January 29, 2015
Former Iraqi army Commander Abass al-Assadi fled to Norway and became a citizen in 1991 following the popular revolution against Saddam Hussein. In 2013 he returned to Syria with his daughter and two sons, to fight with the Assad regime and “protect Shiite shrines.”His daughter was killed in an artillery strike.
After the call to jihad by the Shiite spiritual leader Ali al-Sistani in 2014, Abass returned with his family to Iraq to fight ISIS. His sons began training with the Shiite militia. The video shows one of them, 14 year-old Hussein, with his father in a training camp in western Karbala. Abass and other Iranian and Iraqi Shiite officers are teaching Iraqi volunteers urban warfare and combat drills. Hussein calls all young European Shiite Muslims to join the fight against the "Islamic State".
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abbas al-Assadi
01:58 – 03:45
I was part of the opposition against Saddam Hussein. I participated in the 1991 uprising. After that, I moved to Saudi Arabia and from there to Norway. I obtained the Norwegian citizenship, and I came here after I heard the call of the marjaeia [Ayatollah Ali Sistani] to participate in jihad and obtain material benefit… no, sorry I meant gains in the afterword. This will grant us honor in life and after death and strengthen our sense of jihad. God willing, we shall all be soldiers who serve the marjaeia and the Iraqi people.
Q: As you know, the European Union has imposed sanctions on Europeans of foreign origins who conspire with ISIS. Do you not fear that this measure will also affect the members of the Popular Crowd [Shiite militia loyal to Ayatollah Ali Sistani]?
No, the Popular Crowd has nothing to do with Europe. I am fulfilling the call of the marjaeia, which represents me. European countries would be happy that I am fighting against ISIS. If they have an agreement with ISIS, that would be something else. We came to fulfil the call of the marjaeia and exterminate ISIS members wherever they were in Iraq. I am not concerned with any sanctions.
My children and I have Iraqi citizenship and I am not ashamed of being Iraqi. I am originally Iraqi and I shall remain Iraqi.
Q: What is your name?
Abbas al-Assad; Abu Ali.
Q: Abbas, you have brought your son from Norway.
He would gain experience and learn in the future… Q: Are you not scared for his safety?
I am not scared for his, mine or my family’s safety… All of Iraq is in the same situation. I am not worried about individuals. Everybody, including my family, would be sacrificed for the sake of the Marjaia [spiritual leader] and the honorable Iraqi people.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Hussein Abbas al-Assadi, Child soldier
Q: What is your name, dear?
Q: Why are you here?
I am practicing jihad.
Q: what do you think about Norway and Iraq?
They are nice, but Iraq is better.
Q: Are you not afraid of ISIS?
Father: We have just come here after finishing a battle. It was fulfilment of the marjaeia’s call. I have two other children. My daughter was martyred in Syria, when ISIS bombarded the town of Nubbul.
Q (addressed to boy): Are you willing to take part in a battle?
Boy: I want to fulfill the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader].
[Unseen man]: …and to protect the Iraqi people. Boy: and to protect the Iraqi people.
Q: Are you not scared of death?
Q: You are Norwegian and had a comfortable life [in Norway], where there is a good economy and safety. You came to Iraq, where there are plenty of ISIS members. Are you not scared of this?
Boy: No. Q: Why?
Boy: I am fulfilling the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader].
[Unseen man]: … and you have resolution. Boy: … I have courage.
Q: What would you say to your friends in Europe? How did you find the situation? Is there safety? Terrorism? Were you afraid? How did people welcome you?
(Boy smiles and remains quiet) Q: Talk to me…
Father: Tell him, my son, that we are here among our family and people, and the Iraqi people are all our family.
Q: Do not pay attention to the camera. Talk to me.
Boy: It was better that we came here to be our people. The Iraqi people are our family.
Q:Do you advise others in Europe to come and fight against ISIS?
Boy: They should fight against ISIS and defend the holy shrines and protect their people.
Q: Did you quit school?
Q: What is your name?
Boy: Hussein Abbas Assadi.
06:08 – 06:39
Boy: I want to fulfill the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader] and protect the holy shrines.
Q: You seem so young. Why did you come here?
Boy: I came with my father.
Q: Are you not afraid of ISIS?
Boy: No, I am not.
Q: Have you taken part in battles?
Boy: Yes, in Jaruf al-Sakhr and Fadlia and Buhairat.
Q: You went there?
Boy: Yes, I did.
Q: What do you think about the fighting?
(Boy smiles) Q: What do you say to young men of your age in Europe?
Boy: They should come to fight against ISIS.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abu Khaled, officer in Popular Crowd
06:58 – 07:14
Today, he will head to the firing practice field to train using live ammunition. This is in preparation for a future duty, the liberation of the remaining occupied areas of Salahuddine.
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Jaafar, Shiite cleric
07:26 – 08:02
These young mujahidin they came to fulfill the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader] led by ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani. God willing, the students of the hawza (institute for cleric formation) shall be with them on the battle fronts. We will be at the barricades before them. We will support their religious morale. We also give them religious lessons.