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Islamic state caliphate brainwashed Yezidi Children with Quranic verses to fight kuffars till conversion to Islam or kill.
ISIS separated them from their families,IS killed their parents in front of them,laced their food w/ Captagon & trained some as suicide attackers
Raised in northern Iraq’s small #Yezidi religious minority, S. was 9 yrs old when IS killed his father & brother, kidnapped him & turned him into a fighter . He witnessed unspeakable violence, saw friends tortured & was beaten by “teachers” who indoctrinated him into..
... group’s severe version of Islam.

3 yrs later,when his mom ransomed him back from IS for $10,000,he was returned against his will 2 a family he barely remembered.He tried repeatedly 2 run back 2 his former captors. He threatened his sisters with a knife,calling them infidels;
hit his mother,saying he wasn’t really hers; & more than once tried to set fire to his uncle’s house. Brainwashed by IS with a combination of savage cruelty & lionizing praise, S. was wracked by interior conflict, a lonely pariah in a family alien to him, lashing out violently..
..at the slightest provocation.

What to call war on IS now that the group has lost last of its territory in Iraq & Syria?@realDonaldTrump declaration of“victory”appears premature, given how much of the conflict exists not on battlefields but in the minds and souls of individuals
what will become of the 1000s of youngsters press-ganged into ISIS’s forces in northern Iraq? IS separated #Yezidi children from their families, killing their parents in front of them. In the soil of that trauma, they planted the idea that the boys were the future army of ISIS,
Islamic state indoctrinated Kidnapped Yezidi Children with the arrogance of conquerors,laced the boys’ food with Captagon, an amphetamine, to dull their fear & trained some as suicide attackers.
Many more Yezidi children were sent to the front lines where fighting was bloodiest, forced to wear suicide belts at all times, with instructions to blow themselves up if the enemy got too close.
The Yezidi boys like S. now occupy the gray zone between guilty and forgotten. No one experienced the violence of ISIS as they did. It came from every side.
Nineveh Plain,which extends north & east of Mosul, has for centuries been a kind of showcase for ancient faiths: Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac.Yet there the perhaps half-million #Yezidi believers were such frequent targets of persecution that d group’s elders speak of 72 “genocides”
„72“ Genocide even before ISIS swept over entire region in 2014. IS displaced around half the Yezidis,killing,capturing & enslaving +6,000, according to kidnapped affairs department. As ISIS retreated from its last redoubt, around 3,000 were still missing.
Some survivors tell how their Arab neighbors joined ISIS to seize their lands,kill their loved ones and drive them out. Hundreds of thousands now live in refugee camps, in the homes of relatives or in drafty, half-constructed buildings.
They say they don’t trust the Iraqi government to protect them from the next attempt at genocide, and many are seeking sanctuary in Canada, Germany, Australia or anywhere else that will have them.

The scattering will make it harder for their tribe to survive.
The ancient Yezidi religion is inherited through birth,based on bloodlines via the father, & the Religion is divided into three castes that cannot intermarry. Shrinking the available pool makes the survival of the faith even harder —
one more reason the boys who were taken, then brought back, need to be healed and woven back into the fabric of their community.
Every boy’s story starts the same way. They tell you the moment ISIS attacked and their fathers, brothers or uncles were taken away.
Sometimes they were permitted to stay with their mother and sisters for a while, but somewhere along their journey, moved like cattle from schoolrooms or wedding halls, they were singled out and taken away with other boys for religious indoctrination and military training.
Around age of 13,d unlucky ones were sent to fight.
Thikran,19,described d moment IS arrived in his large northern village & tricked his grandfather,village leader,into gathering every1 together in school courtyard, allegedly 4 safe passage out if they chose not 2 convert 2 Islam
ISIS fighters led the Yezidi men and older boys away in three truckloads, supposedly carrying them to safety at nearby Sinjar mountain. Thikran, then 15, was with his mother and sister,cowering in the school courtyard, when they heard thundering volleys of gunfire in the distance
The ISIS fighters told the panicked women and children that it was just animals, but everyone knew their husbands, brothers and sons had just been killed.
The ISIS fighters saved Thikran’s grandfather for last, letting him listen in horror to that gunfire and realize he’d led his people into a trap, before taking him outside and shooting him too.
That’s the day Thikran learned to hide his anger and fear. He was taken with his mother and sister to the ISIS stronghold of Tal Afar, and sent to an Islamist school to study the Quran from sunrise to sometimes well after sunset. He said he learned to recite Quran & ISIS ideology
He said he learned to recite the Quran and ISIS ideology better than his peers — so well that his ISIS overseer offered to make him an instructor, though he turned that “promotion” down. He said his scholarship is why he never had to fight.
“We converted to Islam and told them ‘We will obey you,’” he said. “I made that sacrifice to protect myself & my family.”He doesn’t feel guilty for playing along,he says;he “feels nothing,”a frequent answer from many of the boys.Burying anger,pain & fear was a survival skill.
Reactivating emotion means facing grief over loved ones killed, guilt over anyone they may have killed or whatever else they did to remain alive. So they stay numb.
Yezidi children were often grouped with others of their tribe,yet IS trainers worked to break down any connection among em,putting 1,of em in charge of their unit & making him responsible 4 meting out vicious beatings 4 infractions like failing to reassemble a weapon fast enough.
Two cousins, both 16, explained how they were trained in an all-#Yezidi unit, then deployed to the “Line of Paradise” — ISIS’s name for the Syrian front lines where many Yezidi boys were sent as cannon fodder, surrounded by enemy troops and hammered from above by airstrikes.
The cousins say they had to wear suicide belts much of the time, packed with metal intended to kill attacking troops if they overwhelmed the Yezidi front line.
Many Yezidi boys got detailed lessons on how to kill. In some camps, child soldiers were forced to watch instruction videos on beheading, from how to lift the prisoner’s head by his scalp to where to cut the throat.
Yezidi boy returnees described learning how to remove hands, arms or legs as punishment for crimes like theft. One described an operating-theater-like room where they watched a limb removed from an anesthetized patient.
Some boys were also taught how 2 crucify those found guilty of disobeying ISIS’s dictates,a punishment several boys say happened almost weekly.D dead were left rotting for days in public squares or busy intersections,wearing a sign describing their crime,usually refusal 2 convert
Amid these horrors, the boys were offered grandiose metaphysical escape. Their captors told them that their #Yezidi families were destined for hell, but that they were the righteous ones who would inherit the caliphate. “ISIS told us about heaven, told us we were on a good path,
He was 11 when he was taken, along with his mother, younger sister and brother, and indoctrinated in a military training camp. “It affected our minds,” he recalls. “Whenever we talked to our families, we would tell them what ISIS told us, that they needed to become Muslims too.”
As coalition bombing intensified against ISIS, Shalal decided it was time for his mother, sister and brother to escape the group’s self-declared capital, Raqqa. He reached his father by telephone back in Iraq, who arranged for a smuggler to meet the boy and his brother Hachim..
now 7, at front lines.“It was very scary,” Shalal recalls, describing how he guided his brother through bushes in dark. Shalal’s mother & sister were smuggled out later roughly $10,000 each.
family’s escape was in part result of bizarre economy of IS’s wartime loss of territory
In its waning days as leaders of ISIS had a sort of Craigslist of captives it was offering 4 sale — cashing in on victims it had seized during its march across Syria & Iraq.Many, including Shalal’s father who ransomed em & now cares for em all, are still waiting 2b reimbursed.
Physical deliverance for the Yezidi boys was just the beginning of the journey back. Shalal was aggressive and angry when he first returned, said his father, who had narrowly escaped capture himself while traveling for business. Now he seems quiet and subdued..
Shalal sitting next to his father as he describes his time with ISIS, looking down at the floor of their unfinished house and playing with his smartphone. He won’t give many details about what else he saw or did as a fighter for the group.
His father, a teacher who studied psychology, insists his son is fine and doesn’t need counseling. But as the boy listens to his older cousin Ashrawe describe fighting for ISIS, his far-off gaze suggests otherwise.
Ashrawe manned checkpoints in the middle of some of the fiercest fighting in Syria, and he was badly wounded in a mortar strike that killed two other boys in his unit. His leg still hurts from embedded shrapnel.He also came back with a young #Yezidi wife given to him by ISIS.
But at 18, with no job, he struggles to take care of her, so he too relies on his uncle the psychologist, for food and the shelter of the incomplete concrete apartment block they live in, its windows just blank holes open to the chilling February wind.
The Yezidi boys have a certain amount of help from their faith. The religion’s leadership passed a decree in 2014 that forgave their people for the sin of being forced to convert, or for being raped, or for being forced to kill and maim for ISIS.
With that came the offer of a ritual of return includes a rebaptism ceremony for men,women & children to cleanse em of the sin of whatever they were forced 2 do.
“We will slowly, step by step, convince those children … to put the Yezidi community’s humanity back into their heart
Because there is no more peaceful religion than Yezidi,” says Babashekhi. The “rebaptism” takes place at the Yezidi holy site of Lalish, tucked within a valley in Shickhan, a scenic city encircled by mountains in Iraq.
All members must visit at least once in their lifetime to submerge themselves in the 4-to-5-ft. deep well inside a small, worn stone shrine, sacred to Yezidis
Adult survivors say the ceremony helps, but others say it is not enough to stop nightmares or flashbacks or to purge the guilt a child feels,which can be channeled inward into depression and outward to rage.
thousands of ISIS fighters have simply returned to the fabric of their old lives, living openly in Mosul and Tel Afar. That’s one of the main reasons that hundreds of thousands of Yezidis won’t go home — they know who awaits them there.

The #Yezidi boys know it too.
Out of the roughly 6,400 Yezidis taken by ISIS, 1,855 children had returned as of mid-February. Of the boys, around 300 ticked the box on the form admitting that they had fought for ISIS. But member of kidnapped affairs department thinks the number is much higher.
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