YPG/PKK terrorists continue to recruit children in NE Syria
The PKK's Syrian offshoot YPG terrorists continue to forcibly recruit children in areas under its control in northeast Syria, sources told Anadolu Agency (AA) Wednesday.
YPG/PKK terrorists detained three more 15-year-old girls — Hediyye Abdurrahim Anter, Evin Jalal Halil and Ayana Idris Ibrahim — in Amuda in Hassakeh province on Nov. 21 to forcibly recruit them as "child fighters."
The terror group detained two children, aged 13 and 16, in early August. And two children aged 16 and 13 were kidnapped Aug. 23.
The YPG/PKK is taking the children to its so-called training camps in Hassakeh.
The terrorist group's use of children as fighters and its educating them for military purposes has repeatedly been documented in U.N. reports.
A U.N. report, "Children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic," released May 18, showed that the YPG/PKK used more than 400 children between July 2018 and June 2020.
Though the PKK/YPG initially signed a pledge with Geneva Call – a Swiss humanitarian organization that works to "protect civilians in armed conflict" – to stop the use of child soldiers in 2014, its use of child soldiers has only increased since then.
Previously, the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General’s (DoD-OIG) Aug. 4 report last year on Command Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) noted that in 2019 the YPG "recruited children into their ranks from displacement camps in northeastern Syria." The report U.S. report stated that each year since 2014 the "Kurdish entities partnered with the U.S." made promises to end the use of child soldiers, but that each year the practice continues.
The U.S. has primarily partnered with the YPG in northern Syria in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group. Turkey strongly opposes the YPG's presence in northern Syria, which has been a major sticking point in strained Ankara-Washington relations. The U.S. has provided military training and thousands of truckloads of weaponry to the YPG, despite its NATO ally's security concerns.
Local people living in areas held by the YPG have long suffered from its atrocities, as the terrorist organization has a notorious record of human rights abuses, ranging from kidnappings, recruitment of child soldiers, torture, ethnic cleansing and forced displacement.
Since its foundation, the PKK has forcibly taken at least one child from families who do not "pay taxes" in support of the group. To fill its ranks, the PKK has continuously raided villages and kidnapped young adults from the ages of 15 to 20 through violent means. In addition to forced conscription, the PKK also conducts propaganda campaigns that mainly target university students. The terrorist group's approach has remained largely consistent, according to statements by captured or surrendered members of the organization.