UNITED NATIONS - Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad have been accused of using children as fighters in violation of international conventions banning the recruitment of child soldiers, a senior UN official said on Monday.
The UN concern about the possibility that Syria's opposition may be using child soldiers follows last week's report from the New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch that armed Syrian opposition groups have kidnapped, tortured and executed members of supporters of Assad and members of his security forces.
"We are receiving allegations of children with the Free Syrian Army," Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN special representative for children and armed conflict, said in response to a question about Syria's rebels. She gave no details.
"We haven't been able to verify or check" the veracity of those allegations, Coomaraswamy added.