Syria envoy uses Fallujah picture in speech about Aleppo

Syria envoy uses Fallujah picture in speech about Aleppo
Syria's UN ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari tried to show the world a heartwarming image of a Syrian soldier helping an old woman in Aleppo - only it was a complete lie.
2 min read
14 Dec, 2016
Bashar al-Jaafari has been Syria's UN envoy during the whole course of the war [AFP]
Speaking to the UN during an emergency meeting on the crisis in Aleppo, Syria's ambassador Bashar Jaafari described the brutal operation in the city as a "liberation".

To prove this, he shared a heartwarming image of a regime soldier helping an elderly Syrian in the rebel-held east with compassion and respect expected to be shown of towards older generations. However, activists soon pointed out there was something seriously awry in the image.

"The actions we've taken in Aleppo have had the overarching goal of protecting civilians. Allow me at this stage show you some photos that I have. This is what the Syrian army is doing in Aleppo," Jaafari said.

He then picked up printed photos allegedly taken in the war-torn city showing soldiers aiding Aleppo residents in an attempt to deflect criticism of Damascus' campaign following reports of scores of civilians being massacred by regime troops.

"He is making his body a bridge so that this woman can get out of her vehicle. This is a woman who is fleeing eastern Aleppo," he continued, while holding up a photo of a woman stepping on the back of a soldier to get out of a car.

The photo shown by Jaafari, however, was published several months ago by Arab news outlets who reported that it was in fact taken in Iraq.

The photo in fact allegedly shows members of the Iraqi Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces [Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic] militia while engaged in operations against the Islamic State group in Fallujah.

While this will perhaps do little to tarnish Jaafari's already damaged image (he is the man who once laughed when asked about hospital bombings in Aleppo) it is certainly reflective of the level of the care the regime is taking to ensure civilians are "protected".

With the battle for Aleppo now in its closing stages, horrifying reports of regime atrocities have continued to emerge from former rebel-held areas.

According to the United Nations, credible reports have confirmed that at least 82 civilians - including 11 women and 13 children - have been executed by regime troops in recent days.