If he keeps wearing bright red shirts and pants he won’t live to see nine.

Via Ynet:

He was meant to start school, learn how to read and write and meet friends. Instead he goes around carrying a rifle, runs for cover at the sound of shelling and smokes cigarettes.

At eight, Ahmed is already a soldier in the Free Syrian Army. His picture, holding a rifle and smoking a cigarette, has gone viral in the past week and has done what a thousand words could never do – it reminded the world of the terrible reality of the Syrian civil war. […]

According to the report, Ahmed’s mother and father died in a mortar strike in Salaheddin neighborhood, where his father had been working as a fighter with the rebel Free Syrian Army. Now the only person Ahmed has left is his uncle, a rebel who the boy follows and imitates as he fights against government soldiers.

“There is always something to do here, I am never bored,” he says of life as a child-rebel. “The fighting has calmed down a lot from last year, we had a lot of mortars, but snipers are still a big problem.”