On Al-hadath News is this picture posted:

Warning: Disturbing image

enter image description here

and claims that the Free Syrian Army posted this picture claiming it is "[their] youngest hostage."

Is it true that the baby was taken hostage and photographed with a gun holding its head up towards the camera, with two more guns pointed at it?

  • 1
    What is the claim? It's clearly a real picture. The picture in itself does not have context. Are you skeptical of the context? Are you skeptical that FSA keeps newborns as hostages?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 9:35
  • 2
    @Cincinnatus - I think Skliwz means that it's really a picture, which it is. If the question is whether it's a picture of what it claims to be, that (and the claim of what it is) should be made clearer in the question.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:06
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    @Cincinnatus - Possibly a bit overboard (you could have just stopped with Is it true that the baby was taken hostage?), but it's a clearer question now. I don't know if it's answerable, but it's definitely clearer.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:47
  • 3
    Yep that's what I meant. By the way, people close/edit/improve/reopen questions on the network all the time. Don't get upset if it happens, but try to ask better questions... :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:58
  • 2
    Allegedly it's one of the Armenian hostages taken in Kessab during the Latakia offensive. However it's hard to say if it isn't just part of the propaganda war related to these events.
    – vartec
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


According to The Gospel Coalition - a Christian Organization that does report on the massive persecution of Christians worldwide, and which presumably would have the incentive to find this picture true, nonetheless they state this particular claim is FALSE.

  • The picture is clearly of a Yemeni child, not an Iraqi one.

  • Local reporters do not have this story.

To wit:

There is no doubt that ISIS is persecuting the Christians in Mosul and other areas of Iraq. But almost all have already fled the city and the few that remain are continuing to leave the area. There are, however, journalists from Iraq and Western news agencies still in the city. Why have none of them taken photographs of these atrocities, or even reported on their occurrence? Why have such stories not been reported by the Christians who have fled to the cities controlled by the Kurds?

This is not to say there isn't massive persecution - Christians have pretty much been driven out of Mosul (old Ninevah, and the heart of the Christian Iraqi presence) but this direct photo is a fake.

This picture in particular showed in the context of a Syrian webpage. The article states:

The photo originally appeared online April 11, 2014 on the Facebook page of a person from Yemen. Numerous people on that page attest that the clothes the child is wearing are obviously Yemeni. A few days later, though, the image started popping up on pro-Syrian Army websites claiming that it was an Armenian child who was taken by Syrian rebels. Whatever the original context for the photo, we know based on the date alone that it was not recently taken in Mosul or northern Iraq.

Here is a facebook link to the picture, dated April 11, 2014:

  • Is there any way the photo can be changed on FB by the original poster or any other user? I didn't see a timestamp on the picture.
    – user20862
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 19:54
  • Of that, I do not know. All I can say is that the rumor you are reporting is clearly the same one, and the article gives several reasons to debunk it. The fact that I am linking to the same picture only shows that the specific rumor you are seeking to prove is in fact truth checked and found probably false. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 19:56
  • I don't see the year 2011 at all on that page. Do I need to change a setting? ALL comments are marked April this year.
    – user20862
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 19:58
  • April 11, 2014. I am rescinding the "over 18 months old" That isn't sourced. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 20:00
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    picture is clearly of a Yemeni child - I fail to see how that is clear?
    – Chad
    Commented Aug 15, 2014 at 13:39

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