Boy in the Ambulance: Haunting Image of Syrian Child Shows Horrors of Civil War

The child has been identified as 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh.


A chilling image of a young boy who was pulled from the rubble of an airstrike that hit Aleppo, the center of Syria’s bloody civil war, on Wednesday is calling renewed attention to the war’s continued devastation.

The photograph, which was released by the Syrian opposition group Aleppo Media Center along with the video above, appears to show the immediate aftermath of the military bombing that destroyed the child’s apartment building late Wednesday night. A local doctor identified the boy as 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh. He is seen stunned and covered in blood and dust, while he sits silent and alone in the back of an ambulance awaiting medical attention.

According to the Associated Press, Daqneesh’s three siblings and parents were also rescued from the airstrike.

“We sent the younger children immediately to the ambulance, but the 11-year-old girl waited for her mother to be rescued,” Mahmoud Raslan, the journalist who captured the photo, said. “Her ankle was pinned beneath the rubble.”

The footage this week eerily echoes the image of a drowned toddler who washed up on a Turkish beach in September, after he and his family attempted to flee the war-torn country. That haunting image transformed into a defining call for the international community to answer to the migration crisis in Europe.

In February, the Syrian Center for Public Research estimated that more than 470,000 people have been killed in the conflict.