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Cubs of the Caliphate

The Children of ISIS

A Syrian child carries a mortar shell in Aleppo, Syria, September 7, 2013. Hamid Khatib / Reuters

Since its rise, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has prominently featured children in its propaganda. In the past few weeks, the group has released three short videos of children, whose ages range from 10 to 15 years old, in training and one in which children feature in their videos of atrocities. One video depicts young boys participating in a live-fire exercise inside an ISIS “kill house;” that is, an indoor firing range used to train recruits with live ammunition on how to infiltrate a residential structure and take control of the premises. The children learn how to approach and enter the property before moving from room to room. They learn how to subdue and remove an occupant to use as a potential hostage. The children are trained as snipers and taught how to ambush a moving vehicle. A video released on July 4 showed children executing 25 Syrian soldiers and in a 22

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