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Kim Kardashian wades into Syria war debate, potentially bolstered false claims



By DIAA HADID

BEIRUT (AP) - Kim Kardashian has waded into Syria's conflict, calling on fans through Twitter to save the ancient Armenian Christian village of Kassab, whose residents fled as rebels seized control of the hamlet in late March.

She appeared to have bolstered false claims by loyalists of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said Syrian rebels desecrated the village's churches and slaughtered residents. She used the #SaveKessab hashtag that was used to spread the false claims, causing its popularity to explode.

"If you don't know what's going on in Kessab please google it ... As an Armenian, I grew up hearing so many painful stories," Kardashian wrote in a March 30 tweet, using an alternate spelling of the village's name. "Please let's not let history repeat itself!!!!!! Let's get this trending!!!! #SaveKessab #ArmenianGenocide," she wrote.

In doing so, the celebrity of Armenian descent underscored how Syria's war, more than any other in history, has been waged on social media, with both supporters of President Bashar Assad and those opposing his rule using selectively chosen videos and photos, sometimes faked, recycled or altered, to support their grievances.

While wartime propaganda is as old as conflict itself, the Syrian conflict is a particularly unique case where all combatants heavily use social media, opening a window into a conflict that reporters can barely enter.

Kardashian's use of the two hashtags side-by-side, "#SaveKessab" and "#ArmenianGenocide" also suggested she was also linking the flight of most of Kassab's 2,000 residents to the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces in the early 20th century.

The event is widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey, however, denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

Kardashian's publicist Ina Treciokas said Kardashian was "just voicing her support for Armenians" and said she had no additional comment.

Kassab's residents fled after rebels seized their village on March 23, as part of a rebel offensive in the coastal Syrian province of Latakia, Assad's ancestral heartland.

There are no credible reports that rebels killed any residents, or that they inflicted major damage on churches.

Kardashian appeared to have moved on since.

Her Kassab tweets were followed by a flurry of sultry selfies of her riding on a boat in a skimpy top and long skirt with hashtags like #WishYouWereHere and #WhatALife. She has been posting from Thailand in recent days, including one that shows her sitting at the entry of a temple featuring the Buddha.

___

AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report from Los Angeles.


Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
chrissf4529 April 02 2014 at 1:04 AM

The sad part is, her fans will follow, defend and praise her for her efforts. And, even more frightening, is much like Angelina Jolie, this celebrity may one day be revered as an important figure. Angelina, in her early years, married to Billy Bob Thornton, spent a lot of time with inane comments,famously the " we f###ed in the limo" comment on the red carpet of an awards show. She now is a spokes person for the United Nations. Go figure

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1 reply
r_haviland chrissf4529 April 02 2014 at 1:19 AM

Yes both of them.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
seavet April 01 2014 at 10:37 PM

I think I will have yellow lab weigh in as well, actually she may too sophisticated for Kardashian

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Living Legend April 01 2014 at 10:35 PM

Does anybody really care what this moron says?

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1 reply
bluedodge47 Living Legend April 01 2014 at 11:17 PM

oh of course...we're all glued to what she will say next...whats that Kim, eat eggs and our a55e5 will be as slim as your's??? Im off to the store...bye

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nogo88 April 01 2014 at 10:33 PM

Why do stupid people have to stick their noses where they don't belong? Isn't Conway west keeping her busy enough?

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1 reply
scorpiascorpio nogo88 April 02 2014 at 4:01 AM

Lol @ "Conway"

Flag Reply 0 rate up
The Canoli King April 01 2014 at 10:27 PM

If any UNITED STATES problem could be settled on a BIG BOOTAY,then with this BIMBO, we AMERICAN'S have absolutely nothing to worry about. WE ASS-entially SHALL PROSPER.......

Flag Reply +3 rate up
nogo88 April 01 2014 at 10:25 PM

We have enough stupid politicians.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
bluedodge47 nogo88 April 01 2014 at 11:19 PM

but I can think of a couple she could replace...

Flag Reply 0 rate up
The Canoli King April 01 2014 at 10:09 PM

Can I get fries with that?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
chgoliveira April 01 2014 at 10:00 PM

I wonder how much she pays for those articles... who the hell cares what a dumb ass like that thinks?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
coffindancervmb chgoliveira April 01 2014 at 10:16 PM

she not a dumb ass she is all ass

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Marti coffindancervmb April 02 2014 at 1:48 AM

Best comment so far...

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amybeth23456 April 01 2014 at 9:55 PM

Maybe she will name her next child Syria

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Carl April 01 2014 at 9:55 PM

She will soon be fat and old -----

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
bobparks77 Carl April 01 2014 at 10:16 PM

So will you, carl.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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