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afp syria rebels train killing machine teenagers

Feb 06, 2013

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – “Syria Rebels Train Killing Machine Teenagers” a title for a report by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) on the armed terrorist groups in Syria using children in their killing operations and battles on the Syrian ground.

“Syrian teenagers are joining the armed groups cause, oblivious to international laws prohibiting child combatants,” the agency said in an article published on Wednesday.

“When they arrive here, they are children. By the time they leave, they are killing machines,” Abdel Razzaq, a 38-year-old terrorist who trains the boys, told AFP.

“I train them not to be scared of war and not to hesitate when the time comes to kill,” he said, speaking of his latest group of 20 volunteers, aged 14 to 18.

He teaches his students how to handle a Kalashnikov, or AK-47 assault rifle, the weapon most commonly used by the rebels. He also trains them to disarm a soldier and kill him with a knife or even their bare hands.

“Children are the best soldiers I know. They obey every command. An adult asks
questions and answers back. But the children, they question nothing,” Abdel Razzaq was quoted as saying.

The article mentioned that Abdel Razzaq’s “military academy” is a former school, located in northern Syria’s Aleppo province, noting that before being sent off to the front, the boys receive two hours of training a day for three months.

Abdel Razzaq claims, according to the article, that the boys’ families are eager that they are trained well before they are sent off to fight the army.

“Without proper training, they would die quickly,” he said.

The international law prohibits the use of anyone under the age of 18 in combat and in military support operations, such as espionage, transporting weapons or providing supplies to fighters.

The use of children “as combatants or as a support to combatants constitutes a grave violation of children’s rights,” UNICEF child protection coordinator Jean-Nicolas Beuze told AFP.

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