The National reports: In a bustling office in the suburbs of the Kurdish city of Dohuk, 11-year-old Raed quietly begins to recount his ordeal at the hands of ISIL. It does not take long for his eyes to well up.
The diminutive, soft-spoken Yazidi boy had been earmarked as a future jihadist and potential suicide bomber by ISIL, which is grooming the next generation of fighters for its self-proclaimed caliphate in camps set up for this purpose.
Hundreds of Yazidi boys have been forced to undergo the brutal training after being taken from their parents when ISIL attacked Iraq’s northern Sinjar region in August 2014. Raed struggles to hold back his tears as the memories come flooding back.
“I forgot about some things, but other things are more difficult to forget. I can’t get them out of my head,” he says.
Raed spent eight months in a camp called Farouk near Raqqa, ISIL’S main stronghold in Syria, where about a hundred boys were subjected to a gruelling daily routine aimed at forging the model jihadi. He says roughly half of them were fellow Yazidis who had been forced to convert to Islam. The others were children of ISIL members sent there by their parents. [Continue reading…]