ISIS training new generation of child radicals to block return of Christians to Mosul

A family trying to escape fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS fighters cry on a street in Mosul, Iraq on Feb. 28, 2017.Reuters

Christians who have left their homes in Mosul might not be able to safely return to the city since the Islamic State (ISIS) has raised a new generation of child radicals who are now guarding the city.

A vicar in Iraq told the Express that the terror group's horrifying ideology has already been passed on to the next generation of militants, which could mean an indefinite extension of their campaign to wipe out Christians..

The vicar, who is called Father Daniel, belongs to a church in Erbil, Iraq. He currently takes care of Christian families who have been forced to leave their homes because of the conflict.

"We can go back [to Mosul], but it is a question of safety. We are dealing with a new generation bred by ISIS —  they have a radical anti-Christian viewpoint and so it would be really hard to go back," he warned. "It would be very hard for children here and children in Mosul to get together. Can they even get along together as two groups? Could they adapt to each other? We really need to work with the children in Mosul to change what ISIS has implanted there."

The ISIS-indoctrinated children are called the Caliphate Cubs. They have appeared in various ISIS propaganda videos. Father Daniel believes the only way people can fight ISIS' brainwashing of young children is through proper education.

Former victims of the radical terror group are now working as volunteers tasked with helping evacuees from Mosul to find shelter in Erbil. Some of them serve as translators for people who come from different charitable organisations.

"They want to help their community and for their voice to be heard around the world," the vicar said.

Over 100,000 Christians have fled Mosul since ISIS took over in 2014. Many have tried to return as Iraqi government forces battle ISIS militants. However, Daniel said danger still lurks in every corner.

The United Nations expects that 320,000 more civilians might be forced to flee the city in the upcoming weeks, according to the BBC.

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