Cubs of the Caliphate: rehabilitating Islamic State’s child fighters

Source: Reuters

BY Raya Jalabi

RAWANGA CAMP, Iraq (Reuters) – While children who have been through war typically draw devastating pictures of the violence they have suffered, few show themselves as the perpetrators.

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The suicide belts, car bombs and other explosives sketched again and again by a 14-year-old boy newly arrived at this camp in northern Iraq are the ones he built himself: used by Islamic State militants against civilians and troops in Iraq and Syria.

One image depicted him killing a man with a spray of bullets, something he said he did during three years as a child fighter forcibly conscripted by Islamic State.

Kidnapped from his Yazidi homeland in northern Iraq, he said he got used to the sound of bombs falling on Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa, in Syria, as security forces closed in last year.

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