The Most Blatantly Biased Headline About Yesterday’s Syria-Israel Escalation

As you are already probably aware, there was a little bit of excitement up north yesterday.

On February 10, 2018, an Apache helicopter successfully intercepted an Iranian UAV that was launched from Syria and infiltrated Israel. The aircraft was identified by the Aerial Defense Systems early on and was under surveillance until the interception. In response, IDF attacked the Iranian aircraft’s launch components in Syrian territory.

Later, also in response to the Iranian UAV that was launched at Israeli territory and was intercepted by the IDF, Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft targeted 12 targets in Syria, including three aerial defense batteries and four Iranian targets that are part of Iran’s military establishment in Syria.

During the attack, multiple anti-aircraft missiles were fired at IAF aircraft. The two pilots of an F-16 jet ejected from the aircraft as per procedure, one of whom was seriously injured and taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

“The Syrians and the Iranians, from our point of view, are playing with fire. The Syrians are playing with fire when they allow the Iranians to attack Israel from their soil. We are willing, prepared, and capable to exact a heavy price on anyone that attacks us. However, we are not looking to escalate the situation,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International Media Desk.

The IDF sees the Iranian attack and the Syrian response as severe violations of Israeli sovereignty. The IDF will continue to act against any attempt to infiltrate Israeli airspace and will act with determination to prevent any breach of Israeli sovereignty.

Despite events being clear, the world media got their headlines wrong, with many going with the “Israeli attacked first” boilerplate.

But by far the worst example I saw was from The Metro, which is, according to Wikipedia, “a free newspaper published in tabloid format in the United Kingdom..distributed from Monday to Friday on many public-transport services and stations in cities and towns across the United Kingdom.” It has a circulation of almost 1.5 million.

Syria has been subjected to brutal air strikes after the Israeli military shot down an Iranian drone that infiltrated the country. The military said its planes faced massive anti-aircraft fire from Syria that forced two pilots to abandon an F-16 jet that crashed in northern Israel.

Besides the fact the headline and opening paragraph of the report focus on the Israeli airstrikes, the word “brutal” is totally unnecessary and designed to elicit anger towards Israel and sympathy towards Syria. The headline is also wrong – it was the Syrians (and/or the Iranians) who shot down an Israeli fighter jet – we shot down an Iranian drone.

Again, I go back to The Metro’s circulation – 1.5 million UK commuters. Is it any wonder we are seeing so much antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment over there?


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media