Iraqi teenager escorted in Dohuk reform center
© REUTERS/ Azad Lashkar
A facility in Iraq is providing new hope to 54 teenagers, who are suspected of aiding the terror group Daesh (also known as ISIL).

The aim of the reform center, based in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk, aims to deradicalize youths and women who have helped Daesh, an exclusive Reuters report has revealed. The hope is that through counseling and therapy, the facility will prevent the terror group from brainwashing a new generation of young people and stop them from becoming suicide bombers. The reform center also hopes to tease out intelligence on the terror group.

"We encourage the teenagers and women to choose life and not death," Zaki Saleh Moussa, head of the facility in northern Iraq said in a recent interview with Reuters.

One Iraqi teenager, Laith Abbas, who is currently at the facility, explains how he clutched an assault rifle while manning a Daesh checkpoint; however, he also claims that he was forced into joining the terrorist group by his family.

"My family was in a feud with another one and when Daesh came, my uncle and cousin forced me to join, they said they would give them my whereabouts and let them kill me if I refused to join," he said.

​Daesh wanted Laith to become a suicide bomber, he tried to quit after 15 days, but when the terror group found out, they tortured him with a stick for three days.

According to sources at the reform center, most of the young people who are receiving treatment say they were forced into joining the terrorist organization. However according to Reuters, other experts doubt that they were all forced to join, and believe many of the teenagers and women made a conscious and willing decision to be part of Daesh.

The Iraqi Army, federal police, Special Forces and Shi'ite militias have been pushing deeper into the Daesh stronghold and have driven the terror group out of the eastern half of the city of Mosul, as well as the towns and villages around it. However the western half of Mosul is still under Daesh control, but once the city falls the Iraqi authorities fear that the group will go underground, as a result the reform center and other deradicalization programs are seen as a positive tool to reduce further security threats.