December 24, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5579

Child Soldiers Fighting In Rebel Ranks In Syria

December 24, 2013
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 5579

Following are excerpts from several videos of children fighting alongside Syrian rebels, posted on the Internet in 2012 and 2013, Deir Al-Zour, March 27, 2013.

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV

Narrator: "Behind a firing hole in the city of Deir Al-Zour, we met one of the youngest heroes of the Free Syrian Army in this city of steadfastness."

Salaam alaikum.

Rashdi Muhammad: "Alaikum asalaam."

Narrator: "What's your name?"

Rashdi Muhammad: "Rashdi Muhammad."

Narrator: "How old are you?"

Rashdi Muhammad: "Thirteen."

Narrator: "What are you doing here?"

Rashdi Muhammad: "I'm with the heroes of the FSA."

Narrator: "What made you join the Free Syrian Army?"

Rashdi Muhammad: "I joined in order to defend our land and the honor of our women."

Narrator: "What made you enter the city, when all the young men are staying away?"

Rashdi Muhammad: "I wasn't ready to accept disgrace and humiliation."

Narrator: "What is your message to the young men of the villages, and to the men of the city who remain outside?"

Rashdi Muhammad: "Shame on you." [...]

Deir Al-Zour, November 24, 2012

Narrator: "We are in Deir Al-Zour. It is November 24, 2012."

Man: "Allah Akbar."

Fighters: "Allah Akbar."

Narrator: "This is the youngest man fighting in Syria, oh Bashar Al-Assad. What's your name?"

Dani Walid: "Dani."

Narrator: "Dani what?"

Dani Walid: "Dani Walid."

Narrator: "What are you doing here with the men?"

Dani Walid: "I stayed here, like them."

Narrator: "How old are you, my fellow fighter?"

Dani Walid: "Fourteen."

Narrator: "What neighborhood are you from?"

Dani Walid: "From Sheik Yaseen."

Narrator: "What are you doing here?"

Dani Walid: "I'm looking for Ghassan."

Narrator: "You're looking for Ghassan Abboud?"

Dani Walid: "Yes."

Narrator: People say that the army entered all the schools. Is that true?"

Dani Walid: "No."

Narrator: "Oh Bashar Al-Assad, this is our youngest fighter. Even the children have begun fighting you. By Allah, we will pelt you with shoes until you are toppled."

Dani Walid: "Say: 'Allah Akbar.'"

Fighters: "Allah Akbar." [...]

Fighting in Krak de Chevaliers Castle near Homs, December 17, 2012

Footage shows young boy crying and distraught

Boy: "Allah. Allah. Ahmad [was killed]. Ahmad? Ahmad?"

Narrator: "Calm down."

Boy: "Allah. Ahmad."

Narrator: "Never mind. Let's go." [...]

Deir Al-Zour, December 22, 2012

Narrator: "We have with us brother..."

Abu Jassem: "Abu Jassem."

Narrator: "Abu Jassem is the youngest hero of the Free Syrian Army. This is one of the sectors. Abu Jassem commands a shooting post, sowing chaos in the regime's ranks. Abu Jassem is well known among the different brigades. He and others his age are defending their country." [...]

Abu Jassem: "The brothers who left should return. We are defending our land and our country. With the help of Allah, [the regime] will not pass through here. We will be steadfast until we win or die." [...]

Narrator: "January 14, 2013. This is the youngest fighter, or mujahid, in the Ahrar Al-Forat Brigade. He is near the Ksheish military airport."

Footage shows young boy shooting rifle


Deir Al-Zour, May 12, 2013

Narrator: "Omran, what made you bear arms?"

Omran Khamis Faysal: "By Allah, this is Jihad for the sake of Allah. For martyrdom."

Narrator: "Omran keeps telling me that he is seeking martyrdom."

Narrator: "But what made you set out and seek martyrdom?"

Omran Khamis Faysal: "There is nothing in this world, Sheik. There is nothing eternal here. It's all corruption.

Narrator: "But how do you know that you are on the right path? How do you know that you are right, and not Bashar?"

Omran Khamis Faysal: "Because of all the oppression. People were not living in freedom. That was the reality. What else is needed?"

Narrator: "'No one in his right mind would need proof of the light of day.' If someone were to ask you to prove that it is morning, all you could say is that it is clearly morning and you have no further proof."

Omran Khamis Faysal: "Right, I have no proof."

Narrator: "You set out to wage Jihad and seek martyrdom, and you believe in that..."

Omran Khamis Faysal: "Absolutely. Allah willing, I will be martyred."

Narrator: "Do you have a message to the soldiers of Bashar, who are a few meters away?"

Omran Khamis Faysal: "These people have no belief, no honor, no zeal. They are like animals, maybe worse. They are infidels, infidels, infidels." [...]

Omran Khamis Faysal: "In the name of Allah the Compassionate and Merciful. I, Omran Khamis Faysal from the Martyr Faysal Al-Aqidi Brigade, hereby issue a communiqué on behalf of myself and the brigade. I challenge Hassan Nasrallah to come to the land of Syria. He is too chicken to come here, since he doesn't even dare to make his speeches in public.

"Let me tell you, we shall come to him, in his hometown of Hreik [in Beirut]. We will stomp on his beard, with which he pretends to be a man of religion. We will raise the banner of 'There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger.' This is the banner that we will fly over the entire world." [...]

Aleppo, August 10, 2013

Eight-year-old boy: "Say: 'Allah Akbar.'"

Men: "Allah Akbar."

Eight-year-old boy: "Say: 'Allah Akbar.'"

Men: "Allah Akbar."

Eight-year-old boy: "Allah Akbar."

Footage of the young boy running, holding his rifle, then sitting and lighting a cigarette

Man sitting next to him: "He's asking what's your name."

Eight-year-old boy: "Ahmad."

Man: "How old are you?"

Ahmad: "Eight."

Man: "Where are your father and mother?"

Ahmad: "My father and mother were killed. My mother was killed, and I kissed her."

Man: "We have lots of kids like him in Aleppo."

Footage of Ahmad throwing a grenade, then ducking until the explosion

Ahmad: "Say: 'Allah Akbar.'"

Men: "Allah Akbar."

Ahmad: "Say: 'Allah Akbar.'"

Men: "Allah Akbar." [...]

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