Middle East

ISIS uses children in defense of its territory

The published photo of young boys lined up in front of a “membership office” for ISIS, in the town of Al-Bab.

BEIRUT: A social media account supportive of the Al-Qaeda splinter organization the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has publicized the recruitment of minors as fighters in Aleppo province.

The Twitter account this week published a photo of several rows of young boys lined up in front of a “membership office” for the extremist group, in the town of Al-Bab.

ISIS has been periodically accused of recruiting underage males into its ranks.

While ISIS has lost much of the territory it controlled in Aleppo province in the wake of a campaign against it since January by its Al-Qaeda rival the Nusra Front, and an array of Islamist and mainstream militias, it continues to hold Al-Bab, near the Turkish border.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-regime group of activists, said Friday that the ISIS militants were engaged in fierce fighting against the alliance of jihadists and rebels in the village of Abla in northern rural Aleppo, in the latest bid to retake Al-Bab from ISIS.

The same Twitter account posted a photo of what it claimed was a tank captured by ISIS, being used to attack the jihadists and rebels.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 10, 2014, on page 10.




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