Graffiti Artist Mocks International Response to Alleged Chemical Attack in Khan Shaykhun

The recent suspected chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun led to a myriad of international reactions, from Russian and Syrian denials to American airstrikes and medical investigations. An Idlib-based artist shared his views via his paints.

Aziz Al-Asmar, an artist and resident of the opposition-held town of Binnish, located northwest of the city of Idlib, used his graffiti skills to criticize the global response, or lack thereof, to the April 4 attack that killed more than 70 Syrians, including many women and children, and wounded hundreds more.

Al-Asmar, born and raised in Binnish, returned to Syria last year after leaving a cushy creative job at a Beirut-based publishing house in order to begin a new type of storytelling in Syria. Some of his work is political, and Al-Asmar has given countless interviews to local opposition media in the Idlib and Aleppo provinces in an effort to explain his reasons for returning home. In one interview, he said the majority of his work is focused on painting over Syrian military and Islamic State imagery on the walls of buildings with child-friendly images depicting cartoon characters like Sponge Bob in order to “put a smile on the faces of Syrian children.” Credit: YouTube/SMART News Agency via Storyful