Syrian children who burned tires in an attempt to create a smoke-filled no-fly zone over the besieged city Aleppo were recently honoured at an event for their “air defence” efforts.
Video posted on YouTube by an anti-Syrian regime group showed dozens of children seated on plastic chairs being treated to cake in the shape of tires and presents, including what appear to be plastic water guns, in an apparently windowless basement.
The children who helped light the burning tires are reportedly described as the “children’s air defence brigade.”
Activists say residents in Aleppo’s eastern neighbourhoods began burning tires on July 31, in order to obstruct the flights of warplanes overhead.
In late July, the city again came under intense attack as the Syrian army targeted rebel-held areas from the air.
Video published on YouTube by the Halab News Network on July 31, shows dozens of children running in abandoned streets as burning tires send thick plumes of black smoke into the air.
According to reports, one of the boys interviewed at the party said that children will keep burning tires until Syrian President Bashar Assad is ousted and the civil war, which has been raging for more than five years, is over.
Heartbreaking footage of a bloodied boy pulled from the rubble following an airstrike in Aleppo has been circulated online, sparking outrage around the world. The footage shows the five-year-old boy stunned and sitting in an ambulance, covered in blood and dust. The boy was treated for a head injury and survived.
It’s estimated that 350,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war.
As fighting continues in Aleppo, the UN special envoy for Syria is asking for a 48-hour ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid deliveries into the northern city. Staffan de Mistura says that the UN has not been able to get aid to Aleppo or other parts of the country since July.