Al-Qaida linked jihadists in insurgent-held areas in northern and eastern Syria are targeting children as young as four-years-old and teenagers for indoctrination, conducting teach-ins, opening schools and training camps, say human rights activists.
“You are seeing the jihadists trying to create a new pool of suicide bombers,” says psychotherapist Mohamed Khalil of the London-based Arab Foundation for Care of Victims of War and Torture. Read my full VOA dispatch here.
From my piece in today’s Daily Beast:
“The Lebanese have been fearful ever since the civil war erupted next door in Syria that it would spread to their nation and trigger communal fighting within their borders. And with the influx of huge numbers of refugees and occasional clashes in the north between Lebanese sects supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to him, such fears have had plenty to feed on the past few months.
Now, a new development could bring sectarian conflict that much closer to Lebanon and have wider repercussions for the entire Arab region: the likelihood of a confrontation along the border between Lebanon’s Shiite armed movement Hezbollah and Sunni fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra, the jihadist militia that has evolved into the most effective rebel formation fighting to oust Assad.”
Read full article here.