BBC Story Alleging Israeli Assistance to Kurds Assumes Reactions of Others Without Asking Them

The BBC's Story lead (HT Taranto at Best of the Web):

Israelis 'trains (sic) Kurdish forces'

The BBC has obtained evidence that Israelis have been giving military training to Kurds in northern Iraq.

A report on the BBC TV programme Newsnight showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq, drilling Kurdish militias in shooting techniques.

Kurdish officials have refused to comment on the report and Israel has denied it knows of any involvement.

From that point forward the story is literally riddled with assumptions about how other countries and the rest of Iraq will react, without a single quote or attribution from anyone who supposedly will object. Examples throughout the article's text (scare words in bold):

The revelation is set to cause enormous problems for the Kurds, not only in Iraq but also in the wider region.

Kurdish politicians will most likely come under pressure to explain what their semi-autonomous government has been up to.

The news will most probably increase tension between the Kurds and Iraq's Arab population, both Sunnis and Shias, reinforcing fears that the Kurds are pursuing a secessionist agenda.

This would be a serious blow to efforts for national reconciliation at a time when hundreds of Iraqis are killed every month in inter-communal violence.

Iraq's neighbours, too, will be outraged.

Iran and Syria, which have long accused the Kurds of allowing the Israelis to operate on Iraqi territory, will most likely demand an explanation from the government in Baghdad.

The BBC report will be like the smoking gun the Arab media has spent years looking for.

Again, NOT ONE person is quoted. Why is the Beeb so sure how all these parties feel? Hmmm?

Taranto's reaction is spot-on:

It certainly sounds to us as though the BBC, far from merely reporting the facts, is pandering to Arab anti-Semitism and making an active effort to promote discord in Iraq and retribution against the long-persecuted Kurds. Such despicable behavior doesn't deserve the label "journalism."

He's right. This report isn't even up to the "standards" of Al Jazeera.

Cross-posted at

Foreign Policy Iraq War on Terrorism Middle East Iran Israel/Palestine BBC Foreign/Non-English Media