A Yazidi boy captured by Isis has told of the brutal tactics the group used to brainwash its child soldiers.
Arsem Ibraham was just 13 when the Islamist group attacked his people on Sinjar Mountain in Iraq in 2013.
He and the other boys who were captured were separated from the adults. The women and girls were sold into a sexual slavery while the adult men were murdered.
He told ITV News: “Then they blindfolded me but I could still hear the shooting. Three shots into one man.”
The boys who survived were then taken to Raqqa in Syria, Isis’ “capital” where they were forced to join something the group called “The Caliphate Cubs”.
Here he was trained how to fight for the group using rocket launchers and automatic rifles.
They were shown videos of suicide attacks and told to look up to the perpetrators.
He said he was taken to a military camp for six months and told he must kill Kurds and rebel groups like the Free Syrian Army as they were all “infidels”.
Kurdish authorities told CNN last year that as many as 600 Yazidi children had been abducted by the group but around 200 had managed to escape.
It said they feared they were being used as cannon fodder as the terrorists lose ground and fighters.
Isis is said to be putting its most experienced fighters on the front line and was using child soldiers in sentry positions and suicide bomb squads.
Arsem said: “Every day after training we were shown the latest videos of suicide attacks. We were told: ‘Look up to these brothers’.
“We were told whoever blows themselves up will go to heaven. There will be 70 virgins waiting for us and rivers of wine.”
There was the talk of sending some of the boys through Turkey to launch attacks in Europe.
“They said: ‘Don’t worry. We will do a big, big attack in Europe. Isis is working hard on that.’”
Coalition forces, backed by US-led air strikes, managed to push Isis out of its second city, Mosul in Iraq, last month. US-backed Kurdish forces are also closing in on Raqqa, Isis’s ‘capital’ in Syria.
Arsem was captured by Kurdish fighters as they moved towards the outskirts of Raqqa and he will soon be reunited with his family.
He said he was looking forward to seeing his mother again and would tell her “I have been born again”. (The Independent)