The culture of justifying physical and spiritual murder in the name of faith and religion is nothing but an anomaly that expresses a perverse criminal mentality about the general behavior and morality of human societies. Whatever its motives and justifications, the violation of the right to life and encroachment upon these rights is outside of the realm of humanity itself, and the infringement on the life of dozens of people can only be interpreted as barbaric behavior far from human morals and values. Read more in PDF
This is the situation of dozens of extremist organizations and militias active in Syria, Iraq, and other regions around the world. Dozens of their members travelled long distances (thousands of kilometers) for one goal, which was to infringe upon and end the lives of others. In the beginning of 2011, the rate of sadism increased. For many moral deviants,it seems that the culture of hatred has been and continues to be the main instigator of this tendency. Read more in PDF
In an effort to investigate this in the context of the human rights situation before and after its crises, The Rojava Center for Strategic Studies (NRLS) monitored the activities and projects of fundamentalist organizations and military forces vying for power and wealth in Syrian territory, researched reports of international human rights organizations and institutions, and interviewed dozens of fighters from various nationalities. What was found was that there has been a serious increase in the rate of human rights violations. These organizations and militias reached the levels of absolute barbarism, using exile, imprisonment, suppression of freedoms, tyranny, torture, physical and sexual slavery, murder, and impeding or preventing medical and humanitarian aid to thousands of civilians.
Among these organizations and militias, ISIS took the lead in terms of the number of violations and massacres. They built a method and strategy out of the implementation of terrorist agendas represented by absolute theocratic authority. Within this framework, this dossier was created to highlight part of the suffering of humanity at the hands of this barbaric organization. ISIS committed hundreds of documented crimes around the world – too many for this dossier to mention. So, new documents will be submitted about the violations of these organizations, to be added to the list of ISIS’s horrible crimes. This dossier is based on NRLS interviews with Yezidi girls, children, and ISIS women in camps and scattered areas of Rojava-North Syria. ISIS systematically carried out a series of criminal and terrorist acts against the people of the area under its control by exploiting the Islamic faith to justify its actions. ISIS’s violations varied between genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. This behavior can only be interpreted as the conduct of a criminal terrorist organization which has no regard for human values or morals. This is what we saw in our interviews with some victims, specifically Yezidi Kurds and children in Shengal (Sinjar) after ISIS attacked the region on August 3rd, 2014.
All of what they were subjected to by ISIS is consistent with crimes defined by pacts, international conventions, and other protocols. Below, we will introduce the suffering of some women that were persecuted by the Islamic State. They were interviewed in different places in Rojava-North Syria. After this, we will address the suffering of children at the hands of ISIS.
The Situation of Women Under ISIS
Yezidi girls that fell into the grip of ISIS terrorists1 after the invasion of vast areas of the Shengal region on August 4th, 2014 were subjected many crimes in line with international conventions on human rights and peace, such as the Slavery Convention of 1926, the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery of 1956, the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (December 2nd, 1949), the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its protocols, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court which was adopted in Rome on July 17th, 1998, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (signed in 2000), and other pacts, conventions and international treaties2. The most prominent of these crimes:
** Genocide members of the Yezidi community. In the genocide that ISIS committed against the Yezidi people, more than 360,000 were displaced from their villages, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)3, ) , and thousands more were killed and abducted without distinction between women, children, men, the elderly and the sick.
** Crimes against humanity, including separating them from their families, continued exposure to cruel treatment, enslavement, sexual slavery, forced marriage, targeting their culture through forced styles of dress, forced religious conversion, preventing them from speaking Kurdish, and imposing the Arabic language on them. They were subjected to various forms of torture, cruel treatment, and deprivation of basic rights.
The persecution to which these girls were subjected has caused them great suffering and has severely affected their psychological state. It may take a long time to address and treat the harsh repercussions that ISIS has had on their lives, and the lives of their relatives, not to mention those who were murdered and tortured. Read more in PDF
The testimonies of some Yezidi women
- Nadia Barakat Kasem, a Yezidi woman from Tel Aziz village in Shengal, was kidnapped with her four children and her family. ISIS militants gathered the others kidnapped from neighboring villages, separated men and women, and killed all the men (around 30-40 men). Then the women and children were taken to Mosul, where ISIS militants seized 2 of Nadia’s children: her 10-year-old son Akram and her 11-yearold daughter Sabra. After this, they took her with a group of Yezidi women to Raqqa, Mayadeen, and from there to Deir ez-Zor airport, where a man by the name Abu Ibrahim al-Gazrawi bought her for 100 dollars. He and his family exposed her to mistreatment, torture, and rape. They beat her using a metal rod and held her for days in a closed room without food or water. This led her to attempt suicide by throwing herself from the third floor, which caused significant injuries, fracturing her skull and her arms. She confirmed that many Yezidi girls drowned themselves in the Mosul river out of fear of becoming slaves and being forced to convert to Islam at the hands of ISIS. The same scene was repeated in Raqqa, when 15 Yezidi girls set themselves on fire, some throwing themselves from high floors. Nadia was forced to convert to Islam to protect herself from torture and save the lives of herself and her children, but she kept her Yezidi belief in secret. The children were treated as slaves and brutally beaten if they made any mistakes. ISIS systematically starved the children, giving them one meal a day, which consisted only of tomato paste, hibiscus, and small pieces of bread. The fate of her children is still unknown. She fled ISIS during the liberation of Baghouz and surrendered to SDF. The SDF brought her to the Yezidi House foundation
- Huda Hasan Hise, from Rambosi village in Shengal, was 17 years old when she and her family were abducted and brought to Mosul. In Mosul, they were placed with a group of kidnapped Yezidi girls, and ISIS distributed them to a number of their leaders such as Mosul Wali, the emir of bombings, the Mosul Sheikh, the Raqqa Sheikh, and other emirs. She was given to the emir of bombings and suicide bombings, Wali a.k.a Nizar. She and her brother Dakhil’s wife Samia were taken together. Because Nizar disobeyed ISIS orders, Huda became property of the organization, and they again shared her as a gift for their fighters. She was sold five different times in Raqqa, for amounts ranging from 10,000 to 15,000 dollars. She was sold and given as a gift seven times in total. She confirmed that ISIS militants were holding her with another group of Yezidi women in military center, and they raped them multiple times a day and exposed them to mistreatment, beatings, and torture, and forced them to bear the children of ISIS fighters.She was forced to marry Abu Omar and bear his child. She tried to flee more than once, but every time she was severely tortured. Once, she suffered a significant hemorrhage. 2 years after her kidnapping, she was forced to convert to Islam. She surrendered to the SDF after the liberation of Baghouz.
- Jiyan Khalil Ibrahim, from the village of Kocho, was 13 years old when her and her family were kidnapped. ISIS separated her from her family after they were abducted and brought to Mosul. She was sold five times and exposed to all types of mistreatment. One man paid $15,000 for her. She was forced to convert to Islam, and forced to marry a man who bought her named Abu Amer. They had a daughter named Aisha, and she was nine months pregnant when we interviewed her..
- Salwa Seydo Omar, a 22-year-old Yezidi woman from Tel Kasaba in Shengal, was married just 8 months before being kidnapped. She was 17 years old when she was abducted and brought to Mosul with other kidnapping victims. There, the men, women, and 7-10-year-old children were separated. She was separated from her family and young brothers. After this, she was sent to Raqqa to be sold to a man named Waeel Abu Mohammad, who exchanged her for a virgin girl named Fareeda – who was enslaved by a Mauritanian fighter – at his request. He had entered Syria via Turkey. He sent her to Iraq and sold her to another man from Mosul. After 19 days, this man sold her to an injured man to serve him, but ISIS arrested this man and confiscated her for ISIS leaders. She became property of ISIS and was detained with another group of Yezidi women in Raqqa and during this period, forced to convert to Islam and exposed to different types of beating, torture, and mistreatment. She surrendered to SDF after the liberation of Baghouz.
- Taiseer Suleyman Hessen is a Yezidi girl from Kocho in Shengal. She was 16 years old when she was kidnapped with her family. She was separated from her family after they were taken and transferred to Mosul. She said that they separated the men, women, and children, and told the men to either convert to Islam or be killed. The women, however, were transferred to Tel Afar. There, they were exposed to mistreatment, torture, and rape, after being handcuffed and blindfolded. She was once raped five times, to the point of experiencing significant hemorrhaging that almost killed her. She was sold eleven times, and every man who bought her beat and raped her. Sometimes ISIS fighters would exchange their enslaved women. Taiseer was exchanged twice, once to pay the debts of her captor. She surrendered to the SDF after the liberation of Baghouz.
- Salam Abas Ismail, a Yezidi woman from Kocho village in Shengal, was married and had three children before being abducted. She was 28 years old at that time. ISIS separated men and women, and sent the women to Tel Afar; from there they were sent to Raqqa, where they were detained in military centers, with no regard for their safety or the possibility they might be targeted in airstrikes. When she asked an ISIS militant about her husband, he replied that they killed every Yezidi man who refused to convert to Islam. She does not know his fate after he was abducted. After this, she was forced to wear a black veil and convert to Islam to save her and her children’s lives. Many girls who were with her were sold, but she and other Yezidi women were given to ISIS leaders as gifts. Salam was gifted to the Manager of Food in Raqqa Hospital, a man named Abu al-Walid al-Gazrawi. She was forced to marry him and bear three of his children. Abu al-Walid constantly threatened to sell her, which would separate her from her children, if she refused any of his demands. It was forbidden for her to speak Kurdish, and she was forced to learn and speak Arabic. During the time she was detained by Abu al-Walid (around four years), because she was illiterate, Abu al-Walid could manipulate and intimidate her, brainwashing her into defending ISIS when it came to the genocide and ethnic cleansing they committed against the Yezidis. She never knew Abu al-Walid’s real name. She and her children surrendered to SDF as an ISIS family during the liberation of Baghouz.
- Adiba Morad, a Yezidi woman from Kocho village in Shengal, was married and four months pregnant when she was abducted with her family. After being kidnapped by ISIS, the men, women and children were separated. ISIS killed all the men who refused to convert to Islam, and took the elders, women, and children to an unknown location. After this, they took Adiba along with other women to Tel Afar. In their place of detention, they were subjected to mistreatment and torture. Every day ISIS would take a few girls to an unknown location. After this, she and the other girls were taken to Raqqa, where she gave birth to her daughter. Three days after giving birth, Adiba and nine Yezidi women were transferred to Omar Oil Field in Deir ez-Zor to be sex slaves to a man named Abu Eyman al-Maghrebi. He forced her to convert to Islam and marry him to save her life and the life of her daughter. She later gave birth to his son. After Abu Eyman was killed, she was sold to Abu Mohammad al-Maghrebi, and is currently pregnant with his child. She fled and surrendered to SDF during the liberation of Baghouz.
- Dilvin Kasim Ibrahim Ahmed, a 29-year-old Yezidi woman from Tel Kasab village in Shengal, was married and the mother of six children when she was taken by ISIS. Before kidnapping her, ISIS killed her husband and father-in-law. They sold her to a sex slave trader named Abu Abid Allah al-Idlibi, who, along with his family, mistreated and severely tortured Dilvin when she did not meet his demands fast enough due to her lack of knowledge of Arabic. He raped her constantly. She was unable to flee because of her children, and after a period of time she was forced to convert to Islam and was sold to an ISIS fighter named Abu Amjad al-Gazrawi. Dilvin was forced to serve him after he received a spinal injury in battle and became paralyzed. She and her children surrendered to the SDF after the liberation of Baghouz.
- Avin Mahmoud Khalef, a Yezidi woman from Shengal, was kidnapped and sold seven times. She was mistreated, raped, and tortured by her captors and their families. She was freed during the liberation of Hajin by SDF.
Below, we will mention names of some women whose names or photos were withheld at their request. Some of their families are still in ISIS hands, with their fates unknown, and they fear the repercussions.
- Bayan Mashaal Haydar is a 20-year-old Yezidi woman from Shengal. We spoke with her via sign language and the help of her friend, because various mistreatment, torture, and rape left her psychologically scarred and unable to speak. She was forced to convert to Islam and marry a 21-year-old Uzbek fighter named Abu Ali, who was also mute. They had a boy. Abu Ali is now in SDF custody.
- Kh. Kh. G., a Yezidi woman from Tel Aziz village in Shengal, was 17 years old when she and her family were kidnapped. She was separated from her family, and the fates of her family members are unknown. During the transfer of her and her 12-year-old sister to the Siba Sheikh Khidr police center, she saw a number of Yezidi men set on fire. After this, they were taken to Tel Afar and Baach, where the financial values of the women were determined by their marital status. She was sold more than once, and said that they forced the women to stand in front of ISIS men half-naked to give the men a chance to see their body. Sometimes they were forced to take off all their clothes. Their price was according to how their body met certain standards of beauty. The sex slave trafficker exploited this by raising the price during the bargaining process. She said that she preferred death to this process. She was sold and forced into marriage eleven times. Many times, when her captors went to battle, they put her in a dark room with black-curtained windows, without food or water, until they returned. She was forced to say the Shahada (the declaration of belief in Islam) after putting up strong resistance and being exposed to mistreatment, starvation, rape and torture by her captor and his family, but she kept her Yezidi belief in secret. She mentioned that she was raped by a 99-year-old man from Mosul named Abu Ahmed al-Iraqi. He had three wives and a young Yezidi sex slave named Salima. On October 9th, 2017, she joined a group of ISIS members and their families who were preparing to flee ISIS and surrender to SDF in the Hasakeh countryside. She was successful, and the SDF took her to Kobane, where she saw her younger sister for the first time in three years. Her sister had fled from ISIS with eight Yezidi women and their children. She confirmed that most ISIS sex slaves were used to gratify the lust of ISIS members and serve them as slaves.
- Kh. M. Kh., a Yezidi woman from Shengal, was kidnapped with her family and taken to an area in Shengal called Khana. There, ISIS separated men from women, and the fates of the men remain unknown. They were subjected to different types of mistreatment and torture. She was sold more than once as a maid, and raped multiple times.
- Jihan Barakat Amo, a Yezidi woman from Shengal, was 24 years old and married with two children (Shaymaa and Omar) when she was kidnapped by ISIS. She fared no better than other kidnapped Yezidi women – she was separated from her family and mistreated, tortured, and forced into marriage. She was forced to convert to Islam to save her life and the lives of her children. They forbid her from speaking her mother language (Kurdish) and forced her to wear a black veil. ISIS manipulated and intimidated her, brainwashing her into supporting ISIS and justifying the genocide and ethnic
cleansing they practiced against Yezidis. In spite of this, she was illiterate and didn’t understand ISIS’s ideology.
- Almas Dakhil Taalo, a Yezidi woman from Shengal, was 15 years old when ISIS kidnapped her and her family. They separated her from her family and sister in Tel Afar and brought them to Mosul. She doesn’t know what happened to her sister. After this, ISIS took Almas and other Yezidi girls to Fallujah city in Iraq. There, they were forced to convert to Islam and marry a militant called Abu Mohammad. He sold her to 30-yearold man from Baghdad named Abu Ahmed, whom she was also forced to marry, and she bore two of his children (Abid al-Rahman and Maryam).
- Some ISIS women were also interviewed. Some expressed their regret for joining ISIS, some of them insisted on their loyalty to ISIS, and some others mentioned their suffering under ISIS’s regime. Below, we will refer to the testimony of a woman of the highest level in ISIS. Her name and photo were withheld at her request and for security reasons
- H. M. S., a 20-year-old Syrian woman, confirmed that the women were whipped if they disobeyed ISIS rules about women’s clothing. She mentioned that in some cases, women who didn’t pay attention to her religious lessons were punished by being forced to sleep in a cage between graves at night. This caused many women to go mad and hallucinate. She also said that her husband (16 years old at the time they were married) was the emir of Shadadi. He held a 13-year-old Yezidi girl captive. She tried many times to forbid him to rape this girl. He asked her to humiliate the girl and force her to convert to Islam. She mentioned another Yezidi girl which was sold for a pack of cigarettes. She described life under ISIS as absolute slavery. She fled and surrendered to YPG and YPJ during the battle to liberate Raqqa and its countryside on June 13th, 2017.
- In an interview with an ISIS leader named Ilyas Aydin, code named Abu Ubaidah al-Turkey, he confirmed that the selling of captives and stealing of antiquities was part of ISIS’s finances. Rape and sex slavery were considered legal acts, and there was no problem with these acts according to ISIS ideology. But he was shocked that only Yezidi women were subject to rape and sex slavery, despite ISIS having kidnapped Christian and Shi’ite women as well. He confirmed from an ISIS member that one girl was raped by more than one man. He appeared upset by the spread of prostitution, exploitation of the widows of dead ISIS members, pedophilia, exportation of sex slaves and murder of captives.
The Situation of Children Under ISIS
The situation of children under the authority of ISIS was no better than the women’s situation. The children who weren’t killed physically by ISIS were destroyed psychologically. They had their childhoods stolen; they were enslaved, mistreated, tortured, and had their innocence broken. Even the children of ISIS members weren’t safe from their barbaric ideology. Social media posts and living witnesses testify to scenes of children brutally murdering people with the encouragement of ISIS leadership. Alexanda Kotey, who was close to Mohammad Amwazi, confirmed this in an interview. He stated that ISIS would sometimes place the burden of carrying out executions and beheadings on children, and described the so-called “cubs of the caliphate”. The “cubs of the caliphate” were children that ISIS recruited to become mercenaries, fighters, and suicide bombers, to kill and do criminal acts on their behalf.
At the beginning of 2015, SOHR estimated their number to be around 1,100 children4. Through its violations against children (ISIS members’ children or captive children) and the educational curriculum it forced on them, it endeavored to build a criminal psychology and make them into time bombs to spread around the world, with the aim of creating monsters.
This behavior, with time, will produce groups of mentally impaired and psychologically deranged individuals with sadistic tendencies, who have no choices in life except murder and criminal behavior. This will affect the development of humanity, destroy morality, tear down societies, and strengthen the culture of terrorism. The result is illiteracy, poverty, famine, and disease. This confirms our definition of ISIS as a criminal terrorist gang. ISIS is considered one of the most radical and violent groups which assaults childhood. ISIS’s violations and crimes against humanity, and against children especially, cannot be fully described or accounted for, and no one can know the true scope of the tragedy that children suffered through under ISIS.
Below, we will mention some child witnesses who were victims of ISIS’s crimes in the areas under ISIS control, and the children who were interviewed by NRLS in different places in Jazira canton after SDF, with support from the Global Coalition to Fight ISIS, freed thousands of children from the grip of ISIS and took them to safe places in camps with their families. Orphans were taken to rehabilitation centers or to their relatives. The tragic situation of those children is considered a part of the tragic situation through which all Syrian children suffer, in the context of Syrian crises that are produced from the war over wealth and power between the government in Damascus and radical fundamentalist militias.
This part of the dossier draws from the interviews that NRLS did with children of pro-ISIS families in al-Hol and Roj camps. It also draws on interviews with Yezidi children, whom SDF surrendered to Yezidi House, in the Yezidi villages in Jazira canton. Children in the Hori Center for the Protection and Education of Children, most of whom were “cubs of the caliphate”, were also interviewed. First, we will show witnesses from Yezidi families, children from the families who suffered greatly under ISIS. These children bore the brunt of ISIS’s crimes, having their families murdered, having been separated from their families, having been subjected to various types of mistreatment and torture, rape, forced religious conversions, having been forced to speak another language, the murder of their culture, violations of their rights, and having been brainwashed in order to make them into fighters and killers. Then we will show the testimonies of children of pro-ISIS families, which were interviewed in al-Hol and Roj Camps. They are from various nationalities, and many of their fathers were killed in ISIS battles.
- Rawa Saeed Khero, a 15-year-old child from Hardan village in Shengal, was injured when a piece of shrapnel struck her leg during the operation to liberate Baghouz. She was ten years old when she and her family were abducted. After ISIS separated her from her family, they sent her to Raqqa and sold her there. During her captivity, she was bought and sold thirteen times by men of various nationalities (Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Iraqi), with amounts reaching 15,000 US dollars. Sometimes she would only stay a week or a month with her captor. She was mistreated by her captors and their families – beaten, verbally abused, raped, forced into marriage, forced to speak Arabic, forced into wearing a black veil, and forced to convert to Islam to save her life. Her captor named her “Om Abid al-Rahman”. ISIS tried to make her into a fighter by placing her in weapons training. She claimed that before she left Baghouz, an ISIS member asked her to wear an explosive belt and blow herself up, but she refused. She surrendered to SDF as she left Baghouz with civilians at the beginning of 2019. With her own eyes, she witnessed a 7-year-old girl named Hoda being forced to marry an ISIS member.
- Soaad Ali Yezidi, a child from Shengal, was 10 years old when ISIS kidnapped her and her family. She was a gift to an ISIS militant named Abu Abid Allah al-Gazrawi, who forced her to convert to Islam, raped her, and married her. She surrendered to SDF during the battle to liberate Baghouz as she fled with civilians.
- Fawzia was born in 2004 in the Yezidi village of al-Wardiya in Shengal. She and her family were abducted and later detained in the town of Tel Afar. There, the organization separated her from her family. She was bought and sold – like any ordinary commodity – five times in Deir ez-Zor. In some cases, her detention did not exceed five days. She said that she was subjected to various forms of beatings, torture and cruel treatment. During her interview, the fear was visible on her face, and she refused to speak in her mother tongue (Kurdish). She was forced to convert to Islam and wear a black veil. She said that she was obliged to serve the organization’s militants and their families as a slave.
- Siham Nasser Khalaf is 11 years old. Her captor nicknamed her “Khadija” after she was forced to convert to Islam. She was 6 years old when she was kidnapped with her family. Most of her male family members were killed by ISIS. She was forced to receive education from the curriculum imposed by ISIS, from a woman called Umm Qatada in the al-Shifa area. She was repeatedly beaten with a rod if she did not pray or memorize Sharia lessons; she was forced to pray and clean her neighbors’ houses, though she still insisted on her Yezidi belief. She was forced to watch a video showing the killing of her father by the elements of the organization, and watched a Kurdish man being hung from a tree. She heard that some Yezidis were sold to Turkey. She was forced to wear a black veil, did not get enough food, water, or clothing, and was only allowed to play for one hour.
- Jamal Ziad Haidar, who was nicknamed “Ali” after being forced to convert to Islam, is an 11-year-old Yezidi from the village of Sulakh in Shengal. He was six years old when the organization kidnapped him with his mother and brothers. The organization killed his brother and separated them from their father. His fate, and the fate of his two sisters, 12-year-old Hani and infant Jayyan, are unknown. He was forced to wear Afghan dress. He surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces after the liberation of Baghouz. It seems that his captor was able to brainwash him, because he insisted on loyalty to the organization and its ideology. He was illiterate and was treated as a slave, and charged with raising animals and serving his captor and his family.
- Saidiya Nasser Khalaf is a 13-year-old Yezidi from Karzark village in Shengal. Her captor named her “Aisha” after forcing her to convert to Islam. She was about 8 years old when she was kidnapped with her sister Siham, mentioned above. ISIS killed her father, her brothers and relatives, and separated her from her family. She was bought and sold three times, raped, and subjected to various forms of torture and cruel treatment, such as flogging, beatings while hog-tied, and being forced into being a house servant. She was not allowed to play or draw. She tried to flee three times, but failed. She was forced to convert to Islam, and was sent to the Sharia institute while continuing to be a slave, but she maintained her faith in Yezidism. She surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces after the liberation of Baghouz.
- Hazem Hussein Shammu is a 16-year-old Yezidi from the village of Sulakh in Shengal. He was 12 years old when he was kidnapped with his family, and his father’s fate is unknown. The organization separated him from his mother and sisters, he was never allowed to play. He was forced to convert to Islam and practice their acts of worship after being forced, with about 50 other Yezidi children, to receive education from the curriculum imposed by the ISIS throughout the day in a number of Sharia institutes in the cities of Suluk and Raqqa. He confirmed that he received training on the Kalashnikov, and received military training on a daily basis. He also confirmed that he had been subjected to constant beatings and cruel treatment. The Afghan military dress was forced on him. He tried to flee twice, but failed. He was deprived of adequate food, water, and clothing. He stressed that ISIS forced children older than him to fight, and he was involved in some battles in Aleppo. He stressed that some captors forcibly sodomized their child prisoners.He mentioned a Yezidi girl named Hana, who was nine years old when she was kidnapped with her family. She was bought and sold six times and was subjected to various forms of torture, rape and cruel treatment, and one of her torturers hog-tied and raped her.He confirmed that his captor, a Saudi national named Abdul Rahman, worked as a lawmaker with the organization. He was forced to marry Hana, despite the fact that they were minors. In Hazem’s opinion, this was for two reasons: first, to use them as human shields to get out of ISIS areas as pressure from SDF tightened; second, for ISIS to attempt to salvage their reputation, which had been subject to frequent talk of ISIS members sodomizing children. He confirmed that he witnessed the flogging of a woman, who received 80 lashes after her children fell in a river. She removed her veil to seek help, without ISIS offering to assist, and saved the two children. He talked about the slaughter of an ISIS member by his security colleagues. The security elements wanted to get rid of him, so they charged him with a crime and questioned him. He denied the accusations, so they shot him in the leg. He again insisted on his innocence, so they shot him in the other leg. When he finally confessed, they shot him in the head, killing him. He confirmed his adherence to the Yezidi religion. He surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces after the liberation of Baghouz.
- Ibrahim Khairu Saleh is a 10-year-old Yezidi from the village of Sulakh in Shengal. He was 5 years old when ISIS kidnapped him and his family. He was separated from his family and sent to the Sharia institute in Mosul. There, he was forced to convert to Islam and practice acts of worship. He was subjected to various forms of cruel treatment. He was rescued by the Syrian Democratic Forces along with a group of other children during the battle to liberate Baghouz.
- Timan Nuri al-Sayed is a 15-year-old Yezidi from Kuju village in Shengal. ISIS killed his father after abducting his family, and transported him, his mother, and his sisters to Tel Afar, then onto Mosul and Raqqa. From there they were brought to Suluk, where they were subjected to various types of cruel treatment. In Suluk, the organization separated him from his family and sent him to one of its Sharia Institutes, where he was forced to convert to Islam and practice rituals of worship. He was continuously threatened with death if he did not follow the instructions of his teacher. He was subjected to a weapons training course by someone named Rami Saad Ja’id, also known as Abu Saad al-Dib, a Saudi national and emir of military maps, who is currently in Idlib. Abu Saad sold Timan’s mother and used Timan as his personal driver and servant. He was subjected to various kinds of beatings and cruel treatment. He still adheres to his Yezidi religion.
- Dilşîn Herîman û Xaliya;6 -year-old Hariman (nicknamed “Asya”), 10-year-old Ghalia, and 7-year-old Delshin (nicknamed “Muna”), were three sisters interviewed at different places and times. They all had the same father, Farhan. Their parents managed to escape with a number of their brothers. They, however, were captured by ISIS gunmen. After ISIS kidnapped them and their older sister Hayat, Hariman, Ghalia, and Hayat were sold to a man from Tabqa city named Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. He raped Hayat and subjected the younger girls to various forms of cruel treatment and torture, especially when they were unable to perform acts of worship because they were young and did not speak Arabic. Delshin was sold twice. She was subjected to various forms of torture and cruel treatment, and was forced to practice military training and use of weapons (detonating bombs, Kalashnikov, pistol) and was beaten with a baton when she failed a task. She was forced to convert to Islam, practice their rituals, wear a black veil, and receive education from the ISIS curriculum.
- Bassam Qassim Hafdou is a 15-year-old Yezidi from Kuju village in Shengal. He was 10 years old when he was taken with his family. They were subjected to various forms of torture and cruel treatment. He was sent to ISIS’s Sharia Institutes in Mosul and Abu Kemal, where he studied the curriculum imposed by the organization. ISIS forced him to convert to Islam and practice acts of worship. ISIS members would heat iron bars and burn their hands if they did not perform the prayers and memorize the lessons. When he was 11 years old, ISIS subjected him to military training and the use of weapons (Kalashnikov, PKS machine gun).
- Dawoud Salem Khalef, 11 years old, was nicknamed Abu Suleyman, but changed his name to Abu Yunus after escaping a Sharia Institute so that ISIS would not recognize him. He was six years old when he was abducted with his family. ISIS sent him and a number of Yezidi children to Sharia Institutes, where he was forced to convert to Islam and practice acts of worship. He confirmed that he was subjected to cruel treatment and continuous beatings, and that the punishment was more severe if he neglected prayer or did not fast. ISIS was able to poison the ideas of this child to the point that he became a supporter of its ideology.
- Abdul Salam Jar’at, born to a Turkish father and a Turkic mother, is 13 years old. His father died after being wounded in battle. Abdul has scars on his hand and foot as a result of his involvement in ISIS battles. He received his education from a curriculum imposed by ISIS. He confirmed that he received training on the M16, M4 and Kalashnikov. He also took part in sniper training for a month. By age 11, he was proficient in the use of these weapons. He confirmed that he witnessed the murder of a civilian. He insisted on his allegiance to ISIS, believing that ISIS applies the correct Islamic doctrine. When he made any mistakes, he was punished, forced to run, sit and stand repeatedly, and raise his hands.
- Ibrahim Badreddin Badwef, 9 years old, is of Dagestani nationality. He confirmed that his family prevented him from receiving an education. He also confirmed that he witnessed a man accused of theft have his hand cut off in Raqqa. He stated that his family wanted to leave ISIS’s ranks and travel to Europe because of the terrible acts they witnessed under ISIS, but they could not, and his family did not often allow him outside the house.
- Fatima Ali Dayandi is a 14-year-old Turkish national. Her father was killed in battle. She was not allowed to play outside the house. She was not allowed to receive education or watch TV, only to learn to read the Quran. She confirmed her desire to complete her education at her maternal grandfather’s home, who currently resides in Turkey, away from the authority of ISIS.
- Abdul Aziz, 9 years old, is Russian. He does not remember the name of his father, who is currently missing. He was living with his stepfather, a Chechen named Khatab. He received his education from the ISIS curriculum. He confirmed that he received weapons training in Raqqa (pistol, Kalashnikov, mortar, drones). He was no more than five years old when started training. As for the punishments for any wrongdoing, he was subjected to physical overwork such as running, repeated sitting and standing, and raising his hands. He was not allowed to play for more than two hours. He witnessed several killings, and confirmed his persistent loyalty to the organization and the fight against his enemies.
- Abdul Rahman Mohammed, nicknamed Abu Mohammed is a 10-year-old of Dagestani nationality. His father was killed in an ISIS battle. He received his education from the ISIS curriculum. He confirmed that, when he was 7 years old, he received training on the Glock, Makarov, and Kalashnikov. He was allowed to play for only two hours. He confirmed that he had seen the beheadings of Kurdish prisoners. The main enemies, according to what ISIS taught him, are Kurds and Americans, and he stressed his desire for jihad and loyalty to the organization
- Hamza Adel Mohammed, who was nicknamed Abu Bara’a al-Harbi, is a 15-year-old Afghan national. He received his education from the ISIS curriculum. He confirmed that he was proficient in the use of weapons ever since he was in Afghanistan, but did not say what kind of weapons. He confirmed that he witnessed the killing of a Tunisian national charged with treason, whose body was hung from a tree. The main enemy, according to what ISIS taught him, is the Kurds. Hamza Adel prevented us from taking a photo of his face. He was afraid of the camera.
- Osama Ramo Ismailovich is a 14-year-old of Bosnian nationality. His father was killed in a battle in Mosul. His mother taught him from the curricula imposed by the organization. He stressed his desire for jihad anywhere in the world in the footsteps of his father and his continued allegiance to ISIS.
- Zubair Adel Mohammed, the above mentioned Hamza’s brother, is a 16-yearold Afghan national. He received no education. He confirmed that he received weapons training on the Kalashnikov and M16 when he was 14 years old and is now proficient in their use. He confirmed that ISIS militants proposed that he carry out a suicide operation. He stressed that the main enemies, according to what ISIS taught him, are Kurds and Shi’ites.He said that he fought in ISIS ranks in Iraq when he was 13 years old. According to his claim, he was imprisoned by ISIS after a quarrel with the emir in charge for not participating in the fight and his protest against ISIS’s use of children in the military operations. He was subjected to the most severe punishments, whipping, electrocution, and strappado (hanging from the wrists) from the roof of the prison. He also saw a child (believed to be a Syrian from Aleppo) who was about 13 years old die as a result of severe beating.
- Abdul Malik Adam Mohammed, nicknamed Abu Musab al-Shishani, is a 16-year-old of Chechen nationality. He was educated from the curriculum imposed by ISIS. He confirmed that he was proficient in the use of the Kalashnikov, and in 2018 he witnessed the murder of a Tunisian man that ISIS accused of spying for the International Coalition. He stressed that the main enemy, according to what ISIS taught them, is the Kurds.His eye, upper lip and left leg were injured as a result of Russian air strikes during the battles that broke out between ISIS and the Syrian regime in Deir ez-Zor in 2017.
- Mohammed Ahmed Ismail Hamza, nicknamed Abu Dujana, is an 11-year-old of Russian-Dagestani nationality. He was educated from the curriculum imposed by ISIS. He refused to give an answer as to which type of weapons he had mastered. He said that he was ready to fight anywhere that his mother sent him. He confirmed that the main enemies, according to what ISIS taught them, are all those who fight ISIS.
- Asmaa Isma’il al-Sabr is a 12-year-old Syrian citizen. Her father was killed in battle. She was not allowed to play outside the house. She received her education in the mosque, such as memorizing the Quran and hadiths. She confirmed that the main enemies, according to what ISIS taught them, are the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and anyone who does not convert to Islam. She confirmed her continued loyalty to the organization.
- Omar Ibrahim Issa, nicknamed Al-Qaqaa is a 14-year-old of Egyptian nationality. His father was killed in battle in Baghouz. He was educated with the “cubs of the caliphate”, from the curriculum imposed by the organization, eight hours a day. He was not allowed to play. He confirmed that he received weapons training on the Kalashnikov, M16, PKS, RPG, and 10mm, 12mm, and 23mm anti-aircraft (DShK) weapons. He was 11 years old when he received training. The organization’s militants proposed that he carry out a suicide military operation. He stressed that the main enemies, according to what ISIS taught them, are the Kurds and Christians. He stressed his continued allegiance to the organization, and his desire to return to Egypt if he is granted immunity from the death penalty
- Nasreddin Raseem, nicknamed Abu Anas, is a 12-year-old Dagestani. He was not allowed to play. He received education from the curriculum imposed by ISIS. He confirmed that he received training on the Kalashnikov when he was only nine years old, and they proposed that he carry out suicide military operations. He stressed that the main enemies, according to what ISIS taught them, are the Kurds, Americans, and the French. He stressed his continued allegiance to the organization, and would cry in sadness whenever he remembered its defeat.
- ISIS promoted beheadings in its educational curriculum. Several videos spread on social media show children from ISIS families beheading their dolls, or the heads of prisoners and civilians.
THE CHILDREN INTERVIEWED AT THE HORI CENTER FOR THE PROTECTION AND EDUCATION OF CHILDREN
This center has children aged 12 to 18 of different nationalities which belonged to the so-called “cubs of the caliphate”. They participated in the battles fought by ISIS against the Syrian Democratic Forces. Most of them were combatants, and carrying weapons at the moment of their arrest. Some of them were married. Many of them bore traces of previous injuries during their participation in battles. Some of the children interviewed at this center:Note: The entire picture is not shown at the request of rehabilitation officials at the center.
- Sulay Kim Su is a 16-year-old Chinese-American citizen. He confirmed that he and his mother were tortured and severely beaten by ISIS members in order to force him to confess that his mother was a spy for the United States of America. He was then placed under surveillance. Sulay was prohibited from playing. He had witnessed someone’s hand being dismembered. The organization’s militants offered him more than once to carry out a suicide attack. However, he and his mother managed to escape and surrendered to Syrian Democratic Forces in al-Kashmeh village in Deir ez-Zor in December 2018.
- Hassan Musa al-Hassan, nicknamed Abu Abd al-Rahman, is a 16-yearold Syrian national. He was educated from the curriculum imposed by ISIS, and was banned from playing. He confirmed that he received weapons training on the Kalashnikov, PKS, and pistol when he was 13. He saw his father, who was working as a security guard and a jailer in the organization, behead four people in Hama and Deir ez-Zor, and Hassan carried their heads for demonstration and witnessed other beheadings. He participated in one of the battles against the Syrian regime in Deir ez-Zor.
In 2015, he joined a camp called Abu Musab al-Zarqawi camp, where he underwent three Sharia courses. The first was in Girê Spî/Tel Abyad, the second in Ain Isa, and the third was in Tabqa, in addition to a military training course for men in Raqqa.
He confirmed that he did not want to do this, but that his father and the organization forced him to do so, especially carrying the heads of the victims.
- Rafid Ibrahim Aboud, nicknamed Abu Yunus, is a 17-year-old Iraqi national. He was educated with the “cubs of the Caliphate” from the curriculum imposed by the organization. He confirmed that he had received training on the Kalashnikov and PKS machine gun when he was 15 years old, at a camp for the “cubs of the caliphate”. He stressed that the children were subjected to punishments, sometimes up to 30 lashes, if they neglected their prayers. He participated in battles against the Syrian Democratic Forces. He confirmed that the main enemy, according to what the organization taught them, was the Kurds.
- Ubaidah Mohammed Salem Darda, nicknamed Abu Omar, is a 17-year-old of Syrian nationality. His mother was from the Philippines. His father was married to about 17 women, and died of a heart attack. He was educated from the curriculum imposed by the organization. He confirmed that he had received weapons training on the Kalashnikov, PKS, M16, and RPG at a special headquarters for the “cubs of the caliphate” when he was 15 years old. He confirmed that he was once subjected to 50 lashes for neglecting fast and prayer. He witnessed the execution of four prisoners from the Syrian Democratic Forces in Sousse square in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor. In 2016, he was with eight other children when he lost his fingers after one of their posts was bombed by a coalition aircraft in Al-Qaim. After military training, he witnessed many children sent off to the front line and forced to carry out suicide military operations. The children who underwent sharia courses were held in closed rooms for nine days to test their stamina.
- Ubaidah was subjected to brutal punishment after he was falsely accused of theft and espionage for the Coalition. After investigation, in February 2018 ISIS issued a decision to cut his hand off with a cleaver in public in Hajin square, on charges of theft, of which he claimed to be completely innocent. He said his confession was made under torture that he and his younger brother were subjected to. ISIS threatened to behead his younger brother if he didn’t say that Ubaidah had killed a man. He confirmed that the main enemies, according to what ISIS taught them, are the Kurds and the Iraqi army.
- Abdullah Roshan Kazakov, nicknamed Abdullah, is a 13-year-old of Turkmenistani nationality. His father was killed in battle and was a lawmaker for ISIS. He confirmed that he was proficient in the use of the Kalashnikov. The organization proposed that he carry out a suicide military operation in the northwestern countryside of Raqqa, but his mother strongly opposed it. He confirmed that the penalties applied to children varied according to the crime committed. The punishments were prison, dismemberment of the hands, stoning, beating, lashing and hurling from high rooftops. He witnessed killings carried out by the organization against prisoners and civilians. For example, in Tabqa, he witnessed the torture of six members of the Syrian regime forces after the organization took control of Tabqa airport. In Raqqa, he witnessed beheadings of 20 prisoners from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) at the Na’im Square, also called Hell Square. In Girê Spî/Tel Abyad, he witnessed the detention of 30 women from the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in a school. When SDF approached to liberate the town, the organization blew up the school before leaving. He confirmed that his father advised him to continue fighting for the organization after his death, and that the main enemy, according to what the organization taught them, is the Kurds.