The Associated Press revealed that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) is teaching Yazidi boys how to properly behead people by practicing on dolls.
“Then they taught me how to hold the sword, and they told me how to hit,” one boy, only known as Yahya, told the AP. “They told me it was the head of the infidels.”
ISIS ransacked and captured Yazidi towns as they spread their Caliphate through Iraq and Syria in the past year. They often executed the older men, forced the females into sex slavery, and kidnapped the young boys. The terrorist group forces these young boys to become future militants through intensive training camps. One activist told human rights groups the militants told the older people that ISIS only cares “about the new generation.”
This includes Yazidi boys, even though ISIS considers the minority religion “devil-worshippers.” Before he escaped, Yahya spent five months in one of the infamous training camps for five months. Militants forced him to train eight to ten hours a day. One of these camps includes over 120 boys.
They told him Yazidis are “dirty” and should be killed, he said. They showed him how to shoot someone from close range. The boys hit each other in some exercises. Yahya punched his ten-year-old brother, knocking out a tooth.
The trainer said that “if I didn’t do it, he’d shoot me,” Yahya said. “They … told us it would make us tougher. They beat us everywhere.”
He and his brother escaped in March while the guards slept. They fled to their mother, who lived in a house nearby with other Yazidis. Yahya told the AP the three of them left for Minbaj and found shelter “with a Russian IS fighter.” His uncle in Iraq paid the fighter a ransom for the three relatives. Now, they live in Dohuk, but Yahya cannot shake the lessons ISIS taught him, especially the beheadings.
“I was scared when I saw that,” he stated. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to behead someone like that. Even as an adult.”
This is not the first report of ISIS forcing Yazidi boys into terrorist training camps. In May, Sheikh Shamo, a Kurdish Yazidi member of the Iraqi Parliament, reported to Kurdish outlet Rudaw that ISIS 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.”