SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — Children have lost their innocence under the rule of the Islamic State (IS). They have become machines of massive destruction that are being calculatedly and calmly gathered to produce a harsher and more extreme army of the future generation. They are also a challenge to the future fight against extremism.
Samir Abdul Aziz (a pseudonym) is a former lawyer who lost his job following IS' closure of many of the law schools in Mosul. In a phone interview with Al-Monitor, Abdul Aziz said it was difficult for him to determine the exact number of children fighting under the IS banner. However, based on information he gathered from people close to the group, he said that IS has been training child soldiers in special camps in Mosul.