Boy In ISIS Propaganda Video Claims To Be An American Soldier's Son

The boy speaks from Raqqa the ISIL stronghold under assault from Syrian opposition forces. REUTERS  Zohra Bensemra  File

He claims to be living in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where US -backed forces are now engaged in a pitched battle with an estimated 2,000 ISIS militants holed up in the group's last major stronghold.

But analysts say this is the first time a supposedly American child was used in a propaganda video, though, as Newsweek reports, a British child has been featured in previous videos, including one showing him shooting a kalashnikov.

USA nationals have appeared in ISIS's propaganda videos before but this appears to be the first time that the group has put an American child in front of the camera.

In June, U.S. -backed Kurdish and Arab forces launched an offensive to recapture Raqqa, ISIS' de-facto capital city since the summer of 2014.

He stated that his name is Yusuf and that he arrived in Syria two years ago from the United States with his mother.

Islamic State's slick propaganda videos have long included children, but its latest offering purports to show something different: an American child and supposed son of a USA soldier threatening President Trump.

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In the video, the boy reportedly says he left the US two years ago to live in Syria.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert strongly condemned the footage. "It is sick, it is depraved and it is another example of just how wrong and how evil ISIS is".

The U.N. estimates that some 20,000 civilians are still trapped in ISIS-controlled Raqqa, a figure which likely includes the family of some ISIS family members.

But ISIS is losing. CBS said it noticed more children in videos and photos in recent months from battlefields it monitors in western Iraq.

That the boy's father was an American soldier, the Beast notes, is significant.

While thousands of recruits joined ISIS from Europe, a much lower number, in the low hundreds, are thought to have travelled from the United States. "We have seen ISIS use children the age of some of our own children here as suicide bombers, as homicide bombers".

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