Since the beginning of fighting in Deir Ezzor in particular, and in Syria in general, the Assad regime has broken all the international laws, trampled human rights charters, and violated children’s rights through its sadistic and authoritarian practices aimed at keeping the rule of Assad and his followers in Syria.
In Deir Ezzor, the Assad’s forces and their affiliated militias sought to attract children, recruiting them in combat, exploiting the hard living conditions of people and the rush and immaturity of children and teenagers.
During the siege on Deir Ezzor, the number of children killed in the ranks of Assad’s forces and the affiliated militias increased significantly, as the Assad’s forces were throwing them into the frontlines in battles against Daesh, as happened in the panorama area, the mountain and the military airport.
After the Assad’s forces took control over Deir Ezzor city and the southern bank of the Euphrates River “Al-Shamiyah” in late 2017, there was a marked increase in the numbers of children recruited by the militias affiliated with the Assad forces, such as the National Defense militia and the militias supported by Iran, at the head of which is Hezbollah militia.
More than 1,000 children from Deir Ezzor are now recruited in Hezbollah militia and the National Defense militia, which offer each volunteer a monthly salary of 50,000 Syrian pounds (US$ 100), and a personal weapon to every volunteer child, which feeds the love of power in the recruited children, in addition to that, the salary which the militias offer has temptated many children’s parents to send their children to volunteer as a result of the extreme poverty they suffer in Deir Ezzor, so that the sight of children carrying arms is now common in the markets and the inhabited neighbourhoods.