The Islamic State group has crucified and killed two children in Syria for eating during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims are required to fast in obedience to Allah.
The boys, who were both younger than 18, were killed by the militants and later displayed with placards hung around their necks revealing their "crime" was committed "with no religious justification." The horrific incident occured in the town of Mayadin, Deir Ezzor province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed on Monday.
"Apparently, they were caught eating," SOHR founder Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP news agency.
Ramadan, which literally means "scorching" in Arabic, is a time when devout Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours to focus on their spiritual health and seek forgiveness for past sins.
However, the rules are not .meant to apply to children, pregnant women, the ill, elderly or people who are traveling.
Under the brutal rule of ISIS, which regularly carries out public beheadings, stonings and crucifixions those accused of crimes, the punishments for disobeying religious laws are exceedingly harsh.
In February, militants living in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, severely disfigured the faces of fifteen Iraqi women by pouring acid on them as a form of punishment after the women were caught without their faces being fully covered by a niqab, a hijab which covers the entire face, except for slits for eyes.
In December, 150 women, some of them pregnant, were executed by fighters in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar for refusing to become sex slaves to the militants. Islamic State militants have justified its enslavement of the women it captures in its online magazine, "Dabiq".
"One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar -- the infidels -- and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law," the group announced.
ISIS, which has captured significant territory throughout Iraq and Syria in an attempt to establish a caliphate, often uses children to further its aims.
Back in February, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child detailed some of the horrific abuses carried out by the jihadists.
"We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding," committee expert Renate Winter said at the time. "There was a video placed [online] that showed children at a very young age, approximately 8 years of age and younger, being trained to become child soldiers."
Earlier in June, ISIS released a seven minute-long video showing young boys, known as "cubs of the caliphate", undergoing various forms of jihadist training, including breaking tiles with their heads, practicing fighting moves and crawling through metal tubes as ISIS fighters fire rounds over their heads.
The children are indoctrinated into ISIS' ideology at these training camps, which are scattered across Iraq and Syria, and have later been used in battle.
Steve Emerson, executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism told the Daily Mail that training young jihadists is useful to senior ISIS fighters when they are trying to consolidate territory which is constantly under attack.
"Indoctrinating kids with ISIS fanaticism is not only the easiest population to indoctrinate but also produces new generations of ISIS believers and ultimately at some point fighters. This is the way you build a Caliphate," he told the news source.
"Their goal is to rebuild the Islamic societies they have conquered into a global comprehensive Islamist system that... takes over all aspects of society from garbage collection to teaching at the Madrassats [religious schools]."