A report published yesterday (March 24, 2015) by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reveals that the Islamic State (ISIS) has recruited 400 children and teens under the age of 18 in the past year. According to the report, ISIS has opened "Caliphate Cubs" bureaus in Deir Al-Zour and Bukamal that are responsible for recruiting and registering children, with or without their parents' consent. The youths are recruited in the vicinity of ISIS offices and headquarters, at mosques in the areas under ISIS control, and at public executions and punishments that ISIS stages. The organization also encourages parents to send their children to its training camps.
Children outside ISIS recruitment office
In the camps the children receive religious instruction aimed at "firmly inculcating the organization's creed and ideology," and also undergo military instruction, including training with firearms using live ammunition and simulating raids and battle situations. They are also given driving lessons, and some are given financial aid.
According to the report ISIS also employs some of the teens to gather intelligence or guard its installations. It claims that a company of 140 underage teens participated in the fighting in Kobane before it was retaken from ISIS, and that six of these youths were killed.
Children undergoing military training in ISIS camp near Damascus
Source: Siryahr.com, March 24, 2015.