France 24
October 8, 2011

This video, published October 5th on YouTube, shows dozens of Syrian soldiers dancing and singing an anti-regime song. The title of this video implies that they are deserters who joined the “Free Syrian Army.” The song is a hymn to the Syrian province of Deraa as well as a stinging attack on President Bashar Al-Assad, whom they call “Syria’s traitor.”

This video was sent to us by one of our contacts in Syria, who was convinced the soldiers were deserters. It is indeed true that numerous Syrian soldiers have deserted the army in the past few weeks. The video has been widely shared on Facebook (such as this one) as well as on blogs and Arabic news sites.
However, this video has been tampered with. The soldiers are actually Assad loyalists. The protest song was added on.
A comment on YouTube points out this manipulation:
“This video is a fake. The sound has been added onto the images. These are Assad’s men partying in Deraa, and singing: ‘God, Syria, Bashar, and that’s all!’”
Thanks to one of our Observers, Ayman al-Aswad, we were able to verify that this video was indeed a fake. Al-Aswad, who lives in Deraa, confirmed that this video was filmed in his region. He even recognised one of the army’s security agents, a young man in his thirties wearing a blue cap and glasses, who appears three times in the video (at 0’21, at 0’50 and at 1’04.) Our Observers says the man’s name is Moussa Aboud, and that he is a regime loyalist, not at all a deserter.
We have not been able to track down the video’s original version, without the music. If you see it, please share the link in the comments section below.

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