Yazidi boy recounts ISIL camp experience

Fighters subjected children to forced conversion, ideological brainwashing and training in fighting and killing.

    When fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group overran Yazidi towns in northern Iraq last year, they killed the men and enslaved many of the women and girls.

    Tens of thousands of Yazidi people were forced to leave their homes.

    But younger boys were treated differently.

    Captured and taken to camps, these children were forced by ISIL fighters to convert to Islam and undergo training. The boys were fed ideology and taught how to fight and kill.

    Al Jazeera spoke to one former prisoner, a 14-year-old Yazidi boy, about his experience being trained at an ISIL camp in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

    "Once they showed us the beheading video of the pilots and other videos where they carried out attacks," he said.

    "We saw how they were shooting. They brought dolls and they told us how to hold the sword and how to chop off the head."

    Though he eventually escaped with his brother, many other young boys remain at the camp, victims of a seemingly never-ending conflict.

    Al Jazeera's Victoria Gatenby explains.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.