“I used to carry a Kalashnikov… I used to shoot checkpoints … to capture (them) and take the weapons,” he said, adding that his 2,000-strong battalion gave him combat training.
“They taught us how to shoot, how to dismantle and put together a weapon,” he told Human Rights Watch. He volunteered along with his older brother and other relatives.
Another boy, from Homs, said children took on various roles. “The job you have depends on you,” he said. “If you have a brave heart, they’ll send you to (attack) checkpoints.”"