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Official: US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces continue to child soldiers 

November 3, 2022 at 11:35 am

A young Syrian fighter holding a weapon on December 16, 2016 [BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images]

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing to recruit child soldiers to their ranks in Aleppo, northern Syria, a Kurdish official has said.

Anadolu reported Redur Al-Ahmad, a spokesman for the League of Independent Kurds, as saying that on 10 October “the SDF terrorists kidnapped the 15-year-old child S.H.A. in the Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood of Aleppo and recruited him into their ranks.”

He added that the forces also recruited six children in October, after forcibly removing them from their families, noting that the children are not allowed to communicate with their families after being taken to training camps.

In June 2019, the SDF signed a joint action plan with the UN to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children under the age of 18 in the areas under their control. However, a report issued by the UN on Children and Armed Conflict in July said the group has recruited 221 child soldiers in 2021.

The SDF is a key US ally in the battle against Daesh.

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