A Facebook post reportedly written by the 11-year-old son of Syrian President Bashar Assad challenges America to attack Syria and calls U.S. soldiers "cowards."
"No one has soldiers like the ones we do in Syria," the post, appearing on an account under the name Hafez Assad, read. "America doesn't have soldiers, what it has is some cowards with new technology who claim themselves liberators.
"I can expect that some people may comment that America is more powerful than us, my response is that first you don't know what we have, second maybe they are stronger, maybe they will destroy the army, but they will never destroy these remnants and little bits of resistance, it's who we are."
The declaration drew several "likes" and comments from people who appear to be the children or grandchildren of other members of Assad's government, and many of them had changed their profile pictures to photos of Assad or his father, the former leader also named Hafez who ruled for three decades before his death in 2000.
Among the commenters are accounts that apparently belong to two children of Deputy Vice President Mohammed Nassif Khierbek, Ali and Sally, and to three children of a former deputy defense minister, Assef Shawkat, who was killed in a bombing in July 2012, according to The New York Times
"Like father like son! Well said future President!" one comment read.
The Facebook account has not been confirmed to be that of Assad's son, but there are some elements of the page that make it a plausible possibility. For example, the account lists the owner as a graduate of a Montessori school in Damascus, a detail revealed in a February 2011 Vogue profile of Asma Assad, the child's mother. The piece has since been removed from the magazine's website, but was reposted by blogger Joshua Landis
, a well-known scholar of Syrian politics.
However, other details listed on the Facebook page seem suspicious. It also claims that the owner is a graduate of Oxford University and a player for a Barcelona soccer team, neither of which 11-year-old Hafez Assad is likely to have on his resume, the Times reported.
But if the Facebook page is, in fact, a hoax, it's a highly elaborate one built with the help of many other fake accounts purporting to be Assad's cousins and friends.
The author signed off by comparing a potential American missile attack to the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a close Syrian ally.
"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," he wrote.
"What did Hezbollah have back then? Some street fighters and some small rockets and a pile of guns, but they had belief, In theirselves [sic] 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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