|A screenshot of the state-run BBC’s website shows that the network used an old photo of dead Iraqi children from 2003 and tried to pass it off as a photo of victims of the recent massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla.|
In a report published hours after the massacre, the network used an old photo of dead Iraqi children taken in Al Mussayyib that was first published over nine years ago and presented it as a photo of victims of the recent massacre of civilians in the town of Houla in western Syria, The Telegraph reported.
The photo shows a child jumping over the dead bodies of hundreds of Iraqi children who have been transferred from a mass grave to be identified.
Britain's state-funded news network later published the same story with a new photo showing a UN observer looking at the bodies of the Houla victims.
The photographer who took the original picture, Marco Di Lauro, posted on his Facebook page, “Somebody is using my images as a propaganda against the Syrian government to prove the massacre.”
The head of the UN observer mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, said during a briefing via videoconference to the UN Security Council that UN observers in Houla estimate that 108 people were killed, including 49 children and 34 women.
The UN Security Council condemned the violence in Houla during an emergency meeting on Sunday, saying the clashes “involved a series of government artillery and tank shelling on a residential neighborhood.”
However, Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari censured the “tsunami of lies” by some members of the Security Council and said Syrian forces were not to blame for the violence.
The clashes between Syrian forces and armed groups broke out despite a ceasefire that took effect on April 12.
The ceasefire is part of a six-point peace plan presented by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan in March.