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Yazidi boys forced to fight for IS still need psychological help

Hundreds of Yazidi boys indoctrinated by the Islamic State have managed to escape, but without professional treatment, their trauma continues.
A Yazidi boy, twelve year-old Imad Tammo rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, is seen in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal - RTX3CVCQ
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DAHUK, Iraqi Kurdistan — Majdal, a 14-year-old Yazidi teenager wearing a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, looks like an ordinary boy but does not feel like one anymore. His childhood was destroyed when the Islamic State (IS) invaded his hometown Kocho in August 2014. Like other Yazidis, Majdal was separated from his mother and siblings. He was brought to a military camp in Raqqa. “Forget your faith, family and past. From now on, your name is Abu Otman and you are Muslim,” the leader of the camp told Majdal.

Majdal showed Al-Monitor a video of an IS training camp for boys. In the propaganda video posted to YouTube, he and other children sit with an IS militant. They wear IS headbands and camouflage, and stare vacantly. “It's really strange to see myself like that," Majdal said sadly. He was rescued two months ago and now lives with his relatives in a camp for the internally displaced near the Kurdish city of Dahuk. 

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