A Saudi father smuggled his two children into Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after he made his way with them to Syria via Turkey, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
Photos showing Abed al-Shayeq, 11, and Ahmed al-Shayeq, 10, posing with their father in front of an ISIS banner have been widely shared on social media, days after their mother resorted to Twitter to voice her concerns.
The mother received a text-message Monday from the father asking her to consider her children "birds in paradise," a phrase used to describe "martyred" children.
One of the sons is shown in the picture holding an AK-47 in one hand, a grenade in the other.
Further, social media accounts affiliated with the ISIS posted that the two boys will "receive the necessary training before being sent to the battlefield."
The father initially told the mother he was taking the two boys on a trip to one of the Gulf countries, when in fact he was making his way to Syria through Turkey, Al Hayat Newspaper reported.
Since the children were in their father's company upon their arrival to Turkey, they would not have been considered kidnapped under Turkish law, Saudi Ambassador Adel Murad in Ankara told Al Arabiya News Channel on Friday.
The man kidnapped the children following a dispute with his wife, whom he is separated from, Al Watan newspaper reported.
As part of measures to stop citizens from joining terrorist groups abroad, Saudi authorities recently issued orders for the incarceration of four men suspected of aiding others in their travel to Syria to join ISIS fighters.