Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | child | soldiers | beheading | lessons

ISIS Child Soldiers Describe Atrocities, Beheading Lessons

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 10:00 PM

Jomah, a 17-year-old child soldier who joined the Islamic State (ISIS) last year, sat in a circle of fellow trainees to learn lessons about the proper way to behead captive enemy soldiers – lessons taught to children as young as 8.

Then, the Wall Street Journal reported, his teachers brought in three terrified Syrian soldiers who were forced to their knees.

"It was like learning to chop an onion," Jomah said. "You grab him by the forehead and then slowly slice across the neck."

After the lesson, the teachers ordered the children to pass around the severed heads. Jomah, who later defected to Turkey along with his family, said that by that time, he had become "desensitized" to the horror, partly as a result of the beheading videos he had already been shown.

Hundreds of Syrian boys have been "enrolled" in those Syrian camps during the country's civil war, now almost four years old. Jomah was one of a handful of these boys recently interviewed in Turkey by the Journal about their experiences as child jihadists.

Another one, Ismail, 17, said he had been ordered this summer to help behead every male between 14 and 45 years old who was a memberof a hostile Syrian tribe in Deir Ezzour, a Syrian province. Ismail said no, he recounted, but his 10-year-old brother eagerly participated. Hundreds were reportedly killed in the ensuing bloodbath.

Ismail later fled to Turkey without telling his jihadist brother – who joined ISIS when he was just 9 – because he was worried that his sibling might inform on him. The jihadists kill deserters, Ismail said.

"You’re an apostate. If you don’t come back, we will punish you by God’s law," the younger brother said when the pair finally spoke by cellphone, Ismail said, adding that he feels guilty for having encouraged him to join the militants.

The children's accounts are supported by videos recently released by ISIS showing children holding severed heads or taunting prisoners about to be executed, the Journal reported.

"God curse your father who gave birth to you, you dog," one child told a corpse. "Bring us another one, a live one!"

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Jomah, a 17-year-old child soldier who joined the Islamic State (ISIS) last year, sat in a circle of fellow trainees to learn lessons about the proper way to behead captive enemy soldiers – lessons taught to children as young as 8.
child, soldiers, beheading, lessons
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2014-00-30
Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 10:00 PM
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