A young Syrian boy who captured the world’s attention last year when images of his blood- and dust-covered face spread across the internet has re-emerged this week — in interviews on news outlets with ties to the Syrian government.

The boy, Omran Daqneesh, came to symbolize the plight of civilians besieged by government forces in eastern Aleppo when his family’s home was bombed in August and local activists shared photos and video of the frightened Omran on social media.

Now, he and his family have appeared in a series of televised interviews on news channels supportive of President Bashar al-Assad, apparently part of a calculated public relations campaign by the Syrian government.

These are the first images of Omran — his cheeks pudgier, his face cleaner — that have been broadcast since he was rescued by volunteer emergency workers. At the time, his family had refused to speak to the news media.

The latest interviews appear on outlets that favor the Syrian government: Russian-, Iranian- and Lebanese-run state television, and on Syrian channels that have backed Mr. Assad in his six-year war against opposition forces.

Read the whole story from The New York Times.

Featured image courtesy of The Indian Express