As reported by CNN, ISIS has released yet another horrific video demonstrating their cruelty and fanaticism; in this case showing young boys executing bound and helpless prisoners. For some time, ISIS has been “recruiting”– which usually means kidnapping – very young children and forcing them to become a part of their terrorist organization and/or militia. In the past, these children were used essentially as slave labor in support positions, but they are now being used more frequently as actual combatants, suicide bombers or – in this case – executioners.
In the extremely disturbing video, the five young boys are shown standing behind five Kurdish prisoners who are on their knees in front of the camera. The five boys holding the handguns and carrying out the executions are identified in the video as being British, Kurdish, Egyptian, Tunisian, and Uzbek.
Of course, there is no way to confirm the nationality of these boys. Only one of the children actually speaks during the video, and this is the boy identified as Uzbek. Neither the British child, nor any of the other boys speak while they are executing the prisoners.
One of the boys carrying out the executions is claimed to be from the UK: https://t.co/m53KR2fGpK— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) August 27, 2016
The barbarism of ISIS has been demonstrated on many occasions, so this recent video should hardly come as a surprise. In addition to their genocidal tactics, recruitment of children, and execution of helpless prisoners, they have made a habit of destroying cultural and historical treasures in the regions they have overrun.
In early June, a very similar execution took place with two French boys executing prisoners. But despite all the prior evidence of this terrorist organization’s brutality, people around the world are still shocked at the sight of children being compelled to take part in such an act. And for ISIS, this may be the point.
As noted by VOA, the use of children in this way serves another purpose – besides terror – for ISIS. It garners them attention around the world – precisely because of its shock value. Such attention makes it easier for them to get their message out to the world and to gather new recruits. It also no doubt feeds their own fanaticism.
New IS video shows children as young as 6 killing "spies" https://t.co/Pi4VW6VQXl— Phil Gurski (@borealissaves) August 27, 2016
Many commenters in the media and in government have pointed out that – as ISIS has become more desperate with mounting defeats in the field – it has turned more and more to the use of children as fighters and terrorists. In most cases, the children are not involved voluntarily. Instead, ISIS usually seizes the children from parents living in those areas they have overrun.
It’s possible that this most recent video from ISIS of boys executing prisoners came as a direct response to the reported death of one of the principal figures behind the recruitment of children into ISIS. The video doesn’t seem to give any clear indication one way or the other whether it is actually a response to this incident or not.
Despite this video – and the increasing cruelty of ISIS – recent months have seen it facing crushing defeat on virtually every front. United States, Iraqi, Turkish, and Kurdish forces have all dealt devastating blows to the ISIS membership and infrastructure. The United States and others have also become more effective at restricting the flow of cash into and throughout the ISIS organization.
Another question that has to be asked, about not only these specific children, but all the children recruited by ISIS, is how – or even if – they can be restored or rehabilitated once ISIS has been crushed. If it proves impossible to do so, it may be that ISIS will have created an entire generation of new terrorists and militia fighters that the United States and other nations will have to deal with 15 or 20 years from today.
[Image via YouTube]