A Facebook post has surfaced supposedly written by Hafez al-Assad, the 11-year-old son of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. In it the young Assad invites America to attack Syria, saying: “I just want them to attack sooo much, because I want them to make this huge mistake of beginning something that they don't know the end of it.”
Whilst there is no definite way of confirming the post's legitimacy, if it is genuine then it offers a unique insight into the mind-set of the country’s political elite.
Hafez al-Assad describes America’s army as “cowards with new technology who claim themselves liberators”, saying that even in the event of a land invasion of Syria, Western forces will “never destroy these remnants and little bits of resistance, it's who we are, we were born to fight and resist”.
The New York Times have noted several details in the Facebook profile that suggest it may be genuine. Firstly, the owner of the account says he went to the Montesorri school in Damascus, a detail of the Assad’s family life that was reported in a Vogue profile of Bashar al-Assad’s wife in February 2011.
Secondly, numerous likes and comments appearing on the page appear to have been written by children and grandchildren of senior figures in the Syrian regime:
“Among them are accounts that seemingly belong to two children of Deputy Vice President Mohammed Nassif Khierbek, Ali and Sally, and to three children of a former deputy defense minister, Assef Shawkat, who was killed in a bombing in July 2012.”
Comments left on the post include “Like father like son! Well said future President!” and “Very well said .. May god protect syria and as long as we have this believe [sic] for sure victory will be ours”.
Clicking on the profiles of individuals that have left these comments reveals accounts that appear genuine: many have been created years ago and have full histories of uploaded photos, likes, and other Facebook activity.
Examining these accounts it seems that either the post is an elaborate hoax involving many fake accounts; or the account has fooled other, genuine users; or it is indeed a post by Hafez al-Assad. See below to read the post in full:
- More about:
- Armed Conflict
- Earth Sciences
- Middle East
- Western Asia