An image of a Syrian baby injured by government forces in the province of Eastern Ghouta has prompted social media activists to voice their condemnation via the hashtag #SolidarityWithKarim.
The three-month-old, known only by his first name Karim, lost his left eye and suffered wounds to his skull after attacks on the besieged province, which also killed his mother.
Eastern Ghouta is one of four de-escalation zones established in May by Russia, Iran and Turkey in order to stem the bloodshed of Syria's six-year civil war. However, the region has been subjected to intensified air strikes from the Syrian regime in recent months, despite such attacks being expressly forbidden by the terms of the agreement, as well as a tightening of the blockade on food and aid.
Syrians on the ground and activists across the world have taken to social media to voice their solidarity with people in Ghouta, uploading pictures of themselves with their hands covering one eye as a tribute to Karim.
Syrian children stand in solidarity with Karim, who lost his eye and had his skull broken by Assad regime shelling on his home in Eastern Ghouta. His mother was also killed by the same attack. #SolidarityWithKarim pic.twitter.com/TavgAkyQzf
— هادي العبدالله Hadi (@HadiAlabdallah) December 18, 2017
Syrian refugee Bana Alabed, who rose to prominence via social media during the siege of Aleppo, also took part in the campaign, calling for the attacks to stop.
— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) December 19, 2017
The British Foreign Office posted a tweet with permanent representative to the UN Mathew Ryecroft also photographed covering one eye.
ماثيو رايكروفت: حين نجتمع في #مجلس_الأمن ونحذر بأن عدم اتخاذ إجراء يعني وفاة مزيد من الناس، وقصف مزيد من المدارس، وتشويه مزيد من الأطفال.. فهذا هو ما نعنيه.
يجب إنهاء قصف وحصار #الغوطة_الشرقية. pic.twitter.com/aOxT8mhBTW
— 🇬🇧 وزارة الخارجية (@FCOArabic) December 19, 2017
"When we gather in the #UN, we warn that inaction means more people died and the bombing of more schools, more children. This is what we mean. The bombing and blockade must come to an end," the tweet reads.
Turkish Agricultural Minister Ahmet Esref Fakibaba also took part in the campaign.
Suriye'de Esed güçlerinin saldırısında bir aylıkken öksüz kalan ve bir gözünü kaybeden Kerim bebek de Türkiye'deki bütün evlatlarımız gibi bizim gözümüzün nuru insanlığımızın vicdanıdır. Biz Dünya barışı için merhametimizi de ümidimizi de kaybetmeyeceğiz. #SeniGörüyoruzKerimBebek pic.twitter.com/IRRE2e9ir3
— Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba (@aefakibaba) December 19, 2017
Civil defence teams from Aleppo and the Syrian White Helmets also showed their solidarity, amid aid agencies warning on Monday that the situation in Ghouta had reached a critical point. As have medical teams from across war-torn Syria
Solidarity with Karim …
Civil Defense teams and men in the #Alatarip #Aleppo are united with the #karim of the child who lost his eye and his mother in the bombing of a criminal from the criminal gangs Lion in the #Ghouta#SolidarityWithKarim pic.twitter.com/HGAz8qLwzj
— mohamed aldamashqi (@mohamedsyrian10) December 18, 2017
We are in #solidaritywithkarim a two month-old Syrian baby who lost his eye and had his skull broken in addition to losing his mother when they came under artillery bombardment of the Assad regime on the #EasternGhouta.#WhiteHelmets in #SolidarityWithKarim pic.twitter.com/MNaS1inboS
— The White Helmets (@SyriaCivilDef) December 18, 2017
IDA team in #SolidarityWithKarim a Syrian child who lost his eye, his skull is broken and his mother died after a bombardment by regime aircraft on #EasternGhouta he is two months old with no one cares of him pic.twitter.com/Y2SzWvKDJ2
— IDA (@IndDoctorsAsso) December 19, 2017
We the children of #EastGhouta stand in #SolidarityWithKarim and ask the international community to show its solidarity and support and break the siege on #Ghouta,
The children of #EasterGhouta deserve to live in peace.#BreakGhoutaSiege#Syria pic.twitter.com/5OPExCBxYS
— Noor And Alaa (@Noor_and_Alaa) December 19, 2017
There are an estimated 400,000 people trapped in the opposition enclave outside the capital. The area has the highest rate of acute malnutrition recorded since the start of the conflict.