The UN children's fund has issued a stark warning to militants to spare thousands of youngsters trapped by the battle for Fallujah.
UNICEF estimated the number of children trapped with their families inside the city at about 20,000, warning that they face a dire humanitarian situation as well as the risk of forced recruitment by the militants.
Children who are forcibly recruited into the fighting see their lives and futures jeopardised as they are forced to carry and use arms, fighting an adults' war," Unicef said in a statement.
It called on "all parties to protect children inside Fallujah" and "provide safe passage to those wishing to leave the city".
Source ; QNA