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Kurdish militias forcibly recruited 19 children in Syria since November

US forces and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) patrol the Kurdish-held town of Al-Darbasiyah in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey on November 4, 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]
US forces and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) patrol the Kurdish-held town of Al-Darbasiyah in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey on 4 November 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]

Kurdish militias in Syria have reportedly kidnapped and recruited 19 children since the beginning of November, maintaining its practice of the forced recruitment of child soldiers.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) abducted at least 19 children – who include 10 girls – since early November. They have also reportedly been forbidden from seeing their families.

The forced recruitment of children has long been a practice employed by the Kurdish militias in Syria, which the United States, United Nations, and human rights groups have acknowledged.

The practice is one of many which has, over the years, ignited rising concerns over the YPG's and SDF's human rights records, with numerous reports also showing their shooting into crowds of protestors, the torture of activists, and abuse of ethnic Arabs in the territories under their control.

Families of kidnapped children forced into recruitment by the militias are reportedly threatened by them to prevent the family members from speaking to human rights groups and UN organisations.

The report of the 19 abducted minors comes a month after around 30 parents of other recruited children staged a protest in front of the UN's headquarters in the city of Qamishli in north-east Syria.

READ: Assessing the threat that Syria's Kurds pose to Turkey and the US

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Middle EastNewsSyria
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