A heartbreaking photo of a 4-year-old Syrian boy has gone viral. The image shows the child with his hands above his hand, reportedly because he mistook the photographer's camera for a gun and is "surrendering." It's a poignant reminder of how war derails the childhoods of those who grow up in its shadow.
The photo, which first appeared on the Instagram of photojournalist Nadia Abu Shaban, is said to have been taken by Osman Sağırlı. While we can't verify the story behind the picture, it's been widely reported and shared in recent days.
A Turkish report on the picture identifies the child as Adi Hudea, and says he fled the war in Syria with his family, landing in a Turkish refugee camp where he was photographed around 2012. The story says he threw his hands in the air when the camera was pointed at him.
Regardless of the provenance of this particular photo, the human cost of the conflict in Syria has been vast. In an AP report earlier this year, the U.N. estimated that 220,000 people had been killed in the four-year conflict, in which rebels are seeking to overthrow embattled President Bashar Al-Assad. The crisis has forced as many as nine million Syrians out of their homes, and they are fleeing to other parts of Syria and filling up camps in Turkey and other neighboring countries.