- A 15-year-old boy named Muhammad Najem, who lives in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, is tweeting pictures and videos of his region under attack from Russian and Syrian airstrikes.
- His images and videos have not been independently verified, but activists on the ground have said that he is “legit.”
- Russian trolls have begun attacking him on social media.
15-year-old Muhammed Najem, who lives in the heavily bombarded area of Eastern Ghouta in Syria, first tweeted in early December 2017.
“I am Muhammed Najem I am fifteen years old I live in the eastern Gouta,” Najem tweeted on December 7. “I will convey to you all the events which is being commited by the assad rigime in the Eastern Gouta through my own social media Facebook and Twitter.”
Najem, who says he wants to be a reporter, has since posted several heartbreaking photos and videos of children and adults killed in airstrikes, some of whom he says were his friends.
In early January, Russia and the Syrian regime stepped up airstrikes in Eastern Ghouta outside of Damascus. Between February 4 and February 21 alone, 346 civilians were killed and at least 878 more were wounded, according to Airwars.
More than 250 civilians were killed in one 48-hour period last week, and 400,000 people are currently trapped in what the UN has called “hell on earth.”
In one of Najem’s most gut-wrenching videos, he’s standing on a rooftop speaking to the camera.
“We are killed by your silence,” Najem says to the camera. “Bashar al-Assad, Putin and – ” a bomb suddenly hits, and he pauses, clearly shaken, before finishing, “Khamenei. Khamenei killed our childhood.”
We know that you got bored from our blood pictures
But We will continue appealing to you
Bashar Al-assad, potin and khaminei killed our childhood
Save us before it is too late
What is the world, which can send machines to the martian and can't do anything to stop killing people pic.twitter.com/QtVVWidkzx
— Muhammad Najem (@muhammadnajem20) January 15, 2018
But Kenan Rahmani, who works with the Syria Campaign, told BuzzFeed News that his sources in the region have said that Najem is “legit.”
Still, this has not stopped Russian trolls from attacking Najem on social media.
“CNN found a new Bana to promote its regime change narrative,” Dan Cohen, a Russia Today correspondent, tweeted last week. “Unsurprisingly, neither the article nor video bother to mention that eastern Ghouta is held by a collection of jihadist insurgents.”
The reality on the ground is more nuanced than Cohen claims. Ghouta is held by a number of Syrian rebel groups, one linked to the Free Syrian Army, which formed as an opposition group against Assad in 2011. Another smaller rebel group reportedly has links to al-Qaeda.
“Hello Amirecan people,” Najem tweeted on Monday. “We are people of Eastern Gouta The world watching us die of hunger and bombing Look at this destruction This is similar to Europe before 80 years ago But We live today in twenty first century #Help us and donot be like the rest of the world.”
Hello Amirecan people
We are people of Eastern Gouta
The world watching us die of hunger and bombing
Look at this destruction
This is similar to Europe before 80 years ago
But We live today in twenty first century #Help us and donot be like the rest of the world pic.twitter.com/EGi3FjQn4u
— Muhammad Najem (@muhammadnajem20) February 26, 2018
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