Saddam's Lion Cubs (Iraq)

Country: Iraq
Details of Formation: The Lion Cubs were created by the government in the 1990s; sources differ whether they started in 1994, 1996 or 1997. In 1997, they held their first annual training camp for members.
Details of Termination: The date coded is the date of the fall of Baghdad in April 2003.
Purpose: The main purpose of Saddam’s Lion Cubs was to prepare youth to become fighters in the Saddam Fedayeen. Experts suggest their main function was to ensure the protection of the president and his family. There is no evidence of Lion Cubs being active outside of training camps.
Organisation: The group was run by Uday, Saddam Hussein’s son.
Weapons and Training: Members regularly received military training. This included learning to fire AK-47 rifles.
Size: In 1997, 8,000 adolescents participated in training camps. In 2001 and 2002, 30,000 youths reportedly participated in the training.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: --
Other Information: The best of the Cubs were asked to join the Fedayeen Saddam. There is no evidence that the group was ever actively used in combat. The main activity of members was to participate in regular training camps. Members were indoctrinated to adulate Saddam Hussein. The group was also known as Ashbal Saddam.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD