Kuwaiti mobile operator's advert criticised and praised

Composite of screen grab from Zain's YouTube video and image of shocked Syrian child injured in Aleppo in August 2016 AMC via EPA Image copyright YouTube/Zain/Aleppo Media Center via EPA
Image caption The Ramadan advert by a Kuwaiti regional mobile operator recalls the iconic image of Omran Daqneesh sitting dazed and bloodied in an ambulance in Aleppo

A series of anti-terror images run in a campaign by a Middle Eastern mobile operator has been praised for its anti-extremist message but also criticised for its "out of context" use of a young Syrian boy's suffering.

Kuwait-based Zain released the advert entitled "We Will Sing With Love" to mark the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. It shows a man wearing an explosive belt walking through staged scenes reminiscent to bombings that took place in several countries and has been viewed more than three million times.

He eventually surrenders to people who are singing and smiling, including Emirati singer Hussain al-Jasmi. Many have praised its positive message of peace and love, calling it a "beautiful ad".

But others have staunchly criticised its recreation of an iconic scene of a five-year-old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, after his rescue from an Aleppo air strike in August 2016.

They called for the advert to be pulled - using the hashtag #Zain_distorts_the_truth - pointing out the specific attack had been perpetrated by the Syrian government and its allies, rather than by a suicide bomber. According to local reports, the photograph of Daqneesh emerged after Russian air strikes on a rebel-held area in Aleppo.

Image copyright YouTube/Zain
Image caption The man wearing an explosive belt in the ad surrenders to people singing messages of love and peace

The staged scenes in the video mirror real attacks that took place during the month of Ramadan over the past few years, including the bombing of Imam Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait in 2015, the Karrada explosion in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2016, the bombing of a wedding hall in the Jordanian capital in 2005, and the explosion near a hospital in the Saudi city of Jeddah in 2016.

Seeking to reclaim the Islamic phrase "God is Greatest" ("Allahu Akbar") - which jihadist militants have been heard saying as they carry out attacks - the ad's lyrics say: "God is Greater than those who obey without contemplation; God is greater than those lurking to betray us."

"Worship your God with love, with love, not terror. Be tender in your faith, tender not harsh," the lyrics continue.

The end of the ad features Zain's slogan, "A beautiful world". It is not uncommon for Middle East firms to occasionally release advertisements aimed at delivering a particular message, particularly around Ramadan.

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Commenting on a shortened version of the video on Facebook, one user said: "Amazing ad... It's about time Arab brands stepped up to deny terrorism... instead of burying their heads in the sand!"

Several users who commented on YouTube said the video was "beautiful," but that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Shia militias fighting in Syria and Iraq were also "terrorists".

Image copyright YouTube/Zain

Prominent Syrian activists Hadi Abdallah and Lina Shamy criticised the video for "indirectly acquitting Assad of crimes" and "forgetting that Omran's pain and the pain of thousands of Syrian children was not caused by someone in an explosive belt but someone who wears a suit and tie and sits in a palace".

"The exploitation of the images of victims... makes it a pro-terror ad, not an anti-terror one," an anti-Syrian government Twitter user continued.

A video also circulated on Twitter of the man credited with taking the original image of Omran Dagneesh denouncing the advert: "We won't allow anyone to exploit our blood, our children and our martyrs for marketing purposes."

Omran's 10-year-old brother died of wounds he sustained in the strike.

The BBC has contacted Zain for comment.

By the UGC and Social News team; Additional reporting by BBC Monitoring's Middle East team