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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Horrifying video shows children as young as nine years old learning battlefield techniques

One of the first casualties of war - is children. A horrifying new video shows an innocent four-year-old boy being trained to use guns. The boy is just one of the latest "cub jihadists" recruited for bloody battle in Syria.

Suspected British Al Qaeda fighters in Syria have been circulating other images showing children being trained to use deadly weapons in a jihad training camp.

Suspected British Al Qaeda fighters in Syria have been circulating other images showing children being trained to use deadly weapons in a jihad training camp.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, children, terrorist, al-Qaeda, training


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The boy can be seen firing rounds from an automatic assault rifle. Counter-terrorism officials say its evidence of how jihadists are grooming children to become fighters, as al-Qaeda factions strive to establish a Taliban-like Islamic state in Syria.

Posted on YouTube, the boy is believed to be that of a son of a jihadist from Albania who is one of thousands of foreigners fighting with Al Qaeda in Syria.

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Alarming footage appears to show a child, believed to be four years old, shooting an AK-47 as the re

Alarming footage appears to show a child, believed to be four years old, shooting an AK-47 as the reliance on children on the Syrian bloodbath continues. The footage was posted online by a jihadist group.


Wearing a black ski mask, the boy can be seen firing shots from a black AK-47-style automatic assault rifle with a folding stock. So small in stature, the barrel of the gun has to be supported by a section of road block so that he can balance its weight.

The child opens fire to shouts of "Allahu Akbar," which is Arabic for "God is Greater," before an arm reaches down and retrieves the weapon.

The boy will have lived almost his whole life through the Syrian conflict, though with his high voic

The boy will have lived almost his whole life through the Syrian conflict, though with his high voice and chubby cheeks, he belongs more in infants' school than on a battlefield.


The footage was removed from YouTube after it was exposed by an American-based "anti-jihad" activist who claimed it was evidence of child abuse. Footage remains in circulation on other online channels.

Suspected British Al Qaeda fighters in Syria have been circulating other images showing children being trained to use deadly weapons in a jihad training camp. Children, aged between nine and 15 are seen in full battle dress and wearing black ski masks bearing the distinctive logo of Al Qaeda.

The video shows the child smiling and talking in his native language with the adults filming him.

The video shows the child smiling and talking in his native language with the adults filming him.


Many were seen holding Kalashnikov automatic assault rifles, tripod-mounted heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

The footage has added to an increasingly desperate atmosphere. Week-long peace talks have collapsed amid a stand-off between rebels and the Syrian government.

The delegation of President Bashar Assad has since refused to commit to return to United Nations negotiations in 10 days, as the opposition accused them of posturing and prolonging the bloodbath.

More than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011. Activists claim 1,900 died during the peace talks --alone.

President Assad was pressed by his Russian backers to take part in the talks but could not engage toward finding a real solution because "he knows that would be his end," opposition chief Ahmad al-Jarba said.

More photos show children as young as nine at a training camp toting guns and wearing ski masks.

More photos show children as young as nine at a training camp toting guns and wearing ski masks.


"For us, [Assad's] family is finished from the memory of the Syrians; all that is left is blood, fire and terrorism. We will not accept for this man or anyone from his family to rule the country again."

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem had earlier said that "We are here to find a political solution. We were unable to achieve that."

United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said progress was "very slow indeed . Nevertheless, during our discussions, I observed a little bit of common ground - perhaps more than the two sides realize or recognize."

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