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The Little Lion: Syria’s 11-Year-Old Killing Machine

Published: January 13, 2013
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Source: Vice

Mohammed Afar is 11 years old. The modified AK-47 assault rifle he carries stretches to nearly two-thirds his height.

Over the top of his faded yellow jacket a Free Syrian Army vest holds three extra clips, each full with live ammunition, and a walkie-talkie. An FSA badge sits on one side and a rendering of the Islamic Shahada, in Arabic calligraphy, on the other.

He says he does not miss school or want to stay at home with his mother and two sisters.

“I want to stay as a fighter until Bashar is killed,” he says, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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Caught-up in shelling, airstrikes, and sniping, they have additionally been subject to arbitrary arrest, torture and rape, as reported by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria in August; which, additionally, noted “with concern reports that children under 18 are fighting and performing auxiliary roles for anti-Government armed groups.”

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