Home Human Rights Journalism Northeastern Syria: An Image of Cannabis Allegedly Taken in Al-Hasakah is False

Northeastern Syria: An Image of Cannabis Allegedly Taken in Al-Hasakah is False

Digital analysis and verification revealed that the circulated image was taken in Lebanon’s Majdaloun village and was first uploaded to the Internet in 2019

by Communication
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On 17 June 2022, a Syrian Twitter account posted an image of land planted with cannabis (hashish). The image was attached with a caption saying that the land shown is located in Ad Darbasiyah town of al-Hasakah province, controlled by the Autonomous Administration and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

On 18 June 2022, the same image was posted by another Syrian Twitter account with the same caption. Since then, the image spread on social media.

Image (1)- Screenshot of a Tweet posted by ‘khalidjuddah’ dated 17 June 2022.

Image (2)- Screenshot of a Tweet posted by a Syrian account dated 18 June 2022.

Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) tracked the circulated image through its digital forensic expert, AKMcKeever. Our expert found that the image was first published on 8 June 2019 by a Lebanese account on Twitter. Then, on 1 July 2019, it the same image was posted by a Lebanese Facebook page named ‘Ma32oul’. Later, on 21 April 2020 the Lebanese Facebook page “Janoub News” posted the image headed with the caption: “Lebanon officially legalizes cannabis cultivation”. Afterwards, several Lebanese pages on social media circulated the image.

Image (3)- Screenshot of a Facebook post on a Lebanese page called ‘Ma32oul’ dated 8 June 2019.

Image (4)- Screenshot of a Facebook post on a Lebanese page dated 1 July 2019.

Image (5)- Screenshot of a Facebook post on a Lebanese page called ‘Janoub News’ dated 2020.

Recently, on 10 June 2022, a Lebanese Twitter account called ‘Lebanese Tweeter’ posted the same image with a sarcastic comment saying: “We have a bumper jute mallow harvest this year”.

Image (6)- Screenshot of a Tweet posted by a Lebanese account called ‘Lebanese Tweeter’ dated 10 June 2022.

It seems that the Syrian accounts blindly reposted the image. Analysis conducted by our digital forensic expert revealed that the image was taken in Lebanon’s Majdaloun village near Baalbek city. Furthermore, the expert located the land shown in the image at the intersection of roads to Taybeh and Majdaloun villages northwest Majdaloun.

 

To read the report in full as a PDF, follow this link. 

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