The 11-year-old son of Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has apparently dared the United States to launch an attack, in a Facebook taunt that has been 'liked' by the children and grandchildren of other senior Syrian officials.
'I just want them to attack sooo much, because I want them to make this huge mistake of beginning something that they don’t know the end of it,' stated the post on an account said to belong to Hafez al-Assad.
The comments were posted in response to moves by the US to launch a strike in response to a chemical weapons attack on August 21.
However, the authenticity of the Facebook profile is hard to confirm.
While it shows a younger picture of Hafez, the owner's profile also states that he is a a graduate of Oxford University and a player for a Barcelona soccer team - neither of which are likely for an 11-year-old boy living in Damascus.
But it does also state that he is a graduate of a Montessori school in Damascus, a detail confirmed within a profile on Hafez's mother, Asma al-Assad, which appeared in Vogue in February 2011.
The post has also attracted many 'likes' and comments from accounts appearing to belong to the families of members of Assad's administration.
Among these are comments apparently posted by the two children of Deputy Vice President Mohammed Nassif Khierbek, Ali and Sally, and three children of a former deputy defence minister, Assef Shawkat, who was killed in a bombing in July 2012.
A Syrian journalist from Damascus, who wished to remain anonymous, told the New York Times that the accounts belonging to Mr Shawkat's son, Bassel and daughters, Anisseh and Boushra, appeared to be authentic.
The children are also direct cousins of Hafez al-Assad, as Mr Shawkat was married to the Syrian president's sister.
Many of the Facebook profile pictures of those who commented have been changed to show pictures of the Syrian premier or his father, also named Hafez, who ruled the country for 30 years before his son took power in 2000.
The post is also littered with spelling and grammar mistakes, which would not be unusual for a child author.
Whether authentic or not, the post illustrates the support that President Assad continues to garner, despite a two-year civil war that has killed more than 1000,000 Syrians and caused millions to flee for their lives.
The post also shows that those who do support Assad are unafraid of any United States retaliation.
'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.'
The author also compares any possible action by America to the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, one of the Assad regime's closest allies in the current conflict.
In a chilling taunt, the post stated: 'What did Hezbollah have back then? Some street fighters and some small rockets and a pile of guns, but they had belief, In theirselves and in their country and that’s exactly what’s gonna happen to America if it chooses invasion because they don’t know our land like we do, no one does, victory is ours in the end no matter how much time it takes.'
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