Sheikh Shamo, a Kurdish Yazidi member of Iraqi Parliament, reported this week to Kurdish outlet Rudaw that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) has forced many abducted Yazidi children to be soldiers for the terrorist group.
“ISIS has established military training camps for the Yezidi children held by the group in the Syrian city of Raqqa and Tal Afar in Mosul [province],” he said. “Over the past months, many Yezidi women, children and elders managed to escapes [sic] in various ways and have arrived in the Kurdistan region, but we still beleive [sic] more than 3,000 Yezidis remain in the hands of ISIS.”
ISIS is known to use children as soldiers. In February, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child reported the militants force “mentally handicapped kids into service as suicide bombers.” A video from November displayed militants training child soldiers at a camp in Iraq.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims ISIS also recruited 400 children in 2015 alone. The group targets schools and mosques in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria.
“They use children because it is easy to brainwash them,” explained Rami Abdulrahman, the man in charge of the rights group. “They can build these children into what they want, they stop them from going to school and send them to IS schools instead.”
ISIS calls the children “Cubs of the Caliphate.” A video from February advertised a new training camp for young boys. The people in charge teach the children about radical Islam and warfare. Another training camp taught the children as young as eight-years-old how to properly behead and torture people.
A video in August actually featured Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen leader within ISIS. He appeared openly, without anything covering his face. The children proudly performed for him the chants, songs, and military formations they learned. They also showed him they knew how to balance a gun and aim properly.