01 October 2015

Syria: child soldiers of the caliphate

An exclusive film reveals how Isis in Syria and Iraq systematically recruits children as young as eight to become soldiers and suicide bombers, and exacts brutal punishment on those who defy them.

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. [Channel 4] Read more