Syrian militant 'preps daughters for suicide-attacks' in disturbing video
Videos have emerged on social media of a "mentally unstable" Syrian militant preparing his young daughters to carry out suicide bombings in the capital Damascus, days after he allegedly sent his eight-year-old to blow herself up in a police station.
The New Arab could not confirm the validity of the footage. All sides of the bloody civil war have been known to produce propaganda to discredit their opponents.
In the amateur footage, a militant named Abdel Rahman Shaddad - nome de guerre Abu al-Nimr - interviews his wife and daughters Islam, 7, and Fatima, 8, before they were sent to carry out suicide attacks.
"Fatima what are you going to do?" Abu al-Nimr asks.
"I am going to do a suicide mission!" she responds.
"Where?" he then asks.
"In Damascus," the young girls says as she is dressed in a black hijab.
"Damascus? You're young, you're only nine-years-old, why don't you leave this to the men? Have the men escaped? Have they left on the green buses?" the militant says, referring to buses used to evacuate rebels following ceasefire deals.
"You want to surrender so that you're raped and killed by the infidels?" he asks, to which Fatimah sheepishly says: "no".
In another video posted on Facebook the mother of the children, Umm al-Nimr explains why she is sending her children to carry out attacks.
The militant interviews his family in the amateur video [Facebook]
"No one is too young for jihad, because jihad has become a duty for every Muslim. The young, women and men," she says.
On Wednesday, Abu al-Nimr released another video, in which he explains that he sent eight-year-old Fatima to carry out an attack only for her to return to him twice because there was only a single guard on duty to target.
On the third time, she went to a different location and detonated her suicide vest, her father said.
Last Friday, Damascus was struck by a suicide attack when a young girl entered a police station and after asking to go to the toilet, blew herself up. Authorities released graphic images the charred remains of the young suicide bomber.
Pro-rebel activist Abu Sumayyah al-Khaldi took to Twitter on Wednesday to explain that the militant was a "mentally unstable" reject from the Islamic State group [IS] and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front.
Khaldi said that he had acted alone in this "heinous crime" and that several rebel groups were pursuing him.
This is not the first time children have recently been used as suicide bombers and fighters in Syria and Iraq.
In August, a 15-year old boy was spotted in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk wandering nervously, police then found a two-kilogramme bomb strapped carefully around his thin waist.
Amid major losses in the battlefield, IS seems to have turned to its "cubs of the caliphate" brigades to fill the gap of fallen militants and help preserve its remaining force.