140216syriachildwarriorA compilation of videos reveals the Syrian opposition, particularly the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, is recruiting children to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One segment of video shows a 12-year-old child being guided by an adult as he hacks off the head of a captured fighter. The child is then instructed to place the head on the top of the body. The video compilation opens with a number of children and young people displaying a variety of weapons they are carrying, from a Kalashnikov, or AK-47, to a rocket propelled grenade, or RPG and firing artillery pieces. The video, put out by “Syrian Truth,” was a compilation of others from Syrian rebel channels that have appeared at various times on YouTube. Revelation of the video comes as the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, released a report with dozens of images of Islamist militants teaching children to embrace violent jihad against Islam’s enemies. “Children’s deaths in fighting are being glorified in videos and photos circulated online and in social media,” MEMRI said. “In a November 2012 video, a Syrian boy, who appears to be about 10, digs his own grave and expresses his wish for ‘martyrdom.’” The Syrian Truth video, which has English subtitles, points out that recruiting underage minors and “thrusting them in war actions is a crime punishable by international law.” More