Loyalist militias recruit more than 100 child soldiers from Homs
Homs - SMART
Militias loyal to the Syrian government forces recruit more than 100 child soldiers under the age of 15 from the Homs governorate, Central Syria, making them sign so-called civil contracts.
On Saturday, local sources reported that more than 100 children from Homs volunteered to fight alongside the loyalist militias. The child soldiers will receive monthly salaries of 75 thousand Syrian pounds ($145). The sources added that most of the children volunteered out of poverty and lack of family breadwinner.
Khaled, a child soldier, said that he volunteered to fight alongside one of the Iranian loyalist militias and signed a six-month contract to fight in the Deir al-Zor governorate for 63 thousand SYP ($122) a month. Khaled said that a man named Kheiro Shailah recruited him.
Another child soldier, Mahmoud, said that he signed a three-month contract with the Syrian government military security to protect military locations in northern Homs for 45 thousand SYP ($87) a month.
Ahmad, also a child soldier who was born in 2003, said that he volunteered to fight alongside the militia of Suhail al-Hasan, also known as al-Nimer, in the governorates of Idlib and Aleppo for 75 thousand SYP a month.
Earlier, the Iranian militia of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps opened a center to receive volunteers from northern Homs after the Syrian government forces gained control of the area.
The Syrian government forces continue to recruit child soldiers via their militias, offering them relatively high salaries. Syrian activists and reporters published pictures of child soldiers fighting alongside the Lebanese Hezbollah and the National Defense militia. Recruiting child soldiers is considered a war crime according to the International Criminal Court.