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Armed groups in Syria, Iraq recruit children as young as 14 — UN

July 02, 2014, 12:56 UTC+3
The UN says children fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant are reportedly paid like adults and undergo both weapons and jihadist indoctrination training
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Masked Sunni fighters in Iraq

Masked Sunni fighters in Iraq

© EPA/MOHAMMED JALIL

THE UNITED NATIONS, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) organization is recruiting children, including those as young as 14 years of age, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his annual report on children in armed conflict.

Children recruited by the ISIS undergo military training. “Children fighting with ISIS are reportedly paid like adults (35,000 Syrian pounds, approximately $200) and undergo both weapons and jihadist indoctrination training,” the report said.

The UN noted that apart from the ISIS, other groups are also actively recruiting children in Syria. These armed groups include units affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the Kurdish People Protection Units, Ahrar al-Sham, Jhabat al-Nusra and others.

Syria remains one of the most dangerous places for children in the world. The report said that more than 10,000 children have been killed since the outset of the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, and “the killing and maiming of children has increased exponentially in 2013”.

Children in Syria were killed in shelling on civilian-populated areas, during ground operation and in terrorist attacks. Children were often kidnapped for ransom and subjected to abuse, including sexual assaults, by both government forces and armed groups.

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