Unparalleled Intelligence: UPI Claims To Know More Than U.S. on Damascus Strike

On April 1, Iran condemned Israel “for its attack on the consular building of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Damascus,” and threatened that the “Zionist regime will be held responsible.”

Israel, however, disputes that the fatal strike, which killed seven Revolutionary Guards members, including two commanders, hit a diplomatic facility. As Haaretz‘s Amos Harel explained:

Since the Damascus bombing Monday, the Iranians have focused on the site that was attacked, a building attached to their embassy in Syria. Iran has described the structure as part of its consulate in the city. Israel asserts that it is not a diplomatic facility, that Iran has no consulate in Damascus and that all those who were killed were from the IRGC, Hezbollah and Syrian militias, known terrorists and no diplomats or ordinary civilians. Iran’s assertion of the building’s diplomatic status is aimed at laying the groundwork in the international arena for the Iranian case that the facility was under Iranian sovereignty, and tantamount to an attack on Iranian soil.

The United States, for its part, has not yet determined whether or not the attacked site was a consular facility. As State Department spokesman Matthew Miller stated in an April 8 press briefing: “It is our position that we are still attempting to answer that question, whether it was a consular facility or not.”

Enter United Press International journalist Adam Schrader, a New York-based reporter who has trouble reporting United Nations data on Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians without fabricating libels, who accepted at face value unfounded claims from anti-Israel activists that a New Jersey synagogue was selling off Palestinian land, who has exonerated Hamas for its Oct. 7 atrocities, and has falsely reported that “Israeli leaders raided the al-Aqsa Mosque.”

At left is the Iranian embassy in Damascus. At right is the attacked building (Mehr, April 1, 2024, via Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center)

It’s astonishing that while U.S. intelligence has yet to determine whether or not the attacked Damascus building is indeed a diplomatic facility, Adam Schrader has gotten to the bottom of the matter.

“Israel launched an attack Monday that destroyed Iran’s consulate in Damascus, the capital of Syria,” he unequivocally reported in his April 7 article (“Iran’s top commander warns Israel it committed suicide with Damascus attack“).

If U.S. intelligence, with all of its vast resources, has not yet determined whether the building that was hit was a consular facility, how exactly has the UPI reporter with a troubled relationship with facts managed to do so?

Going even beyond Iran’s claim, Schrader deemed the building “Iran’s consulate in Damascus.” Thus, he falsely reported that the whole consulate was destroyed, as opposed to a specific building which the Iranians say belong to its consular mission.

Meanwhile, Schrader further harms UPI’s standing as “a credible source for the most important stories of the day” while bolstering Iranian and Hamas messaging. Veering sharply from the attack on the building in Damascus to uncritically parroting highly dubious propaganda accusing Israeli troops of carrying out sexual violence against Palestinians, he wrote:

[Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim] Safavi also encouraged the Palestinian militia Hamas to preserve its strength and continue its offensive operations against Israel, as he said that the Israeli occupation has led to “war crimes, genocide, rape and famine.”

U.N. experts have previously expressed alarm at reports of rape of Palestinian women amid the war, while experts have long expressed concern of sexual violence against Palestinian women detained by Israeli forces. And Israel is currently facing charges of genocide levied by South Africa.

Who needs a building in Damascus for diplomacy when a UPI journalist in New York eagerly promotes Iranian messaging? 

CAMERA commends McClatchy newspapers for pulling Schrader’s story from the following news sites following communication from our Israel office: Merced Sun Star, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Rock Hill Herald, Belleville News-Democrat, Lexington Herald-Leader, The Telegraph (Macon), Centre Daily Times, San Luis Obispo Tribune, The Bellingham Herald, The Modesto Bee, The Sacramento Bee, Olympian, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Wichita Eagle, Tri-City Herald, Herald-Sun, Bradenton Herald, Fresno Bee, Idaho Statesman, Tacoma News Tribune, The State, Island Packet, Sun News, and Miami Herald.



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