A Ruptly video, purportedly shot in Raqqa’s eastern Al-Mashlab neighbourhood on Thursday, July 13 and published the same day contains footage from an event on May 17.
The video was published on Ruptly’s website and on YouTube. It claims to show “US soldiers were operating inside Raqqa’s eastern Al-Mashlab neighbourhood, Thursday after it was recaptured from self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in June,” according to its YouTube description.
The video is 1 minute 49 seconds long. The central section, 00:05.32 to 01:00.37 is the part in question. This section makes up roughly 55 seconds of the 109-second video.
UPDATE July 14 Ruptly’s Head of News, Wilson Gotardello, told Grasswire that the company has investigated the video and amended the original post. More at the end of this post.
Analysing the video
00:00 – 00:05
The first five seconds shows two US Stryker military vehicles, which have been filmed in Syria on many occasions. They are known to be used by US Army Rangers in northern Syria, including around Manbij and further east along the Turkish border.
00:05 – 1:00
The video then cuts to western forces outside a building.
The town is approximately 56km (35 miles) north of Raqqa by road, and has a large Syrian Democratic Forces base.
From previous videos, we know that Arab 24 locations are not precise, but are more of a general indication. After past analysis of other video, we have no reason to believe they publish incorrect dates.
The Arab 24 video shows Coalition personnel providing “military and logistical expertise, as well as the provision of weapons, ammunition, clothing and equipment for new recruits to the ranks of the Internal Security Forces, which will manage the liberated areas in Raqqa after the elimination of ISIS.”
In an interview, Hasan Dersem, the training session’s director says: “This session is supported by the International Alliance from all directions and aspects of weapons, ammunition, clothing and full gear.”
Muhammad Al Ali, a new recruit says: “We are currently conducting a training course supported by the International Coalition”
There are so many points of similarity in these two sections of video, we can be absolutely confident that they are from the same event.
The packages on the ground are the same. The vehicles in the background are the same. The US personnel appear to be the same people.
1:00 – 1:07
The Ruptly video then cuts to footage of a US Humvee vehicle, which again are relatively common in Syria.
1:07 – 1:22
This is followed by shots of stationary Bushmaster military vehicles, which are used by British special forces, including the SAS.
— Abraxas Spa (@AbraxasSpa) July 13, 2017
While imagery of these vehicles operating in Syria are relatively rare, they have previously been pictured at the Tabqa dam:
— مهاب ناصر (@Mohab_Nasser2) May 16, 2017
1:22 – 1:49
The video then closes with a convoy of Bushmasters and other vehicles driving away from the camera.
While the central section of the video is definitely not what it purports to be, the other shots may be legitimate.
As noted above, the British Bushmaster vehicles are a rare sight in Syria, but we cannot be confident at all in when or where they were filmed.
Gotardello said Ruptly “received the video from an established stringer who works in the area and has sent us images before from SDF fighting and videos of internal displaced people around Raqqa.”
Gotardello said Ruptly had not edited the video themselves, but that the investigation confirmed that the stringer included “some establishing shots from archive footage.”
For clarity, the original package has now been marked “includes FILE FOOTAGE*” in the headline and within the accompanying scripts , Gotardello said.
A second video has now been published that only contains footage that Ruptly says was filmed on July 13.