Covered in a thick layer of dust with blood running down the side of his face, a 5-year-old Syrian boy sat on a bright orange chair inside an ambulance with his tiny feet dangling near the edge of his seat. He appeared dazed, confused and completely detached from the chaos surrounding him, until a few seconds later when he eventually lifted his hand and touched his bloodied forehead.
After staring at his blood-soaked hand for a short moment, he tried to wipe it away on the seat.
The little boy, identified as Omran Daqneesh, was one of the four children rescued from an Aleppo neighborhood, destroyed Wednesday night by either the Russian military or an Assad regime airstrike. The rescue workers also pulled one woman and two men from the rubble.
Several media organizations captured Omran’s heartbreaking image, which was shared thousands of times on social media, shocking even the hardened observers of the conflict.
Telegraph reporter Raf Sanchez also posted this photo after the doctors treated the child’s head injury and cleaned him up.
These photos offer just a tiny peek into the horrors plaguing the civilians in Aleppo as the city continues to suffer from airstrikes, bearing the burnt of the country’s gruesome civil war. The children living in the war zone have already seen more bloodshed in their short lives than any adult should ever have to watch.
The Syrian anti-government activist group, Aleppo Media Center, also shared the graphic video of Omran’s rescue:
The civil war has killed more than 300,000 Syrians and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in search of a safe haven.
The exact number of civilian casualties following the airstrike in recent weeks is still unknown.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Stringer