The 11-year-old son of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is suspected of posting a diatribe on Facebook that calls American soldiers “cowards with new technology” and dared the U.S. to attack,
Liam Stack of The New York Times reports.
Stack writes that if the post is a hoax, “it is either a highly elaborate one involving dozens of fake accounts purporting to belong to the children of other regime insiders, or a forgery so impressive that some of those children themselves — including the boy’s cousins — have been fooled.”
pictures of the “likes
” and comments by several people who appear to be the children and grandchildren of other senior members of Mr. Assad’s government — including three children of a former deputy defence minister, Assef Shawkat, who was killed in Jule 2012 — before being deleted.
From The Times:
The accounts said to belong to the children of Mr. Shawkat — one of his sons, Bassel, and two of his daughters, Anisseh and Boushra — appeared to be authentic, according to a Syrian journalist from Damascus who has extensive knowledge of the country’s ruling elite and spoke on condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns. Mr. Shawkat was married to the sister of Bashar al-Assad, making these three children cousins of Mr. Assad’s son Hafez, who is believed to be the author of the Facebook post.
The Obama administration appears committed to a limited military strike on Syria in response to perceived chemical weapons use on Aug. 21.
“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,” the Facebook post says. “… they don’t know our land like we do, no one does, victory is ours in the end no matter how much time it takes.”
Stack notes that no matter the post’s origin, it “appears to illustrate the mindset of Mr. Assad’s core supporters … [and] may offer a glimpse into the way the country’s leaders — or, at the very least, Mr. Assad’s supporters — speak to one another and to their families as the specter of foreign military intervention looms.”
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