Striking images have emerged from the war-stricken Syrian town of Douma, as the community stage ISIS-like photos to attract attention to the atrocities being committed by Assad's regime.
Our hearts weep every time we think of the innocent Syrians being slaughtered by both their bloody dictator and ISIS. With the way the media’s attention has shifted from covering Assad atrocities to covering and airing ISIS execution videos, it is as though they have declared Assad the lesser of the two evils. Hoping to highlight that both are equal threats and both need to be removed, the Syrian children of Douma are being used to stage parodies of the recent ISIS videos to protest President Bashar Al Assad’s regime.
In the town of Douma, reduced to piles of rubble, children as young as three can be seen pictured in orange jumpsuits, locked in a cage, while a man holds a flaming torch reminiscent to the ISIS video released of the execution of Jordanian pilot Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh. The shocking images were created in attempt to raise awareness that many are still dying in airstrikes carried out by forces loyal to Assad. According to the British-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), in only the first 10 days of February, 55 women and children were killed (180 people over all) by regime airstrikes.
Sadly, with little to no media coverage of Assad’s recent onslaughts, the people of Douma feel that the only way to be heard is to create shocking ISIS-like images in order to remind the media that Assad is just as evil as ISIS. One can argue that the use of children is absolutely despicable and unacceptable, even if they weren't hurt, however at the same time one wonders if this story would have ever come to light without them.
The real tragedy is that Syrian Civilians remained trap with no help in sight. Whether they are killed from barrel bombs or chemical attacks by Assad's air force, or burnt alive or beheaded by ISIS truly doesn’t matter as the point remains that both factions are mass murderers destroying Syria. Deciding which group is more evil is not the debate that media outlets and people should be having, but rather why innocent Syrians need to use their children in this way so that the media notices that Assad is killing just as many Syrians, if not more, than ISIS, and that his removal is just as pivotal as any attempts to neutralize the growing ISIS threat.
This video is not violently graphic but definitely heartbreaking.
Photos courtesy of Reuters.