Hundreds of Islamic State ‘Caliphate Cub’ Child Soldiers Killed in Mosul Operation
A report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights NGO estimated that up to 300 Syrian child soldiers have died fighting for the Islamic State since the beginning of the operation to liberate Mosul, Iraq, from the control of the terrorist group.
The Kurdish outlet Rudaw quotes the estimate from the UK-based rights group, noting that confirming these deaths is extremely difficult. The Islamic State routinely abducts young boys to enlist in its “Caliphate Cub” training program, where children learn how to shoot, torture, and behead infidels. The Rudaw report notes that 40 Islamic State jihadis’ bodies have been confirmed to have returned to Raqqa, Syria, from Mosul. Raqqa is considered the capital of the terrorist group’s “caliphate,” while Mosul is its regional capital in Iraq. Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq after Baghdad and has been under Islamic State control for two years.
The Syrian Observatory estimates that at least 480 Islamic State jihadists total have been killed since Baghdad announced the operation to retake Mosul two weeks ago. The Iraqi military is currently within Mosul city limits, while the Kurdish Peshmerga and Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) militias are surrounding the city to prevent jihadists from fleeing.