A leaked video has emerged of regime forces and their allied Hezbollah militias recorded during the regime’s onslaught on Aleppo in late 2016. The video gives a rare insight into the regime’s propaganda machine and misinformation tactics on its social media platforms.
The video shows Shadi Hilwa, a regime TV reporter, along with regime and Hezbollah militants filming a mock fighting scene that was intended to look real and spontaneous. In the video, Hilwa asks the cameraman to repeat the shooting several times while asking a Hezbollah militant to talk in the Syrian accent in order to conceal his true identity.
After several takes, the Hezbollah militant finally succeeds and orders, in the Syrian accent, another militant holding a machine gun to shoot at a building inside which rebel fighters were supposed to be holing up.
In addition to exposing the mechanization of the Assad regime’s propaganda machine and spread of misinformation, the leaked video reveals the extent to which the Assad regime relies on foreign militias in the ongoing conflict. Regime forces have become a minority among scores of Iranian-backed foreign militias and mercenaries fighting on the regime’s side.
Activists said that the video, which began circulating on social media on Wednesday, was found on a mobile phone of a pro-regime militant killed during battles with the rebel and FSA fighters in eastern Aleppo in late 2016. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)