Rolling a fat lie: regime propaganda up in smoke

Rolling a fat lie: regime propaganda up in smoke
Images have appeared on social media depicting FSA soldiers using a regime pamphlet calling on residents to leave East Aleppo as cigarette rolling paper.
2 min read
27 Oct, 2016
Flyers calling on residents to leave have been routinely dropped over East Aleppo recently [AFP]
Since September rebel-held East Aleppo has witnessed an intense assault from Syrian and Russian warplanes accompanied by troop advances on the ground.

Over 400 people have been killed in the assault resulting in global condemnation that prompted Russia to announce a humanitarian “pause” operation in the city last week.

Part and process of the humanitarian pause saw regime planes drop leaflets over East Aleppo presenting both civilians and gunmen with a “final chance” to leave the area through a number of established “safe corridors” before intense bombardment begins once again. Meanwhile airstrikes have become less frequent.

However, according to sources on the ground in Aleppo, few locals have taken up this option, choosing instead to stay.

On Wednesday a veritable two-finger salute to regime calls for locals to abandon east Aleppo began circulating on social media.

Images appeared depicting a number of seeming FSA soldiers from the Lions of Islam brigade using such a leaflet dropped from a regime plane as a rolling paper to construct a quite hefty cigarette.

Consequent images show the cigarette then being smoked.

With no signs of a diplomatic solution to end ongoing violence in Aleppo in sight the cigarette – while a clear indication of how some rebel fighters feel about the proposed Russian humanitarian pause, which has also been criticised by international actors as primarily serving the Syrian regime’s military interests – may only provide temporary relief, before bombardment of east Aleppo once again intensifies.

Still, as two-finger salutes go, it is a pretty original, if perhaps not a healthy one.

Syria is certainly long-overdue a peace pipe.