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Mahir al-Assad orders photographers to snap his daughters in ‘unusual move’

The Syrian president's brother has recently taken the unusual step of allowing her daughters to photographed

Published: Updated:

After coming under sharp criticism for his role in suppressing the Syrian revolution, Mahir al-Assad, brother of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, disappeared from the spotlight and only appeared when he wanted to prove he was still alive following rumors of his death or murder.

However, in an unusual move, Mahir has allowed photographers to snap photos of his daughters Bushra and Sham during celebrations of Army Day which falls on August 1.

The move is a first as it has come to light that he ordered a professional photographer to snap his daughters and then for the first time ever, allowed them to be published and marketed.

Some sources said the Assad family bring their children to the spotlight “whenever they’re in a bad situation” – in the same way Bashar al-Assad did when he ordered the release of a photo of his son, Hafez, to promise his supporters an “heir preparing” to takeover or a “republican grandson” as it has also become known.

But others doubt the intentions considering the Assad family “has practically ended and no longer stand a chance of political or non-political survival due to the crimes it committed against the Syrian people.”

Some commentators have said they think Mahir al-Assad’s move to allow photographers the chance to snap photos of his children riding horses is some sort of “emotional begging to gain the Syrians’ mercy after the frenzy against him due to the crimes he committed, adding that Mahir wants to appear like a “compassionate father” who has a family and deserves “mercy.”

Many commentators however considered him a “bloody father” and have stated that if Mahir showed mercy he would have felt the pain of the “Syrian mothers whose sons were killed, displaced or lost in the land of refuge.”

Some have mocked the incident joking whether a woman will govern Syria.

Others have viewed this as some sort of competition between Mahir and Bashar as the latter has allowed his son, Hafez, to take photos and publish them where many commented demanding Hafez “as president for Syria.”

However, some said Mahir wants to tell the Syrians that he’s no longer that “officer famed for resorting to violence” at every turn.

Well-informed sources regarding Syrian affairs said Mahir may have allowed the publishing of these photos to pave the way for his “complete exit” from the picture following arrangements which he thinks have been ongoing for a while as his time in power has ended like his brother’s, adding that there may be some sort of exit for Mahir as part of “a deal that includes a limited number of people.”

All sources confirm that Mahir is on top of any list that will be submitted to international courts and that he will not get out of it unless by an “international and regional miracle.” The published photos of his daughters may thus be an attempt to gain sympathy.

So far however none of these sources confirmed whether there was a specified arrangement for the exit of Bashar al-Assad from the arena, adding that Bashar was the one who was the final word “in the murder of Syrians.”

A Syrian source said Bashar and Mahir will suffer the exact same fate.

This article is also available in Arabic