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Al-Jaafari: UN reports took two years to recognize that terrorist groups recruited children

Jun 17, 2013

Syria’s Permanent envoy to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, stressed that the whole world witnessed a series of crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups against children in Syria, however, it took the UN reports two years to recognize that the armed terrorist groups had been recruiting children in their ranks.

“The Syrian government is committed to protecting citizens, particularly children. Any violation of their safety and security will be subject to mechanisms of strict accountability,” al-Jaafari said during the UN Security Council session held to discuss recruiting children in armed conflicts.

“For the first time, the report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui,  mentioned the crimes and violations of the armed terrorist groups, particularly recruiting children… we regret that it took the special representative more than two years to recognize that,” Syria’s representative said.

We hoped that the special representative would have asked in her recommendations of the report from the countries which are supporting and sponsoring the armed terrorist groups to stop their support and lift their unilateral economic measures imposed on the Syrian people, al-Jaafari added.

Concerning the shelling of schools and hospitals, al-Jaafari stressed that Syria welcomed the special representative in 2012 and she met Syrian officials and the minister of education who provided her with confirmed information showing the volume of terrorism which targeted the educational sector by the armed terrorist groups. She also paid field visits to schools, hospitals and refugee centers in Damascus and Homs and their countryside, but she decided, for some reasons, to ignore what she saw firsthand.

He went on to say that the health sector was targeted by the armed terrorist groups which sabotaged, burned and looted more than 35% of the Syrian hospitals. Syria provided the special representative with videotapes on the preparations of the terrorists to detonate al-Qseir Hospital and the detonation operation itself as well which took place on September 5th, 2012, nevertheless, the report did not mention this crime.

As for killing and mutilating children, Dr. al-Jaafari said the world witnessed a series of appalling crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups against children since the beginning of the crisis; for example, the 14-year-old boy, Mohammad Qattaa, was shot to death by a fundamentalist terrorist group affiliated with Jabhat al-Nusra after they lashed and tortured him before the eyes of his parents accusing him of blasphemy.

Fayssal, a 4-year-old boy, was hanged to death by an extremist terrorist group in Aleppo in late 2012 after he was raped and dragged along on the ground for a long distance, al-Jaafari added.

Syria’s Special Representative reasserted Syria’s commitment to protecting its citizens and children in particular, clarifying that the Syrian government approved a law on May 6th, 2013 on sentencing everyone who recruited children under 18 years old in any form of fighting to hard labor from 10 to 20 years.



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