February 3, 2014
Al Qaeda fighters in Syria may have sunk to a new low with a video that appears to show a four-year-old boy squeezing off rounds from an AK-47 as jihadists exhort him on with cries of “Alahu Akhbar.”
The little tyke, whose father stands proudly behind him, is dwarfed by the heavy automatic weapon, and props the barrel up on a street barricade in the stomach-turning clip. The gun’s recoil knocks him back, and his father helps him hold it, offering encouragement in Arabic. International experts say the use of child soldiers is a disturbing trend previously seen in the bloody Syrian civil war, but the use of such a young boy is a new depth.
“Syria is unique to any other conflict we’ve worked in over the last 20 years,” Kate Adams, policy and advocacy manager at London-based charity War Child told FoxNews.com. “Children do seem to have been targeted by both sides, more than we might necessarily see in other conflicts. Children are being used almost as pawns of the war and not just as collateral damage.”