An Iraqi satellite network has reported that the Islamic State cut off the hands of two boys in western Mosul for refusing to kill in the name of ISIS.
Iraqi forces have liberated eastern Mosul; the fight west of the Tigris is shaping up to be more difficult and a more painstaking advance because of the dense neighborhoods there.
“The coalition has liberated about 60 percent of ISIL-held territory in Iraq. ISIL remains on the back foot in Mosul,” Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. John Dorrian told Pentagon reporters via video link from Baghdad last week. “Its leaders are accusing citizens of spying, and tragically, they are executing people who don’t cooperate with them in some cases. They’ve also lost trust in some of their fighters and they’ve even done executions against their own fighters.”
Iraq’s Alsumaria News said Thursday that sources reported two boys had their hands amputated by ISIS fighters tasked with training youths for jihad, according to Iraqi News.
“The Islamic State’s leaders issued orders to train a group of children on fighting in the group’s camps in Nables neighborhood, in the western side of Nineveh,” the source reportedly told the network. “Meanwhile, members of the Islamic State terrorist group amputated the hands of two children, for refusing to carry out the execution sentence on two civilians in front of their families.”
The boys were estimated to be around 10 to 12 years old.
ISIS has long places emphasis on its “cubs” program to indoctrinate kids into jihad, and the group has released videos lately showing younger and younger jihadists.
In one video out of Raqqa, kids were sent on a live-fire exercise through an abandoned building with some dummy targets in the rooms and a handful of live targets: prisoners with their hands zip-tied behind their backs, trying to elude the child jihadists in the multi-story, debris-strewn building.
A video released last month out of ISIS’ Khayr province in Syria was a more gory follow-up, showing children as young as preschool age murdering prisoners tied to broken carnival rides.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, which are conducting an offensive to retake Raqqa from ISIS, recently released a video showing three young teen boys, who had reportedly been kidnapped from their families, on the front lines as ordered by the Islamic State. The boys surrendered to the Kurdish-Arab-Christian coalition and were reunited with their relatives.