CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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ISIS Has Recruited 400 Syrian Children Since January

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have recruited at least 400 Syrian minors for the past three months and have dubbed them as "Cubs of the Caliphate," the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

The Observatory reported that children, all aged fewer than eighteen and even as young as ten years old, are made to undergo hardcore ISIS indoctrination and extensive military training. These children are being taught how to use explosives, fire live ammunition and go in wars.

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Some of these kids are also being utilized by the IS as camp guards or spies.

Accordingly, most of these children were recruited near schools and mosques and in areas where ISIS conducted terror attacks. They also encouraged parents to have their children join the ISIS by offering them huge amount of money and other benefits.

"They use children because it is easy to brainwash them. They can build these children into what they want." said SOHR head Rami Abdel-Rahman. "They stop them from going to school and send them to ISIS schools instead."

Abdel-Rahman added that the ISIS prefers to recruit children because it has a hard time recruiting adults. Since the start of year 2015, ISIS was only able to recruit around 120 adults.

The militant group's strong recruitment of children was construed by a video, which was released early this month, of a young boy shooting dead a Palestinian who was accused of being an Israeli spy.

French authorities said that the young boy can be the half-brother of ISIS member Mohammed Merah who has killed three Jewish children, three soldiers and a rabbi back in 2012 at Toulouse.

Last year, the SOHR reported that the ISIS has been recruiting 200 to 300 children every month. The militants provided junior jihadi trainings to these children as their force multiplier.

Most of these children are made to join battles and are being used by the ISIS militant as human shields.

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