An ISIL "faith-strengthening" event for children in one of the group's strongholds in Idlib province, northwestern Syria
The al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is recruiting children and locals in Syria for fighting against the Syrian government, a report says.
“In any event, ISIL is increasingly recruiting native Syrians to conduct important military operations, and understands that to perpetuate its existence in Syria, it must recruit from the next generation. Hence, outreach to children is a key part of ISIL's modus operandi for consolidating power,” BBC reported.
ISIL is one of the most powerful foreign-backed terrorist groups to emerge from Syria's almost three-year-old conflict.
In its latest report on Syria, Amnesty International said that ISIL militants are perpetrating "a shocking uncatalogued of abuses" in secret jails across northern Syria, including torture, flogging and killings after summary trials.
Throughout the Syrian conflict, one of the major concerns in particular has been the inflow of foreign extremists, who come from the wider Arab world, Western Europe, and as far afield as Kazakhstan and Indonesia.
According to a recent estimate of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, there could be up to 11,000 of these fighters. It raises the questions of which groups they join, and what the relations between these terrorist groups are.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies are supporting the militants operating inside the country.