Iraq: Losing fighters by the dozens, ISIS now making children and the elderly carry out attacks

Arkadev Ghoshal
Iraq: Losing fighters by the dozens, ISIS now making children and the elderly carry out attacks

The Islamic State group has lost a great number of its personnel in recent times, including in the Syrian forces' push that liberated Palmyra from the clutches of the terrorist group. Its manpower depleted, ISIS, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is now reportedly turning to children and the elderly among its captives to carry out their terrorist attacks for them.

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ISIS decimated in Palmyra

The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has been a stronghold of ISIS for quite some time. When the terrorist group captured Palmyra, there had been speculation that it was making a comeback of sorts from setbacks that included being all but pushed out of Mosul in Iraq.

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However, the Syrian forces have now retaken Palmyra from ISIS. And according to the Russian defence ministry, at least 1,000 ISIS fighters have been killed in the offensive by the Syrian Arab Army — which was supplemented by air support. The ministry did not provide an exact number, but has been quoted as saying that it is well over 1,000, and that those dead include several fighters of foreign origin.

Children and elderly used in attacks

Meanwhile, a report in local outlet Al-Masdar News has claimed that ISIS is apparently using the elderly and children in most of the suicide bombings and other forms of attacks it has perpetrated in Iraq in recent months. The report claims the number could be as high as 80 percent of the attackers used by ISIS over the past few months.

The report also said: "So desperate is the manpower situation in ISIS that besides the elderly and children, they are now reaching into the stocks of mundane positions such as those in its media service to conduct suicide operations."

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