Sunday 23rd September 2018

Viral video: former Army officer cut off by Sky News during interview on airstrikes in Syria

Jason Smith
by on 15th April 2018

An interview by Sky News has gone viral on Twitter after former Major General Jonathan Shaw, a veteran of the Iraq war, was cut off while discussing the Syrian airstrikes.

The interview was cut short around 30 seconds after the former Army officer began discussing “what possible motive might have triggered Syria to launch a chemical attack at this time [and] in this place”.

Sky News apologized to Mr. Shaw live on air for the abrupt end to the interview. According to a source published by the Daily Mirror, the interruption was the consequence of an “unfortunate scheduling clash”.

The clip posted on Twitter (this link leads to a Twitter thread containing images some readers may find disturbing) lasts 1 minute and 11 seconds and doesn’t show the full interview. At the time of writing it has been retweeted 21,314 times, commented on 1,300 times and liked 24,123 times.

It was posted by the Ealing Labour for Corbyn Twitter account, which advocates in favor of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Many of the tweets below the video cite the timing of the interruption as the primary point of frustration.

One Twitter user attracted 158 likes after stating “That’s why I stoped [sic] watching sky!” while another user attracted 85 likes after stating “Gotta [sic] love social media. If it wasn’t for platforms like twitter, only those who watched the news would have [seen] it”.

The interview occurred after it was announced US, French and British forces would launch co-ordinated airstrikes against Syrian facilities suspected of manufacturing chemical weapons.

According to Reuters, President Trump’s policy reversal was a consequence of being shown images of Syrian victims of chemical warfare.

Twitter also took centre stage on 11th April after President Trump stated “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

Trump’s announcement on a public social network could be seen as a departure from the traditional approach of American forces, which has historically been to launch surprise attacks.