Heartbreaking images of children and families are emerging from Kabul as the world reckons with the Taliban taking over Afghanistan.
One particular photo of a child sleeping on the cargo floor of a U.S. Air Force C-17 made it's rounds on social media Thursday morning.
The child was wearing the uniform of Airman First Class Nicolas Baron to keep warm during an evacuation flight from Kabul on Wednesday, according to the Department of Defense.
Families and children continue to face uncertainty whether they stay in Kabul or evacuate after some fled to the city last week due to the Taliban taking over other parts of the country.
Robert Nickelsberg, who worked as a TIME magazine contract photographer for nearly 30 years and is the author of "Afghanistan: A Distant War," explained to USA TODAY that photos of children in unstable environments, like Afghanistan, "is always a captivating subject."
"If you're going after kids or if the society can't take care of its children, it's another way of showing real need," Nickelsberg said.
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"Children are a common denominator throughout the world, universal. Whether this is in Burma, the Rohingyas, or Sudan," he said.
He added that photojournalism is a "necessity" amid the shifting climate in Afghanistan.
"It's a very direct and simple way of showing need," Nickelsberg said, "how people are without a defense."
Here are some of the most viral moments of children and families during the Taliban's overtaking of Afghanistan:
In a video, a child was lifted above the wall at Hamid Karzai International Airport to U.S. soldiers. The airport has made headlines all over the world for the frenzied scenes of people trying to evacuate the country.
WATCH: A small Afghan child was pulled over a wall to U.S. soldiers as large crowds gathered outside the Kabul airport. pic.twitter.com/eFjU1zst7l
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 19, 2021
A photo of an Afghan child sleeping on the floor of a cargo plane evacuating Kabul went viral on social media Thursday. The child was given a U.S. military uniform by Airman First Class Nicolas Baron to keep warm on the flight.
Taken in a C17 - Afghan child escaping hopefully to better days and safer places. Pray 🙏 for the innocent. May God protect them. pic.twitter.com/A9CmRFB41O
— Fifth Realm (@Hurst2Byron) August 19, 2021
Reuters posted an image of a young child sleeping in a public park in Kabul after reporting he was displaced from northern provinces.
An internally displaced child from the northern provinces, who fled from his home due fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces, shelters in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan. More photos of the week: https://t.co/26cpv9pVEW pic.twitter.com/vO8e0yFHET
— Reuters Pictures (@reuterspictures) August 15, 2021
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Photos of Afghanistan kids in US cargo plane, over Kabul wall go viral