The children soldiers of ISIS

Channel 4 News: It’s the cruelty that haunts me, writes Evan Williams.

It’s the fact that grown men could disfigure a 14-year-old boy in the name of religion, and leave him in driving pain, poverty and despair for the rest of his life that I find the most upsetting.

Because he refused to join the Isis army, “Omar” was tied down and had his hand and foot hacked off, as a deliberate and clear warning to other children not to resist Isis, and to remind them that by age 16 they are all expected to join Isis; either as spies, fighters or suicide bombers.

Punishments like these have been carried out by the so-called Islamic State before of course, but evidence of the use and abuse of children as a systemic, widespread and integral part of the their military machine is new. And so is the extent of the brutality and violence to which children are subjected on a near daily basis.[Continue reading…]

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