Human Rights Watch: Syrian rebels recruit child soldiers

Newscast Media NEW YORK—Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the foreign-backed
militant groups in Syria recruit children to fight in battles, warning the militants and
their foreign supporters that the move constitutes “war crimes.”

The human rights organization said in a report on Monday that the militants are using
“children as young as 15 to fight in battles,” adding that some militant groups recruit
teenagers “under the guise of offering education.”

HRW interviewed 25 child soldiers fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL), the so-called Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front, al-Nusra Front and Kurdish

The children said they participated in battles, manned checkpoints, spied, worked as
snipers, and carried supplies to the front line. Many of the children said they joined
the militant groups to follow their family and friends, while others said they were
recruited after attending anti-government protests.

The exact number of the children fighting along with the militant groups in Syria is not
known. A foreign-backed opposition organization, the Violations Documentation
Centre, said that 194 “non-civilian” children have been killed in the conflict since
September 2011.

HRW also called on the foreign supporters of the militant groups to urge an end to the
recruitment of children, saying “anyone providing funding for sending children to war
could be complicit in war crimes.”

Source: Press TV