The Syrian envoy to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, came up with a “brilliant” idea to condemn the media’s “propaganda against the Syrian forces in Aleppo-except that it wasn’t all that brilliant.
Jaafari proved his point by showing a photo of a “Syrian army official” on all fours, using his back as a stepping plank for a woman getting out of the back of a pick-up truck during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
“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,” he said, holding up the picture.
He was seconded by the Russian Envoy Vitaly Churkin, who agreed that the “atrocities” in Aleppo were actually faked by opposition forces and not the Syrian army.
He also added that activists covered children in dust and claimed they were bombing victims just to deceive international media.
It was however, apparent for anyone who bothered to look closely (not the man himself and his team, of course) that the picture was actually of a member of the Iraqi Shia militia known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, helping a civilian after the city of Fallujah was freed from ISIS earlier in the year.
The photo was even widely published by Arabic-language news outlets at the time.
Syrian UN envoy used a photo from Iraq and claimed it was from Aleppo to defend Syrian forces at the UNSC yesterday. pic.twitter.com/XSFYjXKeTC— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 14, 2016
That Syria envoy to UN would show blatantly misleading photo to Security Council gives measure of regime stupidity, depravity & mendacity. https://t.co/8KddBvw3W3— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) December 14, 2016
His claim is as lame as his act is deplorable. The atrocities committed by the Syrian regime against the people of Aleppo are no secret.
While the conflict began in early 2012 the last few months have been particularly devastating for the city of Aleppo.
"Over a quarter of a million people have been besieged and subjected to withering daily air strikes for more than one month," said Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria in October this year. "Hospitals, markets, bakeries and water stations have all been targeted by airplanes flying overhead; many have been destroyed, amplifying the effect of the siege.”
The very next month, the last functioning hospital in the city was destroyed in a series of airstrikes.
The rebel resistance finally ended on Dec. 13 with victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, shattering hopes of rebels ousting him.
But before the world could even get over the news of the ceasefire, the truce collapsed- air strikes, shelling and gunfire erupted all over the city once again.
Russia said government forces were responding to rebel attacks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said rebel resistance was likely to end in the next two or three days.