The Islamic State is raising an army of child soldiers, and the West could be fighting them for generations to come. They stand in the front row at public beheadings the program drawing for children 4 years crucifixions held in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s stronghold in Syria.
They’re used for blood transfusions when Islamic State fighters are injured. They are paid to inform on people who are disloyal or speak out against the Islamic State. They are trained to become suicide bombers. The Islamic State has put in place a far-reaching and well-organized system for recruiting children, indoctrinating them with the group’s extremist beliefs, and then teaching them rudimentary fighting skills. The militants are preparing for a long war against the West, and hope the young warriors being trained today will still be fighting years from now. While there are no hard figures for how many children are involved, refugee stories and evidence collected by the United Nations, human rights groups, and journalists suggest that the indoctrination and military training of children is widespread.
Child soldiers aren’t new to war. Dozens of African armies and militias use young boys as fighters, in part because research has shown that children lack fully formed moral compasses and can easily be persuaded to commit acts of cruelty and violence. The young fighters of the Islamic State could pose a particularly dangerous long-term threat because they’re being kept away from their normal schools and instead inculcated with a steady diet of Islamist propaganda designed to dehumanize others and persuade them of the nobility of fighting and dying for their faith. They engage in child abuse on an industrial scale. They brutalize and systematically dehumanize the young populations.
This is going to make this a multigenerational problem. Iraq, where he interviewed displaced Iraqis in Baghdad, Dohuk, and Erbil. He said there is a “large and dangerously successful recruitment” program. Speaking to a small group of reporters at the U. He explained that “they project an image of being victorious” and offer the promise that those who fall in battle will “go straight to heaven. We don’t know what to do,’” he said. Our sons are volunteering and we can’t prevent it.
On the front lines of Iraq and Syria, the boys who join or are abducted by the Islamic State are sent to various religious and military training camps, depending on their age. At the camps, they are taught everything from the Islamic State’s interpretation of sharia law to how to handle a gun. Children are also sent into battle, where they are used as human shields on the front lines and to provide blood transfusions for Islamic State soldiers, according to Shelly Whitman, the executive director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization devoted to the eradication of the use of child soldiers. Eyewitnesses from the Iraqi towns of Mosul and Tal Afar told United Nations investigators they have seen young children, armed with weapons they could barely carry and dressed in Islamic State uniforms, conducting street patrols and arresting locals. 12 or 13 undergoing military training organized by ISIL in Mosul,” according to a report written jointly by the Office of the U.