A Syrian man has become an internet sensation after he live-tweeted news of the US coalition's bombing of ISIS targets a whole half an hour before the Pentagon even announced it would conduct the assaults.
Tweeting from Syria, Abdulkader Hariri who is based in the city of Raqqa, which has a reportedly strong ISIS presence, informed Twitter users of the attacks as they happened - before they were even announced by the US.
The citizen journalist, who now has accumulated a sizeable following of over 8,300 people on the site in the last few hours, said he saw large drones survey the area before “huge explosions shook the city”.
Some of the tweets were retweeted over a thousand times as the world praised the man for his coverage.
Breaking: Huge explosions shook the city in what might be the beginning of US airstrikes on ISIS HQs in Raqqa
— Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
The airstrikes 5/6 concentrated near the 'governorate building' ISIS's main HQ. Meanwhile, sounds of warplanes can be heard clearly — Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
The sky is full drones over Raqqa now — Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
Also Tal Abyad, on the Turkish border, was bombed according to activists there — Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
Hariri has been crowned as the man who broke the news of the US’ military response to the growth of ISIS in the Middle East. This comes after the group murdered three hostages, including journalist James Foley.
The violent execution footage was later banned and removed from social media websites in a bid to deny the group a platform for its terror. As a result of the tweets, Hariri receiving a massive influx of interview requests from the media.
I want to apologise to journalists. I can't reply to you all — Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
Additionally, social media users contacted Hariri to wish him well following raids on his doorstep. The US' airstrikes will target only ISIS’ operations however it is likely there will be civilians caught in the crossfire.
Thanks everybody for the concerns about my safety. Many Americans, many I don't know. Love you all ! — Abdulkader Hariri (@3bdUlkaed6r) September 23, 2014
The war against ISIS is not only a physical conflict fought in the distant middle east, it is as propaganda war where the fundamentalists are combating with the west to capture the hearts and minds of youngsters in a social media-reliant recruitment drive.