Islamic State group militants reportedly strapped an orphaned baby to a device that was blown up as part of a training camp exercise on improvised devices. Using a remote control detonator, the militants imploded the device attached to the baby during the demonstration, according to media reports.
The training reportedly took place last week in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin, where the Islamic State group -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- has won considerable territory. Child soldiers are part of ISIS' war strategy and have been featured heavily in ISIS propaganda videos.
"The booby-trapping of the baby was a training mission for ISIS to teach its elements the booby-trapping mechanisms," according by Sadiq al-Husseini, head of the security committee in Diyala province, Iraq. He said the baby's father had previously been executed for killing several ISIS militants. As further punishment, the baby was brought to the training camp, al-Husseini told Iraqi news.
"The organization does not care for the most basic human values," he said. “Their crimes are incalculable, and the blowing up of the baby is the best proof to the threat of ISIS’ ideology to the state.”
ISIS is known for using brutal acts of violence to win over new followers. In recent weeks, the militant group has been accused of kidnapping young girls because they refused to participate in “sex jihad” and amputating men's sex organs. The ISIS fighters “let their blood drain until they died while [their] hands were tied,” one media report claimed.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi government announced Monday a new military operation aimed at pushing ISIS militants out of the predominantly Sunni Anbar province, the country’s largest, the Guardian reported. The campaign includes Shia militias, Iraqi military units and Sunni tribesmen. The operation comes nearly two months after ISIS seized Ramadi, the province’s capital.
“We promise to exact revenge from the criminals of Daesh in the field of battle,” Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, said in a statement, using another name for ISIS. “Their cowardly crimes against unarmed civilians will only increase our resolve in pursuing them and evicting them from the last inch of Iraq’s territory.”