Syria's President Assad joins Instagram
Having realised the value of being loved by your public, the Syrian president, who is accused of waging chemical warfare against his own people, has uploaded photos in which he can be seen comforting the sick, feeding the elderly and exchanging kisses with star-struck citizens.
The account, which takes the handle ‘syrianpresidency’, features numerous pictures of the Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad, who grew up in Britain before marrying Mr Assad in 2000.
The account was only launched last week, around the same time that the Syrian civil war's death toll surpassed 100,000 bodies, a rate of 7,000 deaths per month.
Syria’s civil war has created heightened violence between Muslim factions beyond its own borders. Earlier this week a series of coordinated car bombings throughot Iraq, which saw Sunni Muslims targeted their Shia counterparts, was blamed on the negative influence of Syrian polarisation.
Despite the account only having existed for one week, it has already uploaded more than 50 photos and garnered over 1,200 subscribers.
Mr Assad has been accused of using the nerve agent sarin against his own people, an allegation of war crimes and human rights violations which he denies.
Instagram is a social media platform which allows users to change the appearance of their photographs using a selection of filters, effects which change the photographs to give a more ‘polaroid’ look. Few, if any, of President Assad’s photos appear to have been altered.