A new image of Omran Daqneesh, the now five-year-old boy whose bloody and dusty face woefully humanized the ongoing plight in Syria, surfaced on Monday after he and his family were interviewed by a pro-government channel in Syria known as Al Mayadeen TV, according to ABC News. The image is the first one seen publicly since August 2016, when a photographer captured his profound stoicism following an attack in Aleppo.
The same attack that left Omran injured also killed their 10-year-old son Ali, according to Omran's father. But the suffering didn't stop them from remaining loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Daqneesh's, in fact, never fled the city.
In the family's Al Mayadeen TV interview, which airs tonight, Omran's father tells pro-Assad journalist Kinana Allouche that opposition forces and international media only used his son's photo to attack the Syrian government.
“They wanted to trade in his blood and publish his photos,” he said, according to reports.
According to the doctor who treated Omran following the attack, the boy suffered a simple wound to the scalp and was discharged from the hospital two hours later.
“There are hundreds and thousands of stories like Omran’s,” Mohammad said. “Omran was lucky. Other children are dead or paralyzed, and their stories didn’t reach the world."