The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

After the failure of the international community to protect them, the Syrian children are between “Cubs of the caliphate” and “Cubs of National Defense”

The daily violations against childhood are still committing in Syria, where the childhood is on a crossroads of murdering, displacement and recruitment. Therefore, the involvement operation of children in the widespread military operations and the battlefields on most territories in Syria are still taking place. However, those who exploit children have not got enough of killing thousands of children, wounding dozens of thousands of them and depriving hundreds of thousands of other children from normal lives due to aerial bombardment carried out by al- Assad regime air force, shelling by the regime troops and the ongoing clashes in different areas in Syria.    


The town of al- Sqelbiyyah located in the west of Hama witnessed days ago the graduation of “cubs of the National Defense” of NDF from training course. Those cubs are children under 18 years old recruited by NDF and trained on military operation, fighting and civil defense in order to be in battlefields in their areas. Information reported graduation of other batches in several areas as well.  



In addition to, the past seven months witnessed organized recruitment carried out by “Islamic State” for children under 16 years old, where they were enrolled in the training camps of “cubs of the caliphate”, first they have undergone “Sharia courses” focusing on brainwashes and linking the children’s destiny with the destiny of “Islamic State”, and that “cubs of caliphate” are the once who are going to be depened on in  spreading “caliphate” all over the world, and that those cubs are going to conquer Rome. Meanwhile, the military branch of recruiting Syrian children trained them on military and fighting operations, reaching to preparing them for suicide bombs, where at 89 fighter children of “cubs of caliphate” were killed out of 1100 children, where SOHR documented that more than 1100 children joined the so-called “cubs of the caliphate” since the beginning of this year and involved them for the first time in fighting in the city of Ayna al- Arab (Kobani) in January 25. Out of the 89 children there were at least 19 children blew themselves up using booby-trapped vehicles, last of them were the four children who blew themselves up on the outskirts of the city of al- Hasakah within the military operation launched by IS against YPG in July 6, in the areas expanding from the vicinity of Jabal Abdul Aziz in the south of al- Hasakah to the vicinity of Serrin town in the south of Kobani passing through the north of al- Raqqa city. IS also made “cubs of caliphate personnel” participate executions against its victims. In early January, SOHR documented the first declared execution carried out by children, where 2 children executed 2 IS members confessed of being “agents for the Russian intelligence”. Another cub also beheaded a captain in the regime forces.  In late March, SOHR document participation of 9 children in an execution operation carried out by IS members, who are under the age of 18, in the province of Hama, where the children carried automatic rifles dragging 9 men and kneeling them  on the ground, then one of the “cubs of caliphate” distributed knives on the 9 children who beheaded the 9 men. In addition to, 25 members of “cubs of caliphate” executed 25 soldiers of the regime forces on the Roman theater of Palmyra east of Homs in May 27.


Meanwhile, Jabhat al- Nusra trained a group of children through the center of “Do’at al- Jihad” managed by the leading figure in Jabhat al- Nusra Abdullah al- Mhaysin in period between mid-June and mid-July, where the children underwent Sharia courses and military practices in the training camp of “cubs of al- Aqsa for Preparing Mujahedeen.”


YPG has also recruited dozens of children, who are under 18 years old, in its ranks in al- Hasakah, Efrin and Ayn al- Arab (Kobani). Several human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights have asked YPG to stop recruiting children and to lay off those who were accepted before.


SOHR holds the international community the moral responsibility towards the current situation in Syria, especially concerning childhood, due to the failure of international community to ensure protection for them from killing machines that have tried to terminate their future after they have killed, wounded and displaces dozens of thousands of them, as well as they deprived a lot of them of the right of education and turned them to fuel for this war. It also re-call the UN Security Council to issue a binding resolution to stop the military operations in Syria and to refer the file of war crimes and crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court.