Children in Douma re-enact shocking ISIS execution in anti-Assad protest

The shocking images show children in a cage, in among the rubble of bombed streets of the Syrian town of Douma

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Syrian children - some apparently as young as three - have been pictured in orange jumpsuits, shut in a cage while a man holds a flaming torch, in scenes reminiscent of the recent ISIS execution of Jordanian pilot Lt Moaz al-Kasasbeh.

But this was not another killing by ISIS militants - instead it was a demonstration by Syrian activists calling for President Bashar al-Assad's alleged atrocities to be likened to that of the militants – British newspaper The Daily Mail reported.

The shocking images show children in a cage, in among the rubble of bombed streets of the Syrian town of Douma, near Damascus, some holding banners that read: “Stop the killing of children.”

The protesters are raising awareness of Syrians living under siege - dying in airstrikes carried out by forces loyal to Assad. And they also have condemned the lack of action taken by the international community, compared to the fight against ISIS.

In the first 10 days of February, 55 women and children were killed (180 people over all) by regime airstrikes – according to the British-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Assad recently denied claims made by human rights groups against him of using barrel bombs against his own people.
Rebel groups have threatened to retaliate – stepping up rocket attacks against regime-held areas.

Scores of rebels have been killed as Assad-loyal forces launched a large-scale offensive in the last week. But the Syrian army have also suffered heavy losses – including 12 officers, the Daily Mail reported, citing Rami Abdulrahman of the SOHR, who uses sources on the ground to gather information.

And Abdulrahman warned: “Now the weather is better there will be Syrian air strikes. With the air strikes they will move forward.”

He explained that a 5,000-strong force of pro-government troops were involved in an offensive aimed at taking rebel-held land from rural areas southwest of Damascus to Deraa city to Quneitra.