May 11, 2016 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1247

Cartoons In Gulf Press Criticize Syrian Regime's Massive Assault On Aleppo

May 11, 2016 | By E. Ezrahi*
The Gulf | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1247


On April 28, 2016, the Syrian army, along with Russian and Iranian forces, launched a crushing assault on the city of Aleppo that included massive airstrikes that lasted one week and inflicted hundreds of casualties. The assault came after some two months of a cessation of hostilities following an agreement between the U.S. and Russia in February.

The Aleppo assault triggered harsh criticism among Syrian oppositionists and Arab writers,[1] which was also expressed in many cartoons published in the Gulf press. These cartoons attacked Assad and the forces aiding his assault, as well as the international community and Arab world in light of their silence, which was presented as enabling Assad's ongoing attacks on the city. Other cartoons portrayed the cessation of hostilities agreement as a complete failure and an excuse for Assad to continue fighting.

The following is a selection of these cartoons:

Criticism Of Assad Regime For Assault On Aleppo

The devil Assad burns "Aleppo" in hellfire (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 5, 2016)

Assad, appearing as Hitler, changes "Halab" - the Arabic name of Aleppo - to "Harb" - the Arabic word for war (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 1, 2016)

Assad devours "Aleppo," which becomes lodged in his throat (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2016)

"Syrian regime" tanks crush "Aleppo" (Al-Madina, Saudi Arabia, May 6, 2016)

Assad fiddles as Syria bleeds (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, May 8, 2016)

Russia Helps Assad Destroy Aleppo

Russia bayonets Aleppo ('Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 9, 2016)

The "Russian" bear and Assad (whose name is Arabic for "lion") devour Syria (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 8, 2016)

Russian, Syrian jets drain "Syrian blood" (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, April 29, 2016)

Russia attacks "Aleppo" while levelling "accusations of terrorism" at it (Al-Arab, London, May 2, 2016)

"Russia plays symphonies in Tadmur [Palmyra] atop the bodies of Syrians"[2] (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, May 9, 2016)

Criticism Of The U.S., U.N., And International Community's Apathy In Face Of Assad's Crimes

"#Aleppo_Burning" - "International silence" helps Assad, Iran, and Russia reach "Aleppo" (Al-Sharq, Saudi Arabia, May 2, 2016)

"Obama's red lines" form a nest for the crimes of the Syrian regime (Al-Arab, London, May 4, 2016)

U.S. gives green light to "Aleppo massacre" (Al-Arab, Qatar, May 3, 2016)

U.S., U.N., and international community stand aside as Assad free-kicks bombs into "Aleppo" goal (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, April 30, 2016)

While UN throws Aleppo a useless life buoy, Iran adds fuel to the fire (Al-Sharq, Saudi Arabia, May 1, 2016)

Syrian: "Aleppo is being destroyed!" UN: "Too bad, bad, bad" (Al-Iqtisadiyya, Saudi Arabia, May 1, 2016)

UN's "urgent aid to disaster-stricken areas in Syria" - a coffin (Al-Bayan, UAE, May 4, 2016)

The world sees Aleppo victims as mere numbers (Al-Iqtisadiyya, Saudi Arabia, April 30, 2016)

Criticism Of Arab World's Inaction Regarding Assad's Crimes In Aleppo

"Syria" being ground to dust by Arab apathy (Al-Jarida, Kuwait, May 4, 2016)

Counterclockwise from upper right: "Aleppo's children" grow tired of waiting for "the Arabs" ("Ya Arab") and instead wait for "God" ("Ya Rab") (Al-Sharq, Qatar, May 4, 2016)

"#Aleppo_Burning" - Israel "prepared," Russia "planned," Iran "executed," and the Arab world "witnessed" (Al-Sharq, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2016)

The Ceasefire - A Facade And Excuse For Assad To Continue Fighting

"Ceasefire" provides cover for Assad to continue fighting (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 9, 2016)

"The Ceasefire in Syria" (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, April 28, 2016)

Barrel bomb dropped on "ceasefire" (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 6, 2016)

Oblivious UN declares that "the ceasefire was a success!" (, April 30, 2016)

"#Aleppo Burning" - Cessation of hostilities agreement on fire, on right, is being ignored by the Syrian regime, which, sword in hand, on left, continues fighting - all taking the shape of the Arabic word "Aleppo" (, May 1, 2016)


*E. Ezrahi is a research fellow at MEMRI.



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