The Syrian Boy Soldier with a Thousand-Yard Stare: The Sad Image of Child Aged SEVEN
SYRIA IN CONTEXT, 4 Apr 2016
Puffing on a cigarette, a Kalashnikov AK-47 slung awkwardly across his little shoulders, seven-year-old Ahmed stands at a makeshift barricade in Syria.
He is one of the youngest fighters to be swept into his country’s civil war and something in his blank expression seems to hint at horrors that no child of his age should ever have to witness.
The picture was taken in the neighbourhood of Salahadeen, one of the front lines in the battered city of Aleppo.
The son of a Free Syrian Army fighter, he is said to help operate a barricade that protects rebels from Syrian army snipers.
Ahmed seemed remarkably relaxed, his right hand and left elbow resting on the rifle, a pose likely to have been copied from the adult fighters around him.
Photojournalist Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini, 26, took the picture on his second trip to Syria since President Bashar al-Assad has come under intense pressure to quit.
It is thought hundreds of children have taken ‘active roles’ in the conflict, including running supplies and carrying messages between front-line units.
The photograph emerged as Samantha Cameron, on a visit to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, claimed innocent childhoods were being ‘smashed to pieces’ by the civil war.
The Prime Minister’s wife – an ambassador for Save the Children – said: ‘It is horrifying to hear the harrowing stories from the children. No child should ever experience what they have.’
Rebels have reacted with anger to a refusal by Nato to supply Patriot missiles to protect them from Assad’s jets.
Watch video here: http://bcove.me/74e9epn7
28 Mar 2013
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