs!) are old, at least a year and half, as I have seen them before, on Brit. TV. Syria, or was announced as such in the orginal. Idk more.

Clip 4, shadowy figures hastening down stairs to an ‘underground’ in a very well-constructed facility (note water pipes for ex.) struck me as ‘Western’ - it is filmed from below for dramatic punch, urgency and menace are projected.

The locale might be any consequent ‘legit’ underground facility, ex. a large underground parking. Clip is movie-like, pro, but only offered for a few seconds, I suppose so that ppl only ‘form an impression’ without finding it incongruent with the rest.

Clip 5, descent to a cave, the electric wires on the dirty walls leading down to the cave/cellar/storage area, whatever, are quite old, and no way sufficient to maintain even a minuscule medical facility. (Not to mention air and water, which presumably might have come from elsewhere..)

Clip 7, 2 ‘docs’ deal with the endlessly suffering emblematic child, is BS. Child (supposedly) has already been seen to as has bandages etc. Then 2 medics try to do something to his arm - put bandages, insert needle - not clear - and they act clumsily, seem to be fussed and stressed. Pure play-acting. Only one med. would be needed, child has already ‘seen to’, no competent meds or nurses act this way, etc. Locale and gurney etc. are also v. suspicious.

- i did not watch the other more ample version on facebook. prob it is even worse -

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 15 2019 14:25 utc | 71

SBS TV news here in OZ showed the "second longer" version of the video, which to me appeared to show that there indeed is a large well built hospital buried underground, reached by that tunnel on a motorbike. In this video also, with interview with "DR Khaddour" there are two logos on the wall - SAMS and the Swedish Medical Centre, which has a red crescent moon seen sometimes on uniforms, including in Douma I think.
As for the bombing of the "hospital" on the hillside, this is a site which was blown up by the Syrian/Russian forces somewhere in northern Hama back in spring, ostensibly to prevent it being recolonised by the terrorists/white helmets. It looks a little like the base that was shown in the Khan Shaikoun videos. In that film there certainly was no jet sound, which the BBC added to go with their claim the 'hospital' was bombed. I think I may have seen the video on Al Jazeera at the time, and asked around if anyone knew where it was...

As for the destroyed 'hospital' it looks more like a hotel - but the word is the same, n'est ce pas? !

Posted by: David Macilwain | Sep 16 2019 12:08 utc | 72

This was clearly a stunt made with some buried explosives that were centrally ignited at the same time. The jet noise was later added to the shot.


Probably the same people who placed the explosives in the WTC for the controlled demolition.

Posted by: Louis N. Proyect | Sep 16 2019 13:24 utc | 73

The comments to this entry are closed.