photo op

You Won’t Soon Forget This Syrian Child Soldier

Ahmed, the 7 year old son of a FSA fighter, stands in front of a barricade, were he assits his FSA comrades in the neighborhood of Salahadeen, one of Aleppo's front lines. Aleppo, Syria, on March 27, 2013.
Ahmed is eight years old. Photo: Sebastiano Tomada/Sipa USA via Newscom

The photo, taken by Sebastiano Tomada, shows Ahmed, the eight-year-old son of a Syrian rebel fighter, smoking and standing guard with an AK-47 outside a barricade in Aleppo.

Tomada tells us that Ahmed’s parents were killed, and he’s living with his uncle now. He quotes Ahmed as saying, I ended up helping my uncle and his comrades because I have no other choice, there is no school, my family is dead, what choice do I have?”

When he’s not manning his post, Ahmed is doing chores and fetching tea and ammo. “There is always something to do here, I am never bored,” Ahmed said, according to Tomada. “The fighting has calmed down a lot from last year. We had a lot of mortars, but snipers are still a big problem. Sooner or later the regime will kiss you with one of their bullets.”

Harrowing Photo of Syrian Child Soldier