The so-called Islamic State has posted its latest pictures of child soldiers who have been recruited by the militant group on social media.
The images were reportedly taken in the Syrian province of Damascus with Isis boasting that the children are the new “cubs of the caliphate” and shows them taking aim with machine guns and wrestling.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Isis, which is prevalent in Syria, has enlisted and indoctrinated children as young as 10 years old. In July, a shocking video emerged of a child beheading a Syrian army officer near the ancient city of Palmyra.
Although the precise number of child soldiers currently fighting for Isis is hard to estimate, the militant outfit is believed to have recruited more than 1,100 children in 2015.
A report by the United Nations (UN) earlier this year revealed that “children are specifically targeted” by Isis.
“In 77 per cent of the cases, children were armed or used in combat and almost one fifth were under 15 years of age,” the report said. “Boys associated with armed groups were commonly between 14 and 17 years of age, with 17 verified cases under the age of 15. In many cases, children were paid to fight for salaries of up to $400 (£258) per month”.
In March, Isis released an uncorroborated propaganda video showing teenage members of the group executing Syrian government soldiers with pistols.
Children affected by armed conflict is a global issue and grave violations against them have been recorded in Colombia, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Pakistan, Yemen, Myanmar among other countries.
Today (8 August) marks the one-year anniversary since the US military began its undeclared war against Isis and American intelligence agencies have found that the terror group is no weaker than when the US began its bombing campaign.
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