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    RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan

    Russian, Chinese Media Should Jointly Resist Fake News - Sputnik Editor-in-Chief

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    Russian and Chinese media should jointly resist fake news such as the recent story about Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh, Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — She went on to describe the story of Omran, who was initially touted as the symbol of "Aleppo's suffering" by Western media but was later revealed to have been manipulated by the White Helmets.

    "We can only tackle this [fake news] together. In this case, together and with the help of Chinese media," Simonyan said at the third Russia-China media forum in Moscow.

    "Here is a typical example with boy Omran. Of course, you have seen this image. This boy, fully covered in blood and ashes, has become a symbol for the Western mainstream [media] in the fight against the so-called regime of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. We have found the family of this boy, and this family supports Assad's regime," Simonyan said.

    The editor-in-chief recalled that this family said humanitarian organizations had "literally captured" Omran without providing him with medical aid, took photos of him and gave them to journalists, which spread this "totally fake" story.

    In August 2016, photos and videos of Omran Daqneesh, shot by the White Helmets volunteers, were published by several Western media outlets. The footage showed Omran injured and covered in ashes after being rescued from an attack in the militant-controlled Karm al-Qaterji neighborhood of Aleppo. The boy was publicized by mainstream media as a symbol of Aleppo's civilian suffering, with some news outlets accusing Moscow of conducting the airstrike in question.

    Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov denied the reports of Russia’s alleged role in the Karm al-Qaterji strike, since the residential neighborhood is directly adjacent to the Russian humanitarian operation corridors for the safe exit of local residents.

    In early June, the RT broadcaster released a two-part interview with the boy's father, Mohammad Kheir Daqneesh, who revealed that the White Helmets had manipulated injured Omran into being photographed instead of offering immediate help. The volunteers later went on to threaten his father after the family went into hiding to prevent any more unwanted media exposure.


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    Sputnik, Margarita Simonyan, China, Russia, Syria, Aleppo
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