Mahmud Rslan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(DAMASCUS) — A new photo of Omran Daqneesh, the 5-year-old boy whose image became a symbol of the suffering in Aleppo after he was photographed following an August 2016 attack, surfaced Monday after he and his family were interviewed by a pro-government channel in Syria called Al Mayadeen TV.
The image of Omran is the first one seen publicly since the picture of him bloodied and dusty in the back of an ambulance in Aleppo went viral after he was rescued from a destroyed building in the besieged city’s Qaterji neighborhood following an airstrike.
Omran’s family never fled the city after the attack and ABC News is told they remain loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In the family’s Al Mayadeen TV interview, which airs tonight, Omran’s father tells pro-Assad journalist Kinana Allouche that rebels and international media only used his son’s image to attack the Syrian government.
“They wanted to trade in his blood and publish his photos,” he said, according to reports.
The father added that Omran’s 10-year-old brother, Ali, was killed in the same strike that injured Omran.
According to the doctor who treated Omran after the August 2016 attack, he was covered in dust and bleeding from the head.
“Omran was scared and dazed at the same time. He wasn’t crying at all. It seemed like he had been asleep when it happened,” Mohammad, who treated Omran, told ABC News.
Mohammad said Omran suffered one simple wound to the scalp and was discharged from the hospital after two hours.
“There are hundreds and thousands of stories like Omran’s,” he continued. “Omran was lucky. Other children are dead or paralyzed, and their stories didn’t reach the world.”
Omran’s photo, along with several others from the attack, were published online by the Aleppo Media Center, an activist organization looking to draw attention to the plight of civilians inside city.
According to UNICEF, the ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II, with more than 8 million children in danger.
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