1. Children have been involved from the start of the Syrian revolution.
A member of the Free Syrian Army holds up a child as he protests against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad
3. But as the civil war enters it’s third year, more and more children are becoming involved in the day-to-day fighting.
4. Many of the boys follow their parents into the war.
A Free Syrian Army checkpoint guard with his son.
6. Reporters on the ground say of the rebel forces: “most are young civilians, some 16 or 17 years old.”
7. Boys as young as 12 have been reported on the battlefield.
8. Some are younger than that.
9. Young boys who cannot handle weapons are used to carry supplies for the rebels.
10. This boy runs to avoid sniper fire.
11. And feeding ammunition for artillery.
12. Many of the teenagers are snipers.
13. Because of their endurance and good eyesight.
14. There is formal training for these boys…
15. … so they will be competent on the battlefield.
16. They fight in bedrooms that could be their own.
18. They sleep wherever they can.
19. They sleep in classrooms that they just graduated from.
A boy with a gun on a school bench.
21. This is how they shower.
22. And this is how they swim… sometimes in captured pools and sometimes in craters left by bombs.
23. They are wounded along with the older solders.
24. And they keep photos of their families with them.
25. And no matter how macho they act…
26. … they are still kind of just kids.
27. Kids with play things.
These children use this former Assad tank as a jungle gym.
29. And while the boys fight, the girls wait in long lines for humanitarian aid.
A girl cheers near the site where a jet fighter belonging to forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad crashed.
31. For these children, their country has changed forever.
‘Free Syria’ in Arabic.
32. But the question remains how long will the devastating war rage on?
6-months old laughs as he is posed with a machine gun.