The brutal Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria has recruited at least 400 children for use in combat roles since January, a leading Syrian monitoring group reported this week.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that as ISIS has opened up "Cubs of the Caliphate" recruiting offices and training camps in a number of its strongholds, at least 400 minors have joined the group from Jan.1 until March 23, but not necessarily by choice.
"I think to speak of children joining ISIS is not a good way to put it," Charlie Winter, researcher at the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam, told SOHR. " Even if they have the perception of choice, it's not choice. If you're a minor and being indoctrinated from a very young age, you don't have the power to make a serious choice. I think that it's certainly worth considering more robustly that people are being groomed."