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Little boy becomes face of Syrian war

18 August 2016, 17:15

Warning: this article contains images that readers may find distressing

(Aleppo Media Center via AP)

Beirut - Syrian opposition activists have released haunting footage showing a young boy rescued from the rubble in the aftermath of a devastating airstrike in Aleppo.

The image of the stunned and weary looking boy, sitting in an orange chair inside an ambulance covered in dust and with blood on his face, encapsulate the horrors inflicted on the northern city and is being widely shared on social media.

The boy is identified by doctors in Aleppo as 5-year-old Omran. They say he was treated for head injuries. 

Doctors in Aleppo use code names for hospitals, which they say have been systematically targeted by government airstrikes. Abu al-Ezz said they do that "because we are afraid security forces will infiltrate their medical network and target ambulances as they transfer patients from one hospital to another."

In the video posted late on Wednesday by the Aleppo Media Center, a man is seen plucking the boy away from a chaotic nighttime scene and carrying him inside the ambulance, looking dazed and flat-eyed.

The boy then runs his hand over his blood-covered face, looks at his hands and wipes them on the ambulance chair.

Opposition activists said there were eight casualties overall from the air strike on Qaterji, among them five children.

The image of Omran in the orange chair is reminiscent of the image of Aylan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and came to encapsulate the horrific toll of Syria's civil war.

The boy in the ambulance, as he has now come to be called, is a vivid reminder of the horror of war.

An image of the child was later tweeted after he was treated by doctors:

Watch footage of the rescue below:

- AP

Tags syria

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