A boy in a military uniform waits with other men to join training camps run by ISIS, in Deir al-Zor, east Syria.
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The children were each given a doll and a sword.A 14-year-old who was among the line of abducted boys from Iraq's Yazidi religious minority said at first he couldn't cut it right – he chopped once, twice, three times.When the extremists overran Yazidi towns and villages in northern Iraq last year, they butchered older men. Many of the women and girls they captured were given to ISIS loyalists as sex slaves. ISIS training camps for children churn out the Ashbal, Arabic for "lion cubs," young fighters for the "caliphate" that ISIS has declared across the regions it controls.The indoctrination mainly targets the Sunni children living under ISIS rule.ISIS has claimed to have hundreds of such camps, though the true number is not known – nor the number of children who have gone through the training. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based organization that follows the Syrian war, said it documented at least 1,100 Syrian children under 16 who joined ISIS so far this year, many of whom were then sent to fight in Syria and Iraq. Yahya escaped the training camp in early March, when ISIS fighters left to carry out an attack.So he and his brother went to her, and then traveled to the ISIS-held northern Syrian city of Manbij with some fellow Yazidis. There, they stayed with a Russian member of ISIS, Yahya said.
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