„There are no surprises anymore for Syrians when it comes to denying the realities of their suffering and when it comes to the shamelessness of of those who accuse truth-tellers of being outright liars. This is especially the case when the shameless one is Bashar al Assad. As Syrians would put it, ‚Lie, lie again, then lie some more – at some point there are people who will believe you.‘ And it’s unfortunately those gullible dupes who are the target audience of Assad’s latest flagrant falsehood. In an interview today with Swiss TV SRF1, the dictator claimed that the most infamous photograph to emerge from his many years of war crimes was nothing more than an airbrushed fake. You know the one I’m talking about: the shot of little Omran Daqneesh, sat in an ambulance shellshocked after being pulled from a pulverized building, covered in dust and blood, a photograph that almost every front page of every major international newspaper carried weeks ago as a symbol of Aleppo’s misery. This, Assad professes with a straight-face, was a ‚forgery.‘ (…)
Perhaps the most perverse aspect to Assad’s latest lie is that his own wife has debunked it. Asma al-Assad, who on a number of occasions has been described as living on Mars owing to her comments which contradict the very laws of physics, told the Kremlin’s state propaganda channel Russia Today yesterday, by way of pleading for moral equivalence between the crimes of her husband and the human rights abuses of his enemies: ‚Why was the fate of the children in Zara not given the same media coverage as the tragedies of Aylan and Omran?‘ (Aylan refers to Aylan al-Kurdi, the subject of that other haunting photograph of a young refugee boy who washed up dead on the shore of Turkey two years ago.) If Asma concedes that Omran’s brush with death was a tragedy, then how can it have been a ‚forged‘ one?
In totalitarian regimes, mistakes happen all the time. Maybe Bashar’s wife wasn’t in on the real conspiracy on how to spin a symbol of Syrian suffering into a jihadist frame-up. But as for Assad, it scarcely matters. He’s escaped overthrow, received ‚unbelievably small‘ penalties for using sarin gas in his capital city, and is now set to outlast Barack Obama in power. After five years, his lies have got him this far. Why stop now?“
(Rami Jarrah: „Assad’s Latest Lie Debunked by His Own Wife“)