Chinese state media made shocking claims that the viral image of a young Syrian boy injured in an airstrike was actually “staged” Western propaganda.
A video of a Omran Daqneesh, a five-year-old Syrian boy who was pulled from the rubble Aug. 17 after a Russian or Syrian airstrike hit the Qaterji neighborhood in Aleppo, went viral online.
The video shows Daqneesh covered in a thick layer of dust and blood, with a stunned and confused expression on his face. U.S. Department of State officials said Thursday that the image is “the real face” of the war in Syria.
China, however, is not convinced.
China’s Central Chinese Television (CCTV) argued the video of Daqneesh may have been faked for a Western propaganda war. China indicated the video was launched to drum up support for the Syrian rebels challenging the regime, tarnish Russia’s image abroad, and create excuses for increased Western intervention into the conflict in Syria.
“Critics have suggested that the video is part of a propaganda war aimed at creating a ‘humanitarian excuse’ for Western countries to become involved in Syria,” reported CCTV Saturday.
“The workers did not make rapid rescue efforts and instead quickly set up a camera,” CCTV added, ignoring the fact that Daqneesh was in an ambulance, rescue work was ongoing, and the boy was transported to a hospital for treatment.
CCTV also pointed out that the Syrian Civil Defense units, humanitarian workers known as the “White Helmets,” actually have ties to the British military. China argues these units may not actually be neutral in the conflict.
China supports Russian involvement in Syria and backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian regime.
The devastating airstrikes that injured Daqneesh and killed his older brother Ali were initially blamed on Russia. Moscow, however, dismissed the accusations, claiming that Western media was using the tragedy as “anti-Russian propaganda material.”
Syria also refuses to take responsibility for the airstrike. The Syrian president reportedly told the UN, “The perpetrators must be elsewhere.”
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