Report: Islamic State recruited 400 children since January

By Amy R. Connolly

DAMASCUS, Syria, March 24 (UPI) -- The Islamic State has recruited some 400 children in the past three months to build its so-called Cubs of the Caliphate cadre, a monitoring group said Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group said children are recruited near schools, mosques and public venues. The group said recruitment offices have opened in Syrian cities that include al-Mayadin and al-Bokamal.Children have been recruited in record numbers since January.


The group also works to convince parents to send their children to camps where children are taught how to use weapons and fight.

"IS also tries to lure the children by money, weapons and cars in order to convince them to join its own camps," the group said. "In addition, IS receives and takes care of children who suffer from congenital malformation. IS uses children to work as spies and agents to gather news and as guards on its own posts."

The group said the IS sent a battalion of about 140, many under age 18, to fight in Kobani in late January. Six children died. In February, the United Nations said the IS, also known as the ISIS or ISIL, has tortured, raped and killed children in Iraq or sells them as slaves. Earlier this month, a child was seen executing a man the group claimed to be an Israeli spy. French schoolchildren later identified the boy as a former classmate. He is thought to be 12.


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