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April 19, 2018

Where’s the Coverage? Iranian Drone Shot Down by Israel Was Armed

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Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamanei


Israeli officials have recently disclosed that an Iranian drone shot down by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) on Feb. 10, 2018 was armed. However, many major U.S. news outlets have failed to provide readers with the update.

The Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, was shot down thirty seconds after it entered Israeli airspace. The IDF also responded by carrying out airstrikes on the T-4 base in Syria where the drone was launched. An Israeli aircraft was downed in the incident, which received extensive—if often flawed—media coverage.

As CAMERA detailed, several major U.S. press outlets carried headlines that confused the order of events and/or minimized Iran’s role in provoking the incident. The Washington Post, for example, initially filed a report with a misleading caption that falsely claimed that Israel used the Iranian drone attack as a “pretext” for its response. Following intervention by CAMERA, The Post corrected (“Updated: The Washington Post Corrects Claim That Israel Used Iranian Drone as ‘Pretext’ for Attack,” CAMERA, Feb. 11, 2018).

On April 13, 2018, the IDF revealed that the drone was armed with explosives. The IDF stated:

“An analysis of the flight path and operational and intelligence research performed on parts of the Iranian UAV that entered our territory on February 10 shows it carried explosive material and its mission was to carry out a destructive operation.”

Israeli officials said that they did not know the drone’s precise intended target in Israel. The Times of Israel noted that the IDF’s statement, “came after the airstrike in Syria this week — blamed on Israel by Syria, Iran and Russia — reportedly killed 14 people, including seven Iranian military advisers, one of whom was a colonel in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps air force.”

Israel’s admission, and its recent targeting of Iranian bases in Syria, is seen as evidence of increasing tensions between Tehran and its proxies and Jerusalem. Iran’s rulers routinely call for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Yet, many U.S. news outlets have failed to update readers with the IDF’s important disclosure. USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, and others who covered the February 10th incident, did not note that the drone was armed when it violated Israeli airspace. The Washington Post, which provided several reports at the time of the drone attack, merely reprinted an Associated Press dispatch (“Israel Says Iran Drone Downed In Feb Was on Attack Mission,” Feb. 13, 2018).

Those who count on the media for balanced coverage of the Middle East and Israel deserve the full story—and too many in the press aren’t providing it.

Posted by SD at April 19, 2018 01:45 PM

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