An image of a dazed and bloodied 5-year-old boy in Aleppo, Syria, is being shared on social media amid calls for an end to the fighting in the ravaged town.
The photo of Omran Daqneesh showed the boy in the back of an ambulance following an airstrike on his home. The strike came on the rebel-held neighborhood of Qaterji in Aleppo. Fighting in Aleppo has increased in recent weeks as forces fighting for Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad have tried to beat back rebel gains in the area.
The image of the boy, taken from a video that was shot as he was being rescued, shows Omran with an open head wound. Omran was rescued with his three siblings, aged one, six, and 11, and his parents. According to reports, their apartment building collapsed shortly after the family was rescued.
None of the family suffered injuries that required hospitalization.
The photo and video has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter.
Warning: The video contains graphic images
The Associated Press reported:
Last week an alliance of Syrian rebels and Islamist groups broke the longstanding government siege on the eastern half of the city. Since then, the frequency and intensity of airstrikes has reportedly increased, despite an announcement from Russia that action over Aleppo would be suspended for three hours a day.
The fighting has frustrated the U.N.'s efforts to fulfill its humanitarian mandate, and the world body's special envoy to Syria on Thursday cut short a meeting of the ad hoc committee - chaired by Russia and the United States - tasked with deescalating the violence so that relief can reach beleaguered civilians.
The U.N. envoy, Staffan de Mistura, said there was "no sense" in holding the meeting in light of the obstacles to delivering aid. The U.N. is hoping to secure a 48-hour pause in the fighting in Aleppo.
Rescue workers and journalists arrived at Qaterji shortly after the strike and began pulling victims from the rubble.
"We were passing them from one balcony to the other," said photojournalist Mahmoud Raslan, who took the memorable photo. He said he had passed along three lifeless bodies before someone handed him the wounded boy.
Raslan rushed him to the ambulance, he said. A doctor at M10 later reported eight dead, among them five children.
The strike occurred during the sunset call to prayer on Wednesday evening, said Raslan, a correspondent for Al Jazeera Mubashir.
In the video posted late 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.