Leader of the foreign-backed Syrian opposition Ahmed Jarba posted a fabricated photo on the Internet that depicts an orphaned Syrian boy sleeping between the graves of his parents.
Jarba claimed in his Twitter post that "children of Syria are orphaned by (Syrian President Bashar) Assad", Al-Alam reported.
The disturbing photo has also been making rounds on the Twitter social networking site.
This is while the US-based Foreign Policy magazine said in a report that the photo was "totally fake."
"Far from being a chronicle of war, the photo was actually part of an art project by Saudi Arabian photographer, Abdul Aziz al-Otaibi," the magazine said.
Foreign Policy quoted Otaibi as saying that it is "not true at all that my picture has anything to do with Syria... I am really shocked how people have twisted my picture".
Otaibi added that the boy in the photo is his nephew.
Jarba deleted the photo from Twitter about 30 minutes after publishing it.
The report comes as leaders of the foreign-backed Syrian opposition coalition are in Istanbul to decide on whether to participate in next week’s Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis.
Many members of the so-called Syrian National Coalition say the conference has little chance of succeeding.
The Geneva II conference will open in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22 amid persisting efforts by Washington to impose its own terms and conditions prior to the event, including its old demand that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad cannot be part of "Syria’s future".