As Iraqi forces advance deeper into west Mosul and other parts of the province of Nineveh, more and more ISIS headquarters and bases used to train fighters are discovered. In this report, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) discover that one of the government buildings in the neighbourhood of al-Jawsaq was used by the group as a child recruitment camp.
Inside the building, one can see the ways in which ISIS would attract and indoctrinate children from a young age to fight for them. On the walls were drawings and slogans aimed at catching the eye of children. ISIS maintained complete secrecy of the place as it manoeuvred throughout the neighbourhood.
A fellow resident of Mosul, who requested to remain anonymous in the report, said that “they used to bring children to train and teach them, but there was no proper education. No one knows what was happening here. When the camp was bombed, we did not know where the children were taken.”
Children as young as six are recruited or kidnapped and sent to military and religious training camps, where they practice beheading with dolls and are indoctrinated with the religious views of ISIS. Reports estimate that as of 2016, 1500 boys were being used as child soldiers.