GENEVA - An estimated 670,000 children in Syria are being deprived of education after Islamic State forces ordered schools closed to change the curriculum, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.
Islamic State, an offshoot of al-Qaida which has recruited foreign fighters, has seized land in Syria and Iraq, imposing its strict reading of Islamic law.
In November it shut schools in areas it controls in eastern Syria pending a religious revision of the curriculum. . The group stands accused of massacres, sexually enslaving women and girls and recruiting children as fighters.
"In December there was a decree of the Islamic State ordering the stoppage of education in areas under its control," UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac told a news briefing.
"Islamic State said that the curriculum needed to be reshaped or re-conceived."