Al Arabiya, 26 November 2017 - An Iranian television channel on Saturday broadcast a video in which a 13-year-old child soldier speaks about being sent to Syria to fight.
In the video, a reporter asks the young soldier his age to which the boy replies “13,” while another gunman next to the child says that he is “the youngest child fighter.”
In the video, which has sparked debate in Iran, the child who comes from Mazandaran province in northern Iran, says he came to Syria under the influence of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Quds Force, and that he was aware of the danger of death in the war in Abu Kamal.
“This child must be in school now and play and not on the war fronts, where adults get killed,” said one Iranian activist.
A report by Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into the recruitment of children into Syria by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, calling on the international community and the United Nations to open an investigation into the issue and to add Iran to the annual list of perpetrators of child abuse.
The report, issued in early October, said that the age of child recruits start from 14 years, and they are in an Afghan armed group exclusively of about 14,000 fighters supported by Tehran, and fighting alongside the forces of the Assad regime in the Syrian conflict.