Urfa, Turkey – From the pulpits of mosques in Madaan town (70 km east of Raqqa city), al-Qaeda offshot group now calling itself the Islamic State (previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ‘ISIL’) commanded on Friday “the town’s residents to send their children to ISIL’s camps in Raqqa to receive Islamic education”, local sources told ARA News.
A woman from the town, who preferred to stay anonymous for fear of ISIL, said: “The Islamic State members asked me to send my sons (7, 14) to their camps, saying they will feed them and threatening of punishment if we hide our sons or send them out of Raqqa province.”
“The group (Islamic State) established many checkpoints on the accesses of Madaan, especially on the roads leading to Deir az-Zor province to prevent children from absconding, stressing that the camp’s activities will be held only during Ramadan,” she told ARA News on the phone.
Speaking to ARA News from Raqqa, civil activist Oum Suher confirmed the information on the so-called Ramadan camp, arguing: “There must be a reason behind the group’s attempt to address 7-14 years old children. They are trying to brainwash our children and provide them with some strict Islamic teachings to follow the group (Islamic State).”
According to Suher, the Islamic State aims at recruiting children “as well as urging them to be terrorists and commit suicidal operations in residential areas”.
“I am afraid of immoral acts against those children by the group, especially its members are of different nationalities,” Suher said.
The Islamic State is accused of “recruiting children and minors” as well as “exploiting these age categories in suicidal Jihadi operations”.
Reporting by: Radwan Bizar
Source: ARA News
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