Many of the children have experienced poverty, received very little education and grew up in tough family environments. AFP / Delil souleiman
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Thirteen-year-old Hasan may have committed atrocities for Daesh (ISIS), but instead of jailing him immediately, the Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria enrolled him in a rehabilitation center. He was one of around 80 teenagers sporting trainers and tracksuits as they filled their lungs with chilly morning air in the courtyard of the Hori Center in Tal Maarouf.Aged 12 to 17, they had all been detained by Kurdish fighters or the U.S.-led Western forces who supported them during the battle to destroy the militants' self-styled "caliphate". The Kurdish forces who captured him found a picture that shows him proudly holding a severed head, but whether the boy ever killed anyone himself isn't clear.A third of the Hori Center's "guests" have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to seven years, but Kurdish authorities believe they can be rehabilitated if they are given a supportive environment.The self-proclaimed Kurdish administration insists the Hori Center is not designed to implant PYD ideology in the heads of its young boarders, replacing one brainwashing with another.
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