New photographs have emerged of Omran Daqneesh, the little Syrian boy whose image was seen around the world as a symbol of the suffering of Aleppo.
Three-year-old Omran became a global icon last August after his home was bombed by Russian or Syrian regime forces in the final months of the siege of Aleppo.
In photographs published on social media on Monday he appears healthy and recovered and is sitting on his father’s knee.
New photographs starting to emerge of Omran Daqneesh, the little boy who became a symbol of Aleppo’s suffering. pic.twitter.com/a0NHhgubwS
— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) June 5, 2017
Omran’s image was widely used to illustrate the brutality of the Assad regime as it tried to crush the opposition in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.
But his family, like many others in rebel-held east Aleppo, are reported to have remained loyal to the regime throughout the siege.
They refused all media interviews and reportedly went into regime-held west Aleppo when they had a chance.
The family was interviewed this week by several pro-regime Syrian and Lebanese television channels. In a clip from one interview, Omran’s father said rebel groups and the international media wanted to use his son to attack the Syrian regime.
“They wanted to trade in his blood and published his photos,” he said. He said his shaved his son’s head to try to disguise him and shield him from media attention.
Omran’s older brother Ali, aged ten, was killed in the same strike that injured Omran.
Kinana Allouche, a pro-regime journalist, posted photographs of herself interviewing Omran and his family. “The child Omran, those who tried to shed Syrian blood mislead the news that he was hit by the Syrian Arab Army,” she wrote. “Here he now lives in the Syrian state with its army, its leader and its people.”
Ms Allouche drew internet attention last year after she posted a smiling selfie of herself standing in front of dead rebels.
The siege of Aleppo ended in December last year, when a deal was reached to allow residents and fighters from east Aleppo to leave their homes and go into the countryside.