Islamic State trains children as young as six for combat


October 29, 2014

RaqqaChildren

AN EDUCATION IN VIOLENCE: Photos of children training in Islamic State (IS) camps in A-Raqqa province circulated on Twitter and Facebook Tuesday by the “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”  group that documents Islamic State abuses.

Here, children pose for a picture at al-Shareai camp, home to between 250 and 300 kids under the age of 16, with some as young as six, Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, the pseudonym of the founder of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” told Foreign Policy in an interview published Monday.

Another 250-300 young people between 16 and 20 train at the same camp, where IS instructors “take advantage of religious lessons in the mosques in order to misguide” the students, then subject them to a 30-day long military training course, Raqqawi was quoted by pro-opposition news agency All4Syria as saying on October 8.

Following their training, IS sends children directly to the front lines. At least 30 have gone to fight in Kobani since early October.

Children living outside camps in IS-controlled areas are subjected to less direct, but nonetheless extreme forms of violence.

IS encourages kids to attend weekly “executions, amputations and lashings in public squares,” according to a report released in August by the UN-appointed Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

–October 29, 2014

-Photo courtesy of @Raqqa_Sl.

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