Cubs of the caliphate

Lovant and Sabbah were just 16 and 14 when they were forced to fire bullets into the dead bodies of men executed for being traitors by so-called Islamic State.

This was target practice – just one part of the daily rounds of weapons training they endured at a military camp for youngsters.

The boys are Yazidis from northern Iraq. In 2014, the world watched in horror as tens of thousands of their people were trapped on Mount Sinjar in the searing heat without food or water. At the same time, the teenagers Lovant and Sabbah were being rounded up in their village by IS fighters.
Most of the adult males were taken away and murdered, while the boys were moved with their mothers to a nearby city in northern Iraq, before being separated from their families altogether.

For over a year, they were held against their will and trained as “cubs of the caliphate” at a camp deep in a mountainous region of Syria.

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2 responses to “Cubs of the caliphate

  1. This doesn’t come out of nowhere. The Ottoman Turks would kidnap boys, primarily from the Balkans, and raise them as soldiers called Janissaries.

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