186 Kurdish schoolboys kidnapped and the world remains silent

I knew this would eventually happen. I knew some fundamentalist terrorist group would eventually kidnap boys. They cannot help themselves. They are compelled by their fanaticism to do stupid, horrible things. So it was only a matter of time before some well-known group went after boys. This time it was ISIS. According to the Guardian:

The kidnapping of 186 teenage boys in Syria on 30 May has gone largely unreported in the wider world, a curious omission given the outcry over the teenage girls in Nigeria. The abduction was no less sinister. The students needed to travel from the Kobani enclave on the Turkish border to Aleppo to take their exams, as required by Syria’s education system. The journey is perilous, but they reached Aleppo without incident. On the way home, however, a convoy of about 10 minibuses containing 186 boys aged 14-16 was stopped and taken to a religious school in Minbej, for training in the Qur’an and jihad. The vast majority are still there.

The omission is not curious. One hundred and eighty-six boys simply does not bring out international concern. After all, they are boys. Who, other than their parents, cares if some militant terrorist group kidnaps them? Continue reading

Syria, child soldiers, and child rape

Originally posted on June 26, 2013

Much of the news in the media concerning Syria focuses on the deteriorating situation. We hear about the Russian involvement, the Syrian military’s power, and the use of chemical weapons. Yet missing from the coverage is the impact this has had on the Syrian people. A recent news report offer a view of that, one that people might not expect:

Syrian troops and rebels are recruiting children to fight in the country’s civil war and some have been tortured by government forces for having links to the opposition, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said in a report on Wednesday.

The report issued after Ban’s special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, visited Syria in December said thousands of children have been killed in the violence, “while thousands more have seen family members killed or injured.”

The report also said children are recruited, killed, maimed or raped by government forces and armed groups in Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen, as well as by armed groups in Mali, Colombia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Iraq and the Central African Republic.

According to the report, the majority of the children are boys. In Syria, the torture and rapes are carried out by Syrian officials and military forces: Continue reading