Saudi jolts wife by taking 10 and 11-year-old boys to fight in Syria



(Reuters) – A Saudi father gave his ex-wife the shock of her life when he informed her he was taking their 10 and 11 year-old-sons to join Islamist militants in Syria, telling her to count them as “birds in heaven”, Saudi-owned media reported.

The pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper said on Tuesday that the unsuspecting mother had been told that her sons, Abdullah and Ahmed, were going on holiday with their father, identified as Nasser al-Shayeq, in a neighboring Gulf Arab country when she saw an Instagram photo of them in Turkey.

Al-Hayat said she telephoned her son to ask about the photo, only to receive a message from her ex-husband, a former Saudi civil servant, to say that he was taking the boys to Syria to join Islamic State, one of the most militant groups fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

“Count your children as birds in heaven,” Shayeq said in his message, according to al-Hayat, suggesting that they may be killed and become young “martyrs”.

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