Syrian rebel pictured with one hand texting and the other on the trigger

Syrian rebel texting with machine gun

Much has been written about the influence of social media on the events of the Arab Spring — but according to New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers, one of the most important technologies for rebels in Syria’s ongoing civil war is SMS. Taken by Chivers, the photograph above shows former Syrian Army soldier Ahmed Sheikha texting while manning a 7.62mm PK machine gun and speeding towards the war-torn city of Aleppo. He is not unusual, with the passable cellular coverage still provided in many parts of Syria making mobile phones a relatively safe and reliable option for communication between rebel brigades.

“When they stop, many of them immediately look for ways to recharge their phone batteries,” writes Chivers. “And, often…

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