HARROWING images of a dazed and bloodied Syrian boy being pulled from the rubble of an airstrike may have been faked as part of a “western propaganda war”, Chinese state media has claimed.
A video showing five-year-old Omran Daqneesh sitting in the back of an ambulance moments after he was rescued from the ruins of a building in Aleppo caused outrage worldwide, drawing comparisons to the images of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, whose body was pictured washed up on a Turkish beach last year.
The footage showed Omran caked in blood and dust, sitting quietly in the emergency vehicle apparently in a state of shock.
His elder brother Ali, 10, died on Saturday from his injuries caused by the explosion.
But a video posted by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV questions the authenticity of the video, claiming it may have been created in order to provide an “humanitarian excuse” for Western countries to become involved in the Syrian crisis.
Republishing the footage under the heading “video suspected of being fake”, a voiceover says: “Critics have suggested it is part of a propaganda war, aimed at creating a humanitarian excuse for Western countries to become involved in Syria.
“The workers did not make rapid rescue efforts, and instead quickly set up a camera.”
The pictures were taken by humanitarian group Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmets, an emergency response organisation which rescues people from the immediate aftermath of missile attacks in Syria.
CCTV’s video questioned the group’s “independence” citing that its founder, James Le Mesurier, is a former British Army officer.
China is both a supporter of Basher al-Assad’s Syrian Government and Russia.
It has previously accused the Tibetan government of releasing faked images of a mortally wounded Tibetan man allegedly beaten by Chinese police.
|Omran and his sister after being pulled from the rubble|
|Omran’s brother Ali died of his injuries from the airstrike-|
The Kremlin has also accused the West of using Omran’s images for “cynical exploitation” and “cliched anti-Russian propaganda.”
Both Russia and the Syrian government have denied responsibility for the fatal airstrike that Omran escaped from.
Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told the UN’s Security Council: “The perpetrators must be elsewhere.”