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Kurdish militia in Syria forcibly recruited over 200 children in 2023, UN report reveals

June 13, 2024 at 9:01 pm

US forces provide military training to members of the YPG/SDF, which Turkiye consider as an extension of PKK in Syria, in the Qamisli district in the Al-Hasakah province, Syria on August 16, 2023 [Hedil Amir – Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian Kurdish militia the People’s Protection Units (YPG) forcibly recruited over 200 children into its ranks last year, the United Nations has revealed.

According to a UN report, which has not yet been published but was reviewed by Turkiye’s Anadolu Agency, the YPG militant group and its affiliated forces forcibly recruited 231 children into their armed ranks in 2023.

The report also found that the Syrian Kurdish group continued to detain over 800 children by the end of last year under the claim that they were associated with other armed groups.

In the document, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, also highlighted the alarming number of violations against children in Syria overall, and called for compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

The UN chief urged for the unconditional and immediate release of all children from forced recruitment and detention, much of which the Kurdish militias in Syria have been responsible for throughout the ongoing 13-year-long conflict. Guterres also stressed that attacks on schools and hospitals must cease and must no longer be used for military purposes by various groups.

The report and its revelations on the YPG’s ongoing use of child recruitment and kidnapping comes shortly after the UN signed an action plan with a leading Syrian rebel coalition – the Syrian National Army (SNA) – this month to tackle and prevent child recruitment within its own ranks, achieving some advancement among armed groups in the ongoing conflict.

READ: 3 children kidnapped by YPG in Syria:opposition says