The latest on ISIS, and their use of children

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The latest on ISIS, and their use of children

Haven’t done a post lately on ISIS, which is pretty much on the run everywhere, but putting up a surprisingly decent defense in some smaller areas:

An Iraqi military spokesman says Islamic State militants are putting up tough resistance in a small area outside the newly liberate town of Tal Afar.

The spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen Yahya Rasool, says the military launched a series of heavy airstrikes and artillery since early morning Tuesday on the militants’ positions in al-Ayadia district, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) northwest of Tal Afar.

In a separate statement, the military says the troops have entered the district, without giving details.

Last week, U.S.-backed Iraqi troops launched a multi-pronged operation to retake Tal Afar, a month after declaring Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, fully liberated. The militants still control the northern town of Hawija as well as Qaim, Rawa and Ana, in western Iraq near the Syrian border.

 And, while as noted Tal Afar has been liberated, it’s completely littered with bombs and IEDs in addition to the hidden soldiers.

Although Raqqa remains sort of the spiritual capitol of the ISIS “Caliphate”, a new video from CNN shows that it’s basically a complete ghost town….

One other disturbing trend is the way ISIS has used children for atrocities and as slave brides.  Here are a few reports on that, the first of which, from CNN, dates back 2 years:

ISIS' recent video showing a child shooting a man whom the extremist group claimed was an Israeli spy is the latest example of how the militants exploit children in their propaganda.

As ISIS encourages foreign fighters to bring their families into the parts of Syria and Iraq where it imposes its brutal rule, the catalog of children taking part in shocking acts is grim and growing.

The deeply disturbing cases shine a light into the range of ways the militants are using children to further their aims. 

A more recent CNN article talks about how CNN was recriting underage western girls to serve as child brides to the soldiers.  In fact, a German 16 year old was recently rescued, although she’s now facing charges, since she went willingly, albeit under coercion:

A 16-year-old German girl who ran away from home in 2016 and allegedly joined ISIS has been found alive in Iraq, the German government confirmed Monday.

Linda Wenzel, a schoolgirl from the town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, was one of at least five foreign women captured by Iraqi forces sweeping the old city of Mosul after the defeat of ISIS, according to sources within the counter-terror operation in Mosul.

The sources added that the women have now been moved to Baghdad and are under interrogation….

Wenzel had a gunshot wound on her leg but was able to talk and answer questions, Musawy told CNN. He witnessed her being offered medical treatment.

"It seemed to me as she didn't fully understand what happened to her or what she did," he said.

"I just want to leave," she said, according to the report published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). "I want to get away from the war, away from the many weapons, the noise." 

Lastly, a piece from the Daily Beast shows a young boy who purports to be the child of an American Soldier that ISIS is using in recruiting videos:

A new video from the Islamic State reportedly shows the young son of an American soldier denouncing “puppet of the Jews” President Donald Trump and threatening that the war with ISIS will not end in the Middle East but on American soil.

According to Memri, a video was released Wednesday featuring a 10-year-old boy named Yusuf explaining who he is and where he came from. Yusuf, clearly reading from a script, revealed his father was a U.S. soldier who “fought the mujahideen” during the war in Iraq.

Yusuf claimed he arrived to Raqqa, Syria, from “America, [the] land of kufr [unbelief]” with his mother two years ago.

The end of ISIS truly can’t come soon enough.  Evil incarnate.

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I Pray that our men an women come back home to us. I Also pray that this stupid war ends an we can live in peace I am a veteran an a legion member I thank you for your severice to this great country of ours..

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.