Syrian Arab News Agency

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Syrian Arab News Agency
Type of site
News, culture, sports, economy, environment and health[1]
Available inArabic, English, French, Hebrew, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, Russian, Persian
URLSANA English (in English)
SANA Arabic (in Arabic)
SANA French (in French)
SANA Hebrew (in Hebrew)
SANA Turkish (in Turkish)
SANA Spanish (in Spanish)
SANA Chinese (in Chinese)
SANA Russian (in Russian)
SANA Persian (in Persian)
LaunchedJune 1965
Current statusActive

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) (Arabic: الوكالة العربية السورية للأنباء (سانا)‎, al-Wakālah al-ʿArabīyah as-Sūrīyah lil-ʾAnbāʾ (SĀNĀ)) is a Syrian state-controlled news agency. It is a Syrian state media organization linked to the Ministry of Information. It was established in June 1965.[2]


SANA launched its website in 1997.[3] Up until November 2012, SANA's website was hosted in Dallas, Texas by the United States company SoftLayer. Due to sanctions related to the Syrian Civil War, which make this hosting illegal, the SoftLayer company was obliged to terminate its hosting responsibilities with SANA.[4]

SANA's English website states that the agency "adopts Syria's national firm stances and its support to the Arab and Islamic causes and principles with the aim of presenting the real civilized image of Syria."[5]


According to DW News, "when it comes to hard politics, the agency has a clear agenda" and "SANA, being a public news agency, has a stake in the conflict to support Assad's government."[5] The agency does not describe opposition groups as "rebels", but rather labels them "terrorists."[5]

In 2011, SANA published an article giving its version of events surrounding the death of 13-year-old Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb, an account which differed from Al Jazeera's.[6] Al Jazeera had reported that Hamza "spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security" and when his corpse was returned it "bore the scars of brutal torture."[6] According to Al Jazeera, "experienced local journalists and human rights researchers found no reason to doubt the authenticity of the footage of Hamza."[6] According to SANA, armed groups arrived in the village of Saida and Hamza was found dead after the fighting and sent to a hospital to be identified.[6] SANA, quoting a coroner, stated that Hamza died from three gunshots and that "there weren't any traces of violence, resistance or torture or any kinds of bruises, fractures, joint displacements or cuts."[6] According to SANA, the photos of Hamza circulating online "were taken after an advanced stage of disintegration after death."[6]

SANA called reports in August 2013 about a chemical attack in Ghouta "baseless" and an attempt to distract UN inspectors who had arrived in Syria to probe earlier allegations of chemical weapons use.[7] SANA had reported that "terrorists" were responsible for firing a rocket containing chemical materials in the Khan-al Assal area of Aleppo province in March 2013.[7]

In August 2015, after a three-day visit to Syria during the Syrian civil war, the new emergency relief coordinator of the United Nations, Stephen O'Brien, told reporters he was "absolutely horrified by the total disregard for civilian life by all parties in this conflict."[8] O'Brien condemned the conduct of rebel groups and said government airstrikes in Douma "caused scores of civilian deaths and hundreds of people were injured."[8] SANA posted an edited video of his remarks on YouTube which faded to black before he described the Syrian government's attack on Douma.[8] The Syrian state broadcaster further omitted O'Brien's description of what he witnessed at the Old City of Homs.[8]


  • Fawaz Jundi (1965–1966)
  • Hussein al-Awdat (1966–1971)
  • Marwan al-Hamwi (1971–1975)
  • Saber Falhout (1975–1991)
  • Fayez al-Sayegh (1991–2000)
  • Ali Abdul Karim (2000–2002)
  • Ghazi al-Zeeb (2002–2004)
  • Dr. Adnan Mahmoud (2004–2011)
  • Ahmad Dawa (2011–2017)
  • Abderrahim Ahmed (2017–present)


  1. ^ About SANA
  2. ^ Alan George (6 September 2003). Syria: Neither Bread Nor Freedom. Zed Books. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-84277-213-3. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  3. ^ George, Alan (October 2000). "Syrian Surfers Take to the Net". The Middle East. Retrieved 2 October 2013. – via Questia (subscription required)
  4. ^ Amy Chozick (29 November 2012). "Official Syrian Web Sites Hosted in U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Dockery, Wesley (October 21, 2016). "A look at the Syrian Arab News Agency" DW News. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Friedman, Uri (May 31, 2011). "On Syrian State TV Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb Is No 'Child Martyr'" The Atlantic. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Syria chemical weapons allegations" BBC News. October 31, 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d Mackey, Robert (August 17, 2015). "Syrian State TV Edits Out Criticism From Visiting U.N. Official" The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2020.

External links[edit]