A Facebook post reportedly by the son of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad may or may not have been authentic, but has nevertheless caught the attention of media outlets in the world.
Reports surfaced over the weekend that Assad’s eldest son, Hafez, had taunted the U.S. Army on the social networking site and wrote that he was looking forward to an American military strike in Syria so that Syrians could "resist".
“I just want them to attack sooo much … I want them to make this huge mistake of beginning something that they don’t know the end of it,” the post read, according to snapshots which circulated in Western outlets.
“I can expect that some people may comment that America is more powerful than us,” the post added. “They will never fight and destroy these remnants and little bits of resistance, it’s who we are, we were born to fight and resist, we will fight them everywhere.”
“They may have the best army in the world, maybe the best airplanes, ships, tanks than ours, but soldiers? No one has soldiers like the ones we do in Syria … America doesn’t have soldiers, what it has is some cowards with new technology who claim themselves liberators,” Assad’s son supposedly wrote.
The post was reported by such outlets as The New York Times, the Guardian and the Daily Mail. Soon afterwards, it was deleted.
While it remains unclear whether the post was a hoax or not, a Syrian IT engineer who works with the oppositional Free Syrian Army told Al Arabiya on Saturday that he believes it was not written by Assad’s son.
“Anyone who knows Assad’s family well knows that this isn’t the way Hafez al-Assad writes or even talks,” the engineer, who would not provide his full name, said.
“I had to carry out research on the news as soon as it came out and contacted teachers at his school. I have always known Hafez is a shy boy, unlike his brother Karim, but teachers in his school told me he cannot write in such a descriptive way,” he told Al Arabiya.
“Either way, it can never be proven that it’s his Facebook page. Even if it is his page, it can’t even be proven that he wrote it. It is highly unlikely that it has anything to do with him,” he added.