The name of Omran Daqneesh became known to the world in August 2016 when some media outlets began circulating footage of a five-year old Syrian child apparently injured in alleged Russian Air Force strike on the rebel-held al-Qaterji neighborhood of Aleppo.
Untroubled by petty concerns of ethics and morality, the Syrian militants rushed to capitalize on this tragedy, using the image of Omran – bloodied, covered in dust and apparently shocked – as ammo in their propaganda campaign against Damascus and its allies, blaming the government of Bashar Assad and Russian combat pilots for the suffering of Aleppo’s children.
The truth, however, turns out to be quite different.
While the militants claimed on several occasions that Omran died of his injuries, the boy is in fact alive and well, living peacefully with his family in the liberated city of Aleppo.
The boy’s father, Mohammad Kheir Daqneesh, told RT correspondents that the militants actually exaggerated the extent of his son’s injuries for the sake of propaganda.
"He only sustained minor injuries, but the militants exaggerated this fact. They said on numerous occasions via their media that he died, until finally admitting that he’s alive. They are not to be trusted," Mohammad said.
He described how on that tragic day when their house was destroyed and he rushed to rescue his family from the rubble, the so called White Helmets simply stood by and filmed his son in order to make that famous video.
"While I was rescuing my family the militants filmed my kin getting out of the house, in order to use these images for propaganda… I never had any dealings with their organizations and I never accepted their so called humanitarian aid," the father explained.
One can only hope that the Syrian militant groups won’t use the suffering of more Syrian children as mere ammo in their ongoing efforts to topple the country’s government.