Schools in Sinjar

StraitTimes – First come the sweets, then the beheadings

…Ahmed and Amir were held hostage by ISIS for nine months, imprisoned in a military camp in Mosul, its stronghold in Iraq. There the terrorist organisation used beatings and weapons to train them to become child soldiers, or “lion cubs of the caliphate”, as ISIS puts it. The “lion cubs” blow themselves up to kill supposed infidels. They witness beheadings, to learn how they are done. They donate blood for injured adult fighters. And they turn in traitors.

It is difficult to determine how many child soldiers ISIS is training. Experts estimate that 1,500 boys are serving the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. Some are born to the militants. In fact, more than 31,000 women are currently pregnant in ISIS-held territory. Other children arrive with their parents from abroad when the parents join the extremist movement. In many cases, the “lion cubs” are children of local fighters or orphans who join ISIS voluntarily. Others, like Ahmed and Amir, are kidnapped.  Read more…


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