At least 53 vehicles transport over 1,000 civilians out of the eastern part of the war-torn Syrian city.
The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations has used a fake photo in an attempt to positively portray Syrian government forces on the heels of deadly battles in eastern Aleppo.
At an emergency meeting of the Security Council, Syria’s UN ambassador, Bashar Jaafari showed a photograph he falsely claimed was a Syrian soldier assisting a Syrian woman.
“This is what the Syrian army is doing in Aleppo,” he told the Security Council holding the photo up. “Here you see a picture of a Syrian soldier providing help and succour to a woman, helping her get out of a car.”
However, the photo was taken in Fallujah, in neighbouring Iraq, and features a Popular Mobilisation Unit (PMU) soldier helping an Iraqi woman. The original photo was taken during the battle of Fallujah and appeared in Arabic language news websites in June 2016.
The use of the photo was quickly noticed by journalists, activists and social media users, who took to Twitter to comment on it.
Syrian envoy to the UNSC uses a photo of Iraqi PMU helping a woman in Fallujah, Iraq and claims it's a photo of SAA in Syria. pic.twitter.com/ItS0nsswMt
— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) December 13, 2016
— Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 (@borzou) December 14, 2016
At the time of the UNSC meeting, civilians in the remaining rebel-held pockets of eastern Aleppo were fleeing an intense government military offensive on the area.