A 13-year-old French boy, identified as Abu Bakr al-Faransi, has been named the youngest person killed in action fighting for ISIS.
Al-Faransi was killed two months ago, reported Radio France International. The boy and his family were from Strasbourg in eastern France before they went to Syria last spring.
He was killed defending a frontier post against the Syrian army in Homs.
“Two of his brothers, one of whom recently appeared in an IS propaganda video, are also reported to have been killed,” RFI said in the report.
A source with ISIS, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said the terrorist organization welcomed the boy’s “martyrdom.”
Photos that purport to show the teenaged boy include him smiling and holding what appears to be an M-16 rifle.
Anthony Glees, who is the head of the Center for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, told MailOnline: “The ‘al Faransi’ moniker shows that like ‘al Britanni,’ IS want to rub it in for all of us in Europe that our young people continue to be drawn to them, as martyrs from the IS viewpoint, or like rabbits to car headlights from ours.
“This chap got killed, that’s the bottom line. What an appalling waste of a young life,” he added. “The government’s riposte should be that if IS have to rely on young kids to fight for them, they’re really beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel. It also shows that young Muslims are targets of IS recruitment, whether from Bethnal Green or from a French banlieu.”
It was also reported that three teenaged girls from London also arrived in the Syrian ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. An activist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, posted on Twitter that the girls are currently at a training camp of sorts. They left the U.K. a month ago.
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces on Tuesday retook a town next to the terrorist-held city of Tikrit as they pressed their offensive against ISIS extremists, two military officials said.
— Jean Pierre Duthion (@halona) March 10, 2015
The Iraqi forces entered Alam early in the morning and hours later gained full control of the town adjacent to Tikrit, the two Iraqi officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
The battle for Saddam Hussein’s hometown is a key test for the Iraqi forces as they struggle to win back some of the ISIS’s biggest strongholds in Iraq.
Ahmed al-Karim, the Salahuddin provincial council chief, told The Associated Press that progress had been slow due to roadside bombs and sniper attacks.
Tikrit, Salahuddin’s provincial capital that lies about 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, fell to the ISIS last summer, along with Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and other areas in the country’s Sunni heartland.
The offensive to wrest Tikrit from ISIS has received significant assistance from Iranian military advisers who are guiding Iraq’s Shiite militias on the battlefield. U.S.-led coalition forces have said they are not providing aerial support for this particular mission because the Iraqis have not requested it.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.