At least five people in Egypt have been arrested after allegedly making fake videos that purport to show the reality in Syria by exploiting supposedly injured children, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
In one of the latest videos, a bandaged and apparently battered eight-year-old girl whose white dress is covered in what appears to be blood (but has now been identified as paint) is paraded as evidence of the unrepentant oppression of the Syrian regime. A 12-year old boy is also seen and heard speaking against the Syrian-Russian coalition that has bombed Aleppo trying to recover it from anti-government and terrorist groups.
According to The Independent, the girl’s dress, covered in red paint, was what caught the attention of a police officer driving by, the ministry reported.
The crew included a videographer, his two assistants and the parents of two children aged eight and 12, both of whom appear in the video.
They were caught red-handed by police in a dilapidated building waiting to be demolished in Egypt’s north-east city of Port Said, according to an official statement on Monday.
Additional reports state that the team admitted to planning to distribute the video as evidence of what is happening in Syria. Six mobile phones and a camera were seized at the scene.
The “scenes to be published on the pages of social networking sites, is to convince viewers that those pictures show the ongoing events in the city of Aleppo,” the statement read.
Indeed, with the recent liberation of Aleppo by Syrian government forces after four years of fighting – efforts which continue as this is being written – the city itself has become a stage for anti-government groups’ propaganda.
Social media, in fact, has become one of the main vehicles used by these groups to push through these types of anti-government, pro-opposition narratives. They often use the blanket term “rebels” to describe the myriad opposition groups that include terrorist forces such as the Islamic State group, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda and others who push anti-government propaganda.
According to Eva Bartlett, a Canadian freelance journalist and social justice activist, this includes well-documented instances of “recycled” images of victims by the so-called White Helmets.
Supposedly an independent civil defense non-governmental organization, Bartlett has debunked the group as lackeys of the empire, mainly the United States and the United Kingdom. In a recent debate hosted by RT, Bartlett once again destroyed the group’s legitimacy.
“I’m saying the White Helmets are partial. They’re funded (to the tune of $100 million) by Western elements that want to topple the Syrian government,” Bartlett, who’s covered Syria from the ground in separate occasions since 2014, said during the debate with U.K. journalist Dilly Hussain.
Their “footage is very dubious, and the people who have been evacuated....have not heard of the White Helmets,” she added.
According to reports, it still isn’t clear what charges have been brought against the five detainees, four of which have been released on bail. The photographer is still being held for questioning, authorities said.