The Islamic State (ISIS/ISISL) has released a new video showcasing a children’s training camp around Damascus, Syria, in which children are seen practicing combat on each other and being beaten.
The training in this video was more brutal than previous tutorials. YouTube removed the video due to violation of terms and services, but the video is available at The Daily Mail.
The boys are dressed in black and the Islamic State flag is displayed to make sure the viewer always sees it. From Newsweek:
The video features footage of boys around the age of ten lined up to receive “training” from their instructor who delivers a series of punches and kicks to each pupil, as well as breaking sticks over their heads, forcing them to assume the press up position and kicking them in the stomach.
One boy is chosen to be the victim as other boys attack him. He takes down each one with moves taught to him by the man who beat him at the beginning of the video. Then after the training is finished, the boys form a circle with their hands behind their head and a man beats them. The boys are led outside with AK-47s. Each one takes part in a military exercise in a grassy field. The end of the video shows the teachers lined up while the boys shake their hands. Each teacher hugs and kisses the child.
Images released through Islamic State accounts show there might be more videos released in the future. A member posted pictures of the children on JustPaste.it, but the website removed the content. The Twitter account @FlamesOfWar1 posted a collage of the pictures.
— » Jihad News « (@FlamesOfWar1) December 6, 2014
The boys, known as the Caliphate Cubs, are dressed in camouflage and masks with AK47s in their hands. A few youngsters appear to have very pale skin, which means they might be from a Western country. Inside a mosque, the boys show off their ability to take apart and put back together their AK47s in front of their teachers.
Charlie Winter, a researcher for the Quilliam Foundation, told Newsweek he never viewed adults beating children in training videos. He also said the jihadist group knows videos with children upset the West and could be used to “divert attention from more strategically important ISIS camps where adult fighters are trained.”
“They talk about child soldiers with pride in the Islamic State,” he said. “They know it will outrage Westerners. Another important aspect of releasing footage like this is that ISIS are saying ‘look at how powerful we are. we are able to start our indoctrination at a young age!’ It plays into the whole pseudo state image they are trying to promote. They are saying they have an administration. They are trying to show that the Islamic State is going to be around for a while.”