Fact Check: Russia Did NOT Announce A War Against The Turkish-Backed FSA In Northern Syria

Fact Check

  • by: Rebaz Majeed
Fact Check: Russia Did NOT Announce A War Against The Turkish-Backed FSA In Northern Syria Fact Check: Russia Did NOT Announce A War Against The Turkish-Backed FSA In Northern Syria No Battle

Did Russia announce "The Great Northern Battle" against the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Northern Syria? No, that's not true: Russia has not started a military campaign with the Syrian army to take back the northwest regions from the Turkish-backed FSA. In fact, Russia recently announced that both Ankara and Damascus have agreed to normalize their relations and resolve their issues through peaceful means.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by @user7062851615409 on June 19, 2023, under the title (translated into English by Lead Stories staff) "The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces in Syria announced the launch of the Great Northern Battle. May God be with our Mujahid brothers in the north. O God, make them firm and grant them victory. May God stop and Judge Bashar and the ones who support him, O God".

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-06-27 at 16.20.28.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jun 27 14:03:25 2023 UTC)

The claim went viral on TikTok, where it was published by numerous accounts on the platform, as can be seen here, here and here.

Lead Stories examined the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation's webpage dedicated to the "Mission in Syria: Fight against International Terrorism," but there was no mention of any such military operation in the country.

Russia had asked Turkey in November 2022 not to conduct a full-scale offensive in Syria.

If the claim had been real it would have been of considerable importance and covered heavily by media outlets. Lead Stories conducted a Google News search using their index of thousands of credible news sites, which did not reveal any factual reports on the claim.

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  Rebaz Majeed

Rebaz Majeed is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. He is a multilingual freelance journalist and researcher. He worked for five years as a reporter for Voice of America (VOANews) in Iraq. Currently, he is pursuing his MA in Interdisciplinary Studies of the Middle East at Free Berlin University. Rebaz brings extensive knowledge and expertise to his role at LeadStories.

Read more about or contact Rebaz Majeed

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