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    A member of forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad attempts to erect the Syrian national flag inside the Umayyad mosque, in the government-controlled area of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016

    Saudi Media Waging Information War, Spreading Fake Images of Horror in Aleppo

    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
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    Vigorous opponents of Aleppo freed of terrorists are using old pictures of women and children in a desperate attempt to propagandize the idea of Syrian Army’s "violence" against civilians.

    On Sunday, the Syrian Army officially declared victory in the battle for Aleppo which began more than four years ago. The first clashes in the city broke out on July 19, 2012. 

    In the last few months, Aleppo has been an important battleground in Syria, engulfed by a conflict between government forces and a number of opposition and extremist groups.

    Over the past three weeks, the Syrian Army and militias have freed more than 98 percent of the territory of eastern Aleppo, according to the Russian reconciliation center.

    Certain media outlets and popular groups on social networking sites have launched an entire information campaign against Syrian government forces in Aleppo, an article on Sputnik Arabic read.

    Supporters of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carry their national flags and gesture as they tour the streets in celebration of what they say is the Syrian army's victory against the rebels in Aleppo, Syria December 12, 2016
    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
    They are using pictures from the Gaza Strip as well as photos from 2014 and 2015 as proof of the "atrocities" committed by the Syrian Army against civilians in Aleppo.

    Known for its hardline anti-Assad stance, Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya released a news article on December 14 titled "non-stop coverage of the recent events in Aleppo in details." 

    The article contained a picture showing emergency workers of the so-called "White Helmets" pulling a Syrian kid out of a ruined building. The boy’s face was covered with blood. However, journalists have repeatedly condemned the "White Helmets" for distributing lies and being engaged with al-Nusra Front.

    Al Arabiya broadcaster used a picture of White Helmets workers helping a kid
    © Photo : Al Arabiya
    Al Arabiya broadcaster used a picture of "White Helmets" workers helping a kid

    The very same photo of "White Helmets" members with the same kid can be found on the website of the Aliwaa newspaper in an article dated November 25, 2016. This delivers a heavy blow to Al Arabiya’s claims of "non-stop and relevant" coverage of the situation in Aleppo.

    The same photo with the same kid was used by the website of the Aliwaa newspaper in November
    © Photo : Aliwaa
    The same photo with the same kid was used by the website of the Aliwaa newspaper in November

    Meanwhile, on December 13, popular Arab-speaking Facebook page "Memories ツ ツ" published a post calling for prayers for Aleppo. In just a few hours, the post scored over 14,000 likes, nearly 400 comments and was reposted over 10,000 times.

    A noteworthy detail is that at first sight "Memories ツ ツ" seems to be a group publishing entertaining content on a number of topics. However, from time to time, it publishes fake news reports about violence against Syrian people, using fake photos.

    Tens of thousands of followers perceive such information as relevant, without checking the facts or the pictures. They believe what they read and see and further distribute the information.

    In the description of the above-mentioned post, the author addresses God: "Lord, we have lost all hope, except our hope for you. And we have lost confidence in everything, except for you. We are calling on you to save the people in Aleppo from disaster."

    While the Syrian Army was liberating Aleppo and establishing safe corridors for its residents, the group on Facebook published a picture showing a large crowd of refugees with a city in ruins in the background.

    This picture was used on the website of BBC Arabic on March 15, 2014 in an article headed "Celebrities across the world are calling on the UN to ease suffering of the Syrian people."

    The same photo was used on the website of BBC Arabic in March 2014
    © Photo : BBC
    The same photo was used on the website of BBC Arabic in March 2014

    On December 13, "Memories ツ ツ" published another post calling for prayers for Aleppo. It received 3,000 likes, 1,000 reposts and a hundred comments. The post featured a picture of a woman crying over the bodies of alleged Syrian kids.

    The same picture was used on July 21, 2014 by popular Arab-speaking Twitter blogger @MazenAlhddabi in a post about in an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, which took place in 2014.

    Related:

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    Aleppo Celebrates Reunification Despite Media Mourning for Fall of City
    Silence After Chaos: A Look Into Aleppo's Liberated District (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
    Assad Vows to Retake Palmyra After Liberating Aleppo
    Tags:
    information war, military conflict, media, Syrian Arab Army, Syria, Aleppo, Saudi Arabia
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