Youth Who Escaped ISIS Tells CNN His ‘First Job’ Was to Kill His Parents

imageedit_90_8843156527Watching the following video is hard. I’ve watched it multiple times over the course of preparing and writing this post and I still feel deeply saddened by it every time I rewind. Introduced solemnly by CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield, the segment showcases the children who are being brainwashed and used as soldiers for ISIS, focusing particularly on two who have managed to escape.


Dubbed “Cubs of the Caliphate,” these children, some of whom are as young as five years old, are drilled every day in training camps like the Al Farouq Institute in Raqqa, eventually graduating to the front lines of battles, strapped with explosive vests.

As Nima Elbagir reports, this puts the adults they are battling in a difficult place. Among these adults is Aziz Abdullah Hadur, who guards the Gweyr frontline in norther Iraq. He tells Elbagir, “They are brainwashed. When they make it through our lines, they kill our fighters. It’s an unbearably hard decision. You don’t know what to do. If you don’t kill them, they’ll kill you.”

Watch the video above via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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