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Before the announcement of the death of the media advisor to the Syrian regime president, Luna al-Shabal, users and accounts on social media circulated a photo said to be of al-Shabal in a Damascus hospital, after she was involved in a traffic accident that sparked speculation by some that it was premeditated.

The photo shows a woman in what appears to be a hospital bed.

The accompanying comments read: “A picture of Counselor Luna Al-Shabel lying in intensive care.”

The original photo is not of Luna Al-Shabel, but of an Egyptian artist. Archive

These posts appeared the day after the Syrian presidency announced on July 2 that Al-Shabel, the media advisor and head of the presidency’s media and communications office, had been involved in a traffic accident on one of the roads leading to Damascus.

The presidency added that the accident caused the car she was in to swerve off course, causing her to sustain several collisions, which resulted in her sustaining a severe injury. She was subsequently transferred to a hospital in Damascus, where it was discovered that she had suffered a head hemorrhage, which necessitated her admission to intensive care to receive treatment.

On July 5, the presidency announced the death of Luna Al-Shabel “after being involved in a tragic traffic accident,” according to a statement.

Speculation quickly appeared on social media, as well as on Arab news websites, that the cub, who had been part of Assad’s inner circle for years, had been involved in a deliberate accident.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, this incident comes after the intelligence service arrested Luna’s brother, Brigadier General Mulham al-Shabl, to investigate him “on charges of communicating with a party hostile to Syria, which could be the United States, Israel, or both, after the incident of targeting the Iranian consulate building in Damascus.”

The observatory pointed out that the incident of the arrest of Al-Shabl’s brother raised the hypothesis that the incident was planned.

Opposition figures, including former member of the opposition Syrian Coalition, Ahmed Ramadan, spoke on the social networking site X, early last June, about a campaign launched by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Syria, targeting “espionage networks,” including al-Shabl and her brother, an influential officer in the Syrian regime’s army.

Alhurra was unable to verify the accuracy of what was reported by the opposition and the recent media outlets about the “Iranian campaign” launched to target “Israeli spy networks” within the Syrian regime.

It was also not possible to confirm whether the incident she was subjected to was “planned” and aimed at “liquidating” her.

But the circulated photo does not show Luna Al Shabl in a hospital bed after the accident, as the circulated posts claimed.

Searching for it on search engines shows that it was published in 2020, which refutes what was said about it on social media in the past few days.

The photo was published on Egyptian and Arab art and news websites. According to the media outlets that published it at the time, it shows Egyptian actress and singer Bushra, according to what was reported by France Presse.

According to Egyptian media, Bushra was then transferred to the hospital after suffering from respiratory problems.

The newspaper reported Pyramids The Egyptian government announced on February 5, 2020 that Bushra had suffered an “emergency health crisis” after returning from her trip.

Al-Ahram added, in a news item that included the circulated photo, that Bushra left the hospital after receiving doses of oxygen and the doctors were reassured that her condition was stable.

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