Echoes of Hitler Youth: ISIS 'cub' trains under live fire

by Gregory Tomlin, |
An ISIS child soldier holds up a knife after cutting the head off of a white teddy bear, in this screen grab from an undated ISIS video. Another video, just released by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) shows a child of similar age low crawling under barbed wire while under live fire.

DAMASCUS (Christian Examiner) – A disturbing video has surfaced from the Middle East showing a "cub" of the Islamic State undergoing military style training under live fire.

In the video, the boy low crawls under barbed wire while ISIS fighters instruct him to shout "Allah Akbar" – "God is great." The boy pauses occasionally, but is encouraged to continue with further shouts – and rifle shots – from the trainers.

Most disturbing is how close the shots fired come to the child, who screams the jihadist cry as he has been instructed.

This is not the first time ISIS has released videos showing children involved in training and even fighting. On some occasions, the videos feature children executing prisoners.

In June, 500 children were spirited away by ISIS in Iraq's Anbar and Diyali provinces. According to intelligence reports from the region, it is assumed the children were either sold or were being forced to become soldiers. ISIS has used children as suicide bombers previously.

A video then surfaced of the children being prepared for combat.

Other videos show young boys locked in a fighting ring and forced to compete with one another, or performing drills and reciting verses from the Quran. In one video, the children are as young as five years old and the children of the foreign fighters who have made their way to Syria to join the Islamic State.