Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says that Islamic State (IS) has been training thousands of children from about 100 countries to fight Iraqi security forces.
In a press conference on Monday, Abadi said around 40 foreign suicide bombers enter Iraq each month and he called on countries in the region to curb the flow of foreign fighters.
Suicide bombers are one of the deadliest weapons of the militants, who deploy them in explosives-packed vehicles to breach Iraqi defenses and cause massive civilian casualties in crowded areas, says Iraqi PM.
“An average of 40 suicide bombers enter Iraq per month,” Abadi said in televised remarks.
“IS militants train children and send them to the frontlines to scare opposition forces. They train children from about 100 countries around the world,” said Abadi.
He called on the United Nations to recognise the use of children by IS as war crimes.
“The number of foreign fighters in Iraq now exceeds the number of Iraqis in IS,” Abadi said, adding that there are suicide bombers “from every country” in the region.
“There is a problem to be addressed by these countries,” Abadi said.
“It is up to others to stop these terrorists from coming to our country, and to stop this machine of killing and destruction and terrorism.”
IS launched a brutally effective offensive last June that overran a third of Iraq, including swathes of its border with Syria where the group also holds significant territory, making it easy for fighters to enter the country.