Assad's New Strategy: Nothing Makes People Flee Like Murdering Their Children "He is using artillery, missiles and aircraft to make certain areas of the country unlivable and he is wantonly slaughtering civilians. He is specifically targeting children, even attacking play grounds, because he knows nothing makes the people give up the fight and flee like killing their children. Assad might say he gets more "buck for the bang" by targeting children. The Syrian conflict is also unique in all of history in that the worst torture techniques are regularly used even on pre-teen children. In many ways, Assad's strategy directly involves attacking children by the government. In his war, they aren't collateral damage; they are targets."