Lebanese officials condemned Hezbollah’s use of child soldiers in Syrian civil war after the Lebanon-based terrorist organization announced the death of a 15-year-old boy “during his observing the obligation of jihad.”
Announcements of this kind published by the Iran-sponsored militia usually relate to the organization’s fighters killed while fighting in Syria, and therefore it is believed (Arabic link) that the boy was killed while fighting to support embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad beyond Lebanese borders.
The child’s funeral was held in Beirut with the participation of Hezbollah officials. According to other reports (Arabic link), this teen was not the only child soldier in Hezbollah’s ranks to have been killed fighting in Syria: Dozens of Hezbollah members recently killed in Syria are under the age of 18.
Lebanese Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, one of the strongest opponents of Hezbollah in Lebanon, said that the situation reminded him of the last days of Hitler’s Nazi regime, when he used minors as soldiers.
The funeral took place at a time when Hezbollah has been suffering from a heavy decline (Arabic link) in new recruits. Many Lebanese have grown reluctant to join Hezbollah after it admitted that it had answered a call from Tehran to provide soldiers to prop up Assad. Hezbollah has begun attempting to entice new recruits with high salaries.
It was similarly reported last month that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria had started recruiting teens to fight, as it had lost the trust of adults.
The recruiting of teens may be another sign that Hezbollah’s commitment to Syria is costing it its popularity in Lebanon. This is a development that was first noted last year.
[Photo: Reuters / YouTube ]