SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – “Afrin children are not alone, my heart is with them,” said Nma Nariman, a seven-year-old Kurdish social media campaigner, in a short but emotional video message to the people of the Kurdish canton, where at least 20 children have been killed in the Turkish offensive.
“Dropping bombs on Afrin by Turkish attack force; it is a crime against humanity. They are killing children. This must stop now!” she exclaimed.
“Viva Afrin children,” Nariman added, praising the fortitude of the Kurdish city, located in northwestern Syria.
“Afrin will never fall,” she concludes in her English message, before switching to Kurdish and flashing a victory sign.
Born in 2011, the native of the Sulaimani soon rose to fame in the Kurdistan Region through short clips shared on social media. She has since appeared several times in the Kurdish media.
Her official Facebook page has more than 1 million likes. Her Afrin video message, published on Wednesday evening, has already racked up more than 3,000 shares and been watched almost 90,000 times.
The video, published with Kurdish and Arabic translation, features the hashtag #StopAfrinGenocide, which has been picked up worldwide in response to Turkey’s offensive.
In the Kurdistan Region, Nariman is best known for her critique of Kurdish and Iraqi politics.
According to her official biography, she speaks English and both the Sorani and Hawrami Kurdish dialects. She is currently enrolled in a private school in her home city.
“She always fights for human rights,” according to her page, which is run by her family.
According to conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 67 civilians, including 20 children and 12 women, have been killed as of Tuesday in the course of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch.
Ankara denies any civilians have been killed.
“No civilian has been harmed in Operation Olive Branch” by Turkish forces or their allied Syrian militias, Turkey’s National Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Tuesday, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
While denying civilian casualties, he accused Kurdish forces in Afrin of using civilians as human shields and asserted that the lack of deaths among the civilian population showed Turkey’s “sincerity and sensitivity.”
The Kurdish forces deny the Turkish accusations.