Town church turned young recruits training center by ISIS

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By Rudaw
TEL KAIF, Iraq – ISIS has destroyed and burnt churches in the Christian town of Tel Kaif, to the north of Mosul. The militants used the town’s great church, the Sacred Heart, as military headquarters.
According to an eyewitness, ISIS had changed the name of this church to ‘Abu-Talha Al-Ansari.’ and was using it as a base to train the Caliphate’s children. Every training session would last from 15 to 20 days.

“ISIS had turned this church into the Abu-Talha Al-Ansari headquarter. They knew that the warplanes wouldn’t bomb churches. ISIS turned this church into their headquarters. They were bringing children from Mosul secretly to this church,” said the eyewitness.

Children training in this church were as young as 15.

“They were taking kids to mosque to pledge allegiance to the caliphate. Then they brought them to this church for training, before taking them to the battlefield. Most of them were kids, saying that they were going to heaven. You know, children are not that thoughtful,” said a resident of the town.

Tel Kaif’s great church still bears the scars of the ISIS war. The church still stands, but ISIS has fallen there.