Hezbollah firmly denied on Thursday reports that one of its “child soldiers” was martyred in Syria, stressing that such reports are baseless, according to a report by Hezbollah’s mouthpiece Al- Manar .
According to Al- Manar , Hezbollah’s Media Relations issued a statement in which it said martyr Mashour Masoud Shamseddine, 15, “was not fighting in (Syria’s) al-Qalamaoun and was not martyred there.”
The party claimed he was martyred in south Lebanon during an “accident while fulfilling his jihadi duty.” Without elaborating on the type of accident and the type of jihadi duty , specially since the south has been peaceful for many years
The statement was a response by Hezbollah to allegations that the resistance party “is recruiting children” for fighting in the Syrian civil war.
“Reports circulated by social media over the martyrdom of the Mujahid brother Mashour Masoud Shamseddine are unfounded and baseless,” the statement said.
Several media outlets on Wednesday blasted Hezbollah for recruiting “children” under the age of 18.
According to NOW, sources in southern Syria reportedly told the London-based Alaraby Aljadeed that Shamseddine was killed “in the Israeli raid in Syria’s Qalamoun region, which targeted Hezbollah’s missile depot”.
According to media reports the badly-overstretched Hezbollah may be resorting to using child soldiers to compensate for growing losses in the many battles it is currently engaged in.
The use of child soldiers, even in auxiliary roles, underlines the extent to which the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group is being stretched in its unprecedented deployment throughout the Middle East as part of the spearhead of Iran’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy.
Since officially announcing its active participation in the Syrian civil war in support of the regime of Bashar al-Assad Hezbollah has lost hundreds of fighters, possibly more, in that war alone.
Hezbollah fighters have also been reportedly deployed in Iraq and in Yemen , according to media reports.
One observer commented on the loss of the 15 year old Shamseddine by saying:
Is Hezbollah running out of men to fight Iran’s war in the Middle East . Iran has a lot more people , why should Lebanese children die for the sake of Iran’s agenda ?