Tuesday, January 17, 2012
PRESS TV FAKE REPORTS ON DRONE STRIKES IN SOMALIA
Iranian state-owned Press TV is again accused for its conduct. After being fined £100.000 by UK Ofcom for a fabricated interview of a journalist in jail, now its reports of US drone strikes in Somalia are said false by many source. Since September 2009, the Iranian media group has reported more than 57 attacks, with more than 1370 victims in the local population. Given the high protests against the use of drone in other countries (especially Pakistan), these cases would support the position against the use of this un-man weapon in the American campaign against global terrorism. But many sources disavow Press TV’s claims. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism finds most of the Iranian reports uncompleted, with missing references and details. For instance, on September 15 Press TV reported the alleged killing of 9 women and children by a US drone strike on the outskirts of the Somali town of Kismayo: even if no on-the-field operator confirmed the event, some international organizations reported it as true. It has to be taken into consideration that the situation on the ground is much confused, and it is quite difficult to fund reliable source. According to US journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Nation, American attacks with other weapons could have been confused with other weapons, for instance with cruise missiles. Said that, the misreporting of drone attacks can be seen as a propaganda tool used by Iran in the struggle against the “Big Satan”, while the situation in the Gulf is increasingly dangerous. While the situation in the Horn of Africa is in need of great effort by the international community to find a way out, the US is primarily concerned with its own objectives – killing suspected terrorists – without a significant engagement in solving the problems of the area. For sure, reports of an alleged secret drone strike on the Iranian soil would have major consequences for the parties involved.