Fighters with the Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are reportedly forcing innocent children to join their battle by recruiting them as junior members of ISIS and even using them as suicide bombers, reports The Straits Times.
The United Nations envoy on children reported Monday that ISIS is responsible for killing “hundreds” of teenagers and preteens and that the group isn’t above using them to do their dirty work.
“Up to 700 children have been killed or maimed in Iraq since the beginning of the years, including in summary executions,” said Leila Zerrougui of the United Nations. She went on to say that some boys, including those as young as 13, are forced to carry weapons for the terrorist organization, guard strategic locations and arrest civilians. Others are used as suicide bombers, she said.
Some young teens in Syria have reportedly been ordered to take part in ISIS-sponsored children’s training camps where they reportedly learn how to behead enemies, reports ABC News. When a 13-year-old named Mohammad received orders to join the camp, his father said he objected to what he called the group’s attempt to brainwash his son, but says he was then threatened by fighters.
The man’s son reportedly returned home one day from camp with an unusual homework assignment: he had to practice cutting off the plastic head of a blonde-haired doll using a large knife given to him by his ISIS supervisors. The doll was dressed in the orange prison jumpsuit worn by prisoners in Guantanamo and the child was reportedly instructed to cover its head before "killing" it. Any child who refused to participate was reportedly punished.
When young kids graduate from these training camps, some reportedly move up to ISIS’s adult military camps, where it is believed they are taught to use weapons.
In June, the world was shocked to learn that ISIS had reportedly kidnapped 140 Kurdish schoolboys between the ages of 14 and 16 and held them hostage in order to teach them how to become suicide bombers, reports Daily Mail. The boys were reportedly forced to watch a video of a beheading on their first day at the camp and were warned that, if they didn’t follow their rules, the same would happen to them.
Photo Credit: AP, Omar Abdullah/Syria Deeply