IS Abducts 500 Children in Iraq

IS Abducts 500 Children  in IraqIS Abducts 500 Children  in Iraq

IS has kidnapped about 500 children in Iraq’s Anbar and Diyala provinces, local officials said Saturday.

“IS has kidnapped at least 400 children in the western province of Anbar, and taken them to their bases in Iraq, and Syria,” a member of Anbar’s Provincial Council, Farhan Mohammed said.

He said the abductions from the towns of Ar Rutba, Al-Qaim, Anah and Rawa continued for over a week, and warned that the militant group could recruit all children in regions under their control to use them in terror attacks, World Bulletin reported.

Diyala’s police chief, Lieutenant General Kasim Al-Saidi, said about 100 children under the age of 16 were recruited in the eastern Iraqi province to be used in suicide attacks. “They are going to brainwash these kids into being suicide bombers,” he said.

Saidi added that the IS would give military training to these “recruits,” some of whom could be taken to other regions controlled by the group, or even Syria.

 IS Threatens Saudi Shias

A Saudi branch of IS said it wants to clear the Arabian Peninsula of Shia Muslims and urged young men in the kingdom to join its cause, the US-based SITE monitoring group said in a report.

According to the report, the IS-affiliated group defended attacks on Shia Muslims in a 13-minute long audio message, which it posted online late Friday. The so-called Najd Province group said in the message that Shias should be “killed everywhere.”

IS which has taken over vast swathes of territories in Syria and Iraq claimed responsibility for two separate suicide bombings on Shia mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia on May 22 and 29, which killed 25 people in total. The majority of the Sunni-dominated kingdom’s Shia population lives in the eastern parts of the country.

 Libya Calls for Help

Libya’s government based in the east of the country called Saturday for outside help in battling IS militants, warning that the group’s capture of a key coastal airport endangered nearby oil terminals.

In a statement, it called on the international community to supply arms to its forces to fight IS which is planning to seize oilfields to fund its operations.

“The government is doing everything to retake the town of Sirte and its airport from terrorist hands.”

IS took control of the airport in Sirte, the hometown of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi, after forces belonging to a Tripoli-based rival government withdrew late Thursday.

 Palmyra Prison Destroyed

IS blew up a major prison complex in the central Syrian city of Palmyra on Saturday, according to a group monitoring the war. The prison was empty of people at the time of the detonation, said Rami Abdulrahman from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

IS announced the explosion on social media and supporters posted pictures of huge clouds of gray smoke above the sprawling complex in the city, also known as Tadmur. The prison is not located among the city’s ancient ruins, which Syrian officials have warned could be destroyed by the Al-Qaeda offshoot.

In addition, IS militants launched an assault on the largely Kurdish city of Hasakah in northeast Syria on Saturday, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the SOHR. He said the pro-government militia had blocked the IS advance on the city’s edges and reported heavy shelling. Syria’s official news agency SANA said loyalist forces had “foiled a terrorist attack by IS on military points near Hasakah.”