According to Russia’s General Staff, Aleppo rebels are “forcefully” enrolling teens as young as 14 due to lack of reinforcements in the eastern rebel-held portion of the city. At a press briefing, Sergey Rudskoy, the chief of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, stated that the terrorists in the war-torn city have begun re-mobilizing by way of teen conscripts, forcing them to fight for their extremist cause.
“The leaders of militant groups continue to hide behind inexperienced fighters launching a new wave of mobilization in east Aleppo and enroll teenagers at the age of 14 years,” Rudskoy said.
He also added that terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra has enrolled approximately 1,000 teens and adults. The youths are reportedly being used to attempt to break the blockade up against east Aleppo, which has been put in place by Syrian government forces.
“The [terrorists] tried to break up the blockade seeking cover behind those inexperienced fighters. The youngsters mobilized against their will refuse to complete their tasks and desert en-masse, having become subject to reprisals. These actions have caused protests from parents and relatives of the enrolled teenagers.”
Any resistance from the teens to comply has reportedly been met with brutal action by terrorists, which causes many to follow orders. The city of Aleppo, which was once Syria’s largest city, is now divided into an eastern rebel-held territory and the western government-controlled territories. The city is in ruins after weeks of endless bombings and airstrikes by the Syrian military, who are backed by Russian forces.
— Zoya Baloch (@Proud_Baloch) October 14, 2016
The envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, warned in early October that east Aleppo is nearing the point of total desstruction and he urged al-Nusra to the leave the city “in dignity,” and agreed to accompany terrorists willing to exit Aleppo. The move by Mistura was backed by Russia and took it as a part of the U.N. Security Council resolution last week.
The rebels refused to withdraw, and de Mistura’s deputy, Ramzi Ezzedine Ramzi, stated on Thursday that the UN received a “negative response” from the group.
Rudskoy shares that any fighters still willing to lay down their weapons and leave Aleppo in peace can do so and exit via a specially constructed corridor which was established in July by the Syrian army. Rudskoy spoke on the initiative that sought to result in surrender by rebels.
“The Syrian government guarantees safety to the armed people who decide to withdraw from eastern Aleppo with personal weapons into other areas of the country of their choice. Terrorists block the human aid delivery for the civilian population. Humanitarian corridors are booby trapped.”
There was more bloodshed and more casualties on Thursday when Aleppo’s government-held portion was hit by mortar shells. Seven children reportedly fell under fire and five were killed.
— MSF International (@MSF) October 14, 2016
Rudskoy also relayed that militants in the East of Aleppo are brutally using civilians as human shields to prevent their own groups’ loss of life while fighting for their cause.
“To reduce losses commanders of the armed groups locate their command posts, warehouses and other facilities on the first floors of residential buildings. However, their residents continue to be held captive by militants inside the buildings, acting as ‘human shields.’
The words from the Russians and the account by the Russian media, clearly differs from that of western leaders’ words and western media members’ accounts of the happenings in the city of Aleppo. Rudskoy reminds of this, as he ended with words directed at the nations of the west in regard to this conflict.
“These egregious facts remain without attention from western countries. They neither want to notice any crimes by the militants nor respond to them,” Rudskoy said.
[Featured Image by Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images]