Like many his age, 15-year-old Muhammad Najem is active on social media. But it’s not selfies with friends or Instagram-worthy pictures of his food he’s sharing. Since December 7, the Syrian teenager has been updating his Twitter profile with photos and videos of the devastation and wreckage in Eastern Ghouta, one of the last rebel-held enclaves in the country that has been torn apart by a civil war since 2011.

The ongoing conflict between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and multiple rebel groups has claimed more than 4,50,000 lives and displaced several millions. Over the years, Assad has overrun many of the strongholds captured by rebels but the siege in Eastern Ghouta, close to the Syrian capital of Damascus, has been going on since 2013. After a brief lull, it escalated once again in February, when Assad’s forces, backed by Russia, began air strikes in the rebel-held enclave, imperiling its 400,000 residents. About 500 people have been killed since the resurgence and residents have taken refuge in underground shelters, where they have little access to food and water. Through his posts, Najem urges the international community to take notice of his ravaged city and country.

International attention to the Syrian conflict pales in comparison to its humanitarian toll. Najem’s efforts have paid off in part, as he’s got the some media’s attention. According to a report on Business Insider, the authenticity of his posts has not been verified, but Syrian activists have cross-checked his identity and it holds up.

According to several accounts, the conflict began as a peaceful protest after citizens, tired of the continuing economic distress and curbs of freedom, began to raise their voice against Assad’s regime. The dissent was crushed violently, spawning off a lengthy war that has ravaged large parts of Syria. A protest for more democratic freedoms metamorphosed into an armed conflict to bring down the Assad regime, with insurgent groups and international interests thrown into the mix. This transition is said to have begun with the formation of the Free Syrian Army in July 2011, an armed effort to bring down Assad comprising defectors from Syria’s military.

Several extremist groups, including the Islamic State, spotted an opportunity in the strife and joined the fray. The war, therefore, posited Assad’s forces and allied countries (primarily Russia and Iran) against an array of opposition groups, not always working together and in many cases, turning against each other as the conflict progressed. At the receiving end of all this destruction have been Syria’s civilians.

Najem’s Twitter account sheds light on some of the emotional toll of the conflict on citizens, especially children. The photos and videos show schools destroyed, friends killed and a childhood lost to war. “I hope the war ends so I can go back to school,” he says in one post.

Some of his heartbreaking posts include pictures and memories with his friends who have been killed in the conflict. He also shares some horrific images of people killed and injured, though it is unclear whether these photos have been taken by him.

In particular, he seeks to draw attention to the plight of the children of war.

Pro-Assad accounts have claimed that Najem’s account is fake and is being used as a propagnda tool for anti-Assad forces, Buzzfeed
reported. The online publication spoke to Najem on Twitter via direct message. He told them he envisions himself as a “small journalist” from Eastern Ghouta.

With little official information and few on-ground reporters, social media has emerged as an important source of information on the conflict, but the pitfall is that the authenticity of its contents cannot be fully verified. Earlier, during the lengthy siege of Aleppo that ended with the Assad regime declaring victory in December 2016, seven-year-old Bana al-Abed had acquired wide recognition after she documented the horrors of the war through her Twitter account, run by her English-speaking mother.