UN report shows dozens of children forcibly recruited by PKK terrorists

UN report shows dozens of children forcibly recruited by PKK terrorists

An upcoming United Nations report indicates the practice of forced recruitment of children is still prevalent in the PKK terrorist group. Anadolu Agency (AA) on Wednesday published parts of the “Children and Armed Conflict” report containing 2023 data on the issue.

The report shows PKK’s Syrian wing, the YPG, and other entities affiliated with the terrorist group forcibly recruited 231 children last year. The PKK/YPG also kept more than 800 children, including foreign nationals, in detention by the end of 2023 in Syria on the grounds that they were “linked” to armed groups. About 29,000 children are already being held in camps run by the PKK/YPG in Syria’s northeast, where families of Daesh terrorist group members have been in detention for years.

The PKK/YPG and associated groups killed or maimed eight children in 2023, the report says. It also shows that terrorists used 31 schools and hospitals for their armed activities.

The report includes quotes by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who expressed concerns about a high number of rights violations targeting children in Syria and called for compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights laws. He called upon unconditional, immediate release of all children and attacks on schools and hospitals to be halted. Guterres also expressed concerns about violence affecting women and children in camps in northeastern Syria.

The PPK/YPG’s use of child soldiers has been repeatedly documented and criticized by international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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.

In September 2019, a group of women started a sit-in strike in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakır over PKK’s recruitment of children, including minors. They sought the return of their children brainwashed into joining the group with the assistance of a political party. Their protest outside the Diyarbakır offices of that party continues to this day while some among their children managed to flee the group and turned themselves into Turkish authorities.

Taking advantage of the power vacuum created by the Syrian civil war in 2011, the PKK/YPG has since 2015 occupied several Syrian provinces, including Arab-majority Deir el-Zour, a resource-rich region bordering Iraq, bisected by the Euphrates River and home to dozens of tribal communities.

The terrorist group has forced many locals to migrate, bringing in its militants to change the regional demographic structure, conducting arbitrary arrests, kidnapping children of local tribes for forced recruitment and assassinating tribe leaders to yoke local groups.

It has also seized the region’s oil wells – Syria’s largest – and smuggles oil to the Syrian regime, despite U.S. sanctions, to generate revenue for its activities.

Since then, U.S. forces in Syria have trained thousands of PKK/YPG terrorists in their military bases in the region under the pretext of combating Daesh terrorism. It has also provided PKK/YPG terrorists with huge amounts of weapons and combat equipment.

Türkiye has launched three major cross-border operations into Syria since 2016 to liberate regions occupied by terrorist groups and now controls some territories in the north.

Source » dailysabah.com