Isis supporters are circulating images of a child they say has become the youngest foreign fighter to be killed in battle for the jihadist group, according a counter-extremism think tank.
The images, which cannot be independently verified, show a young boy believed to be about 10-years-old holding guns, posing with a balaclava stretched across his face and standing alongside a man thought to be his father who is reportedly a militant.
Those sharing the pictures are paying tribute to the child on Twitter as the youngest martyr from the Arabian Peninsula to have been killed in Syria as Isis tries to establish a caliphate across swathes of the region, according to Charlie Cooper, a researcher at the Quilliam Foundation.
Mr Cooper told The Independent the images have been circulated on social media with hashtags translated as ‘martyrdom of the cub of Baghdadi and his father'. It is claimed that reports of his death first emerged on 26 September and that he was killed fighting alongside his father.
The child’s alleged death comes after an Australian man fighting for Isis posted a picture online showing his young son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier in August, with the caption: "That’s my boy."
In the same month, a report by the United Nations Human Rights Council found Isis affiliated groups have recruited, trained and used children in active combat roles.
It also found Isis has established training camps to recruit children into armed roles, where they would receive weapons training and religious education. In Raqqa, children as young as ten were being recruited and trained by Isis.
The UN said: “In using children below the age of 15, the group has committed a war crime.”
News of the boy’s alleged death comes as video footage was released showing Isis firing on targets on the besieged Syria-Turkey border town of Kobani.
The video has been distributed by the pro-Isis media group Al-A’amaq, who publish clips showing the strategic assets seized by the group and where it is advancing.
In it, the fighters can be heard vowing to descend on the town in spite of coalition air strikes, with one warning: “We will enter the city and free it from non-believers.”
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