War scenes for a new Jackie Chan-produced movie were reportedly shot in a Syrian city levelled by Assad bombing, according to activists.
The film Home Operation explores the emergency evacuation of Chinese citizens from Yemen during the outbreak of war in 2015 – was partly filmed near the ruined regime-held city of al-Hajar al-Aswad, south of the Syrian capital Damascus, Al-Jazeera reported.
Home Operation is a Chinese-Emirati collaboration, according to the country’s Ambassador to China Ali Obaid al-Daheri, PR news wire reported last August.
Activists are outraged over the movie, labelling it “whitewashing” of Assad war crimes and “shameful” behaviour by the Syrian regime’s allies – China and the UAE.
The New Arab could not verify the claims but contacted SYX Pictures FZ-LLC, Jackie Chan, and al-Daheri’s media office for comment. It received no response at the time of publication.
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Over 500,000 Syrians have been killed since the war in Syria broke out in 2011 – the vast majority of civilians from regime bombing and shelling.
The regime has flattened whole towns and neighbourhoods during assaults on opposition areas.
“It is shameful to film such films on the ruins of Syrian homes that were destroyed by the Assad regime, Russia and Iran…the Chinese fascist regime is an ally of Syria, and they are trying to whitewash their crimes in actions like this,” Syrian journalist Fared al-Mahlool told The New Arab.
“The Chinese who came and filmed this movie should respect the Syrians whose homes were bombed and destroyed, leading to many Syrians becoming displaced,” he added.
Activists say the film will cause psychological harm to Syrians who lost loved ones in bombing or saw their homes destroyed by regime attacks.
“God help us, we have become a mockery on a universal scale,” one Syrian wrote.
“So that’s why Bashar destroyed all of these cities; he wanted to make a film location set,” another commented.
The film’s director and producer, Song Yingxi stated his production company SYX Pictures FZ-LLC would complete its registration for its base in the UAE during the film’s launch ceremony last year, PR News Wire reported.
Yinxi stated his company would become a “base for me and [the] Chinese film industry in MENA.”
World-famous actor Jackie Chan is the film’s executive producer. He has previously expressed his support for the Syrian regime’s allies, Russia and China, stating that “friendship between China and Russia will last forever,” according to Russian News Agency TASS.
The Syrian conflict broke out in 2011 after President Bashar al-Assad brutally cracked down on peaceful protests.
Bashar al-Assad was widely-criticized for a recent family photo in a bombed-out section of Aleppo, which was heavily damaged by regime bombing during the war.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.