Children in Syria are tapping into Pokémon Go's popularity in an appeal to be rescued from the country's bloody civil war.

The war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, has left more than a quarter of a million children living under siege, according to children's charity Save the Children.

The media office of the Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RSF), a group that claims to represent some of the opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, shared the photos via Twitter.

RSF has been using popular culture to highlight children's suffering by tweeting pictures of kids holding pictures of Pokemon characters and asking the world to rescue them.

In the heartbreaking photos, children pose with drawings of Pokémon creatures with written statements below. In one photo, a young boy is pictured holding a drawing of the fictional creature, Pikachu, above a statement that reads: "There's a lot of #Pokemon in #Syria...Come rescue me!"

Pokemon Go Syria
A Syrian child holds up a picture of Pikachu with a caption that read 'There are plenty of Pokemon inside Syria. Come save me! Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office

In another photo, a little boy poses with a similar drawing which reads: "I am in the Kafr Nabl in Idlib's countryside. Come rescue me." Marill, another little boy, poses with a picure that reads: "I am from Kafr Zita. Rescue me."

In another tweet, a little boy poses with a drawing of another creature, Squirtle, under which is written: "I am from Kafr Nabudah. Rescue me."

In a tweet accompanying a picture of two boys holding up drawings, the RFS wrote: "I am in #Syria...Do something to find me!! #PokemonInSyria".

This comes days after a Syrian graphic designer created a series of images based on the hugely popular mobile game to highlight the plight of people in war-torn Syria.

Saif Aldeen Tahhan, now living in Denmark, created the images showing phones held up against backdrops of ravaged Syrian cities and items needed by citizens in the country instead of Pokémon.

The mobile augmented reality sensation Pokémon Go, which has become a phenomenon since its global rollout began on 6 July, allows players to capture virtual creatures known as Pokémon in the real world using their phones.

Syria civil war in numbers

  • Half the country's pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.
  • An estimated 250,000 people have been killed — half of whom are believed to be civilians.
  • 4.7 million Syrian refugees living in neighbouring countries.
  • Nearly 1 million Syrians have applied for asylum in Europe.
  • Almost 13.5 million people are still in need of assistance inside Syria.
  • According to the UN, it will take $7.7bn to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians in 2016.

Source: MercyCorps and UNHCR, data correct as at 31 June 2016.