“Cubs of the Caliphate”: Islamic State trains youngsters on jihad


"Cubs of the Caliphate", ISIS militants train Iraqi and Syrian children on jihadist operations. File photo

ARA News

Erbil, Kurdistan Region – The radical group of Islamic State (IS/ISIS) has allocated several camps in the areas under its control in Mosul and Ramadi in northern Iraq and in the city of Raqqa in northeastern Syria, to train minors dubbed as “Ashbal al-Khilafa” (Cubs of the Caliphate) to carry out “jihadist” operations”, pro-IS media outlets reported.

The so-called Caliphate’s Cubs are also trained to slaughter, assassinate, and physically and psychologically torture others.

Speaking to ARA News in Mosul, civil rights activist A. I. said (on the condition of anonymity) that the radical group has recently closed schools in Mosul, and obliged male youngsters to join the training camps.

The source pointed out that hundreds of children were forced to join IS camps.

“However, other underage children were forced to join by their own families, under the pretext of defending the alleged caliphate, from Iraqi army attacks,” the source told ARA News. 

The same source stated that the IS camps, in which children are trained, used to be military centers for Iraqi regular army before the group seize the area months ago. 

The youngsters are reportedly subject to training sessions of one month and a half, and are then dispersed among the suicide squads and bomb-making workshops.

“Dozens of minors are taken to battlefields by IS militants to implement specific missions assigned to them by the group,” he said.

In the meantime, a tribal source in Mosul revealed that the IS hard-line group is training hundreds of children aged from 9 to 12, in the al-Furat area of the sub-district of Heet west of Ramadi.

“The radical group took advantage of the tribes of al-Tarabsha and al-Bu Nimr to collect the Syrian and Iraqi children to be trained in the al-Taqa headquarters of al-Furat district,” the source said, pointing out that many minors have also been utilized as human shields.


Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef

Source: ARA News

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