08/23/2016, 16.02
SYRIA – CHINA
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For Chinese media, the picture of Syrian child could be a fake in the West’s "propaganda war”

A Chinese state broadcaster questions authenticity of the Aleppo child video, seeing it as a tool to provide an humanitarian excuse to intervene in the country. The video was shot by a group close to the British military.

Damascus (AsiaNews) – China's state media have questioned the authenticity of the video (and still pictures) of Omran, the Syrian boy covered in dust and blood, which quickly went viral worldwide, generating a lot of talk on social media.

Chinese sources claim that it is faked and part of a Western "propaganda war" in favour of one side of the Syrian war.

The video shows four-year-old Omran Daqneesh (pictured) after surviving an air strike in Aleppo last week. Aleppo is currently the main battleground in the Syrian conflict.

The US State Department called the child "the real face" of the Syrian war

Omran's older brother Ali, 10, is said to have died from wounds sustained in the bombardment of the city’s Qaterji neighbourhood in east Aleppo, which has been held by rebel and Jihadi groups fighting the Syrian regular army.

China's official broadcaster CCTV questioned the video of Omran in a weekend report, showing the harrowing footage with the subtitle "Video suspected of being fake."

"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," the voiceover to Saturday's report said.

"The workers did not make rapid rescue efforts, and instead quickly set up a camera," it added. 

The report was subtitled “Posed picture? Exaggeration? The video is suspected of being a fake”.

The CCTV report alleged that the Syrian Civil Defense group which shot the video, also known as the "White Helmets", is of "questionable independence" and has links to the British military, and that its author was once close to extremist groups fighting Assad.

Beijing has long supported the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is an ally of Russia in the Middle East conflict.

Media reports indicate that Moscow, Tehran and Beijing have joined forces against the West (especially the US) in the ruins of Syria.

A Chinese delegation in Damascus signed agreements on providing military training and Chinese humanitarian aid to Syria.

Melkite Patriarch Gregory III Laham recently spoke to AsiaNews about the information war in the context of the Syrian conflict, which has left more than 290,000 people dead and displaced millions since it began in 2011.

Asked about the complaint of 18,000 deaths in Syrian jails, the prelate questioned the figure given that "there is no access" to prisons.

For the patriarch, a war of lies, statements, and supposed revelations is taking place alongside the "fighting with" weapons in order to distract international public opinion and the local population.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, Mgr Mario Zenari, also spoke, saying that the plight of children in conflict is what is most striking.

"Since the beginning of the war,” said the Vatican diplomat. “14,000 of children and minors have fallen in the conflict".

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