The Islamic State terrorist group has released a horrific new propaganda video showing a child soldier killing several prisoners by shooting them in the head as they plead for their lives at an Iraqi river.
The propaganda film shows a boy, who appears to be around ten years old, executing the prisoners while their hands are tied behind their backs. While uniformed ISIS soldiers stand watching from behind, the boy shoots at least two men with a handgun, and their lifeless bodies are thrown into the river.
The rest of the video, which was posted on online jihadist forums, also shows lengthy murder scenes, with jihadists shooting young men to death and throwing their bodies into shallow graves.
According to the MailOnline, the shocking footage in the 22-minute video was taken during the Speicher massacre in Tikrit in 2014, which left close to 1,700 people dead, making it of the largest massacres in ISIS' invasion of Iraq and Syria.
"In fact, the wholesale slaughter was so vast the graves used to bury the victims could be seen from space," the MailOnline notes.
The jihadist group frequently uses children - known as 'caliphate cubs' - as suicide bombers, soldiers and executioners in their attempts to establish a caliphate across Iraq and Syria.
Earlier in July, the group released a lengthy video of children carrying out a mass execution of 25 men accused of being soldiers for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The killings took place inside a Roman amphitheater in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, with child ISIS soldiers filmed standing behind kneeling prisoners.
While many of the children have been kidnapped from various parts in the region, some are recruited with their parents' consent as part of a "military training exercise." Although the exact number of child soldiers currently fighting for the militant group is hard to estimate, since the beginning of this year, ISIS is believed to have recruited more than 1,100 children, AINA reports.
"They use children because it is easy to brainwash them," Rami Abdulrahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory, told Reuters. "They can build these children into what they want. They stop them from going to school and send them to IS schools instead."
As earlier noted by the Gospel Herald, the group also encourages children with birth defects to join their ranks, as some believe that these children are used as human shields, blood donors for wounded fighters, and suicide bombers.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Wednesday that over 50 child soldiers recruited by the Islamic State group in Syria have died this year. All of the children were under 16 years old, the report noted.
"In 77 per cent of the cases, children were armed or used in combat and almost one fifth were under 15 years of age. Boys associated with armed groups were commonly between 14 and 17 years of age, with 17 verified cases under the age of 15," the United Nations said in a report.. "In many cases, children were paid to fight for salaries of up to $400 per month. ... The payment of relatively large salaries created an incentive for children and their parents under difficult economic circumstance."