Amin al-Ganem is no stranger to child-rearing. A father of four, he and his wife Fatima know the ups and downs of family life well. As of last night, however, the Syrian family can add another moment to their list of proudest memories: their youngest son’s first IED.
Three year-old Saleh reportedly gathered the scrap metal and explosives required for the device from the area around his apartment in Aleppo, assisted at times by helpful anti-government vigilantes.
“Our other children played with dolls and footballs,” al-Ganem recalled, “but Saleh is a child of the times. He’s very intelligent and I think he has a bright future ahead of him: at this rate, we will be at war until he is at least 15. Imagine how useful his construction talents will be! Hopefully he will learn to scavenge for food as well as shrapnel, since that is becoming rather scarce around here.”
Reports from around Syria’s second city indicate a growing bloc of children, like Saleh, with a talent for IED creation. It is unclear whether Bashar al-Assad’s government is aware of the situation, but sources close to the President have reported that he enjoys a nice massage now and again.
Young Saleh, oblivious to the political upheaval around him, does know one thing for sure.
“I builded a thing,” the toddler told reporters as they took cover from a government air strike together. “It shiny like a tree!”
Translators are still attempting to decide what the hell that means.