Various terrorist and extremist groups in Syria have set up camps to train very young boys how to carry weapons.
US journalist Joby Warrick in a report from Syria said that young boys being trained at camps affiliated to the “Islam State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS)”.
In his report under the title “Extremist Syrian faction touts training camp for boys”, Warrick said that hooded recruits in camouflage shoot at targets or march in formation under the black flag of the ISIL, adding that all of the trainees are young boys.
Warrick in his report mentioned that “the fighters appear quite small. The tallest are barely chest-high to their instructors, and the shorter ones wear ill-fitting uniforms and appear to struggle under the weight of their weapons. A photo of the recruits without their hoods confirms that all of them are young boys.
They are “Zarqawi’s Cubs,” the youth brigade of Syria’s most fearsome Islamist rebel group and one of the newest manifestations of al-Qaeda’s deepening roots in rebel-controlled sections of the country. Building on earlier efforts to expand their influence in Syrian schools, radical Islamists appear to be stepping up efforts to indoctrinate and train children, some as young as 10, according to independent experts who have studied the phenomenon.
Last month, The Syrian Ministry of Expatriates and Foreign Affairs sent two messages to the Secretary-General of the UN and Chairman of the UN Security Council, saying that children are being exposed to many types of crimes at the hands of the armed terrorist groups, including recruiting, abducting and killing them. The Ministry added that the terrorists are also occupying schools and using them as torturing centers.