Syrian Children Use Pokémon Characters to Ask World for Help

Pokemon Go
A player's phone decorated with Pokémon stickers as he plays Pokémon Go, London, July 15. Syrian children are using pictures of Pokemon to call on the world for help. Olivia Harris/Getty

Syrian children are using pictures of Pokémon, amid the global craze of the new Pokémon Go game, to call on the world to help them as their country's civil war continues into a sixth year.

In photos released by the Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS) media office, children are shown holding up pictures of Pikachus and Psyducks and sending messages of desperation. The group works on "revolutionary media's rhetoric."

One message from a child reads: "I am Kafr Nabl, in Idlib, come and save me." Another holds up a Psyduck, a Pokémon that is often stunned by a headache, like a child in war. Another says: "I am from Kafr Nabudah, save me."

In another image released by the group, a child is seen sitting near a computer-generated Pikachu in a destroyed building, in what looks like it could be from the Pokémon Go game itself.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the plight of Syria's children and capitalize on the Pokémon Go craze around the augmented reality game that has caused a stir in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bosnia, where players have been warned not to play in areas where landmines remain from the Bosnian War of 1992-1995.

Children have been the most affected by the Syrian conflict, with many facing a bleak future. The continuing war has left many without the required food, education and, in some cases, their parents and other family members.

The death and destruction of the conflict, which has taken more than 250,000 lives, has taken a severe psychological toll on the country's child population.

"We want to raise awareness and draw attention to the plight of Syrian children in besieged areas and the suffering of Syrian people who are attacked and killed by the Assad regime and its allies," RFS social media editor Mahmod Abo Bakr told NBC News.

"Syrian children are victims of the war and the brutal and indiscriminate attacks that are carried out on a daily basis by regime and Russian jets. The Syrian children are paying the price for the international inaction to stop the Assad killing machine."

Syrian Children Use Pokémon Characters to Ask World for Help | World