Syria's Kurdish militia 'still using child soldiers'

The Kurdish armed group that controls territory in northern Syria is not meeting its commitment to demobilise child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

Syria’s main Kurdish militia is still violating the ban on child soldiers, despite some progress to stop using boys and girls under the age of 18, an international human rights group said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch compiled a list of 59 children – 10 of them under 15 – who were recruited by or volunteered for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, YPG and its women’s branch, YPJ since July 2014.

Some children under 18 with those forces, based on public sources, apparently died in combat in June 2015, the rights group added.

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#children, #human-rights-watch, #islamic-state-group, #kurdish-peoples-protection-units, #ypg

Governor: PKK has at least 3,000 child recruits

The terrorist organization, the PKK, recruited 3,000 children in the past six months in southeastern Turkey, announced Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük.

Küçük said in a call-in at Ülke TV the previous day that the figure included 400 from Suruç, a district of the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa on the Turkish-Syrian border. “As far as we know, the PKK aims to have at least one child from every household as a recruit in its ranks,” he said, referring to intelligence sources.

He said the PKK’s efforts contradicted the anticipation that the terrorist organization would lay down its arms. “They continuously abduct children. So, don’t expect them to give up arms,” he said. Earlier this year, the PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan had urged the group to consider laying down arms in light of the reconciliation process initiated by the government to put an end to the terrorist organization’s bloody campaign.

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#children, #pkk, #soldiars

#Syria Child Wounded in Harasta Damasus Suburbs https…

#Syria, Child Wounded in Harasta, Damasus Suburbs


Syrian Conflict Isn’t Just A Civil War But…

Syrian Conflict Isn’t Just A Civil War, But ‘A War On Childhood’

Four years of brutal sectarian war in Syria has devastated the lives of nearly 10 million people.

But one group among them stands out: the children of Syria.

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ISIS youth recruitment camps flourish in Al Raqqa…

ISIS youth recruitment camps flourish in Al-Raqqa

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has recently stepped up its youth recruitment program, a sort of boot camp for young boys, in which they’re taught combat skills. The Al-Qaeda splinter group persuades parents to send their kids in exchange for sums of money it offers, taking advantage of their need, in the midst of dire living conditions and widespread poverty in the areas under its control.

However, not all youth recruitment carried out by ISIS  is voluntary. In some cases, young boys were arbitrarily taken to boot camps without parental consent, which had some describe the process as “kidnappings”. In Al-Raqqa’s Qouweider region, 13-year-old Hamadi Al-Ibrahim went missing on May 14, his family frantically searched for him all over the province, leaving no stone unturned, until they found him in ISIS’s Al-Sherkrak Camp.

When the boy’s parents went to the camp to inquire about the whereabouts of their son, the ISIS emir bluntly denied knowing anything about him and refused to acknowledge his presence among the fighters. However, after the parents paid the Emir a sizable amount of money as a bribe, he came around admitting that Hamadi is indeed receiving training at the camp after he had been given the title “Abu Mouhammad Al-Raqqawi”.

After  Hamadi returned to his home, he was questioned by his family regarding the way through which he had come to join ISIS, Hamadi candidly said that his friends had convinced him to accompany them to ISIS camps in exchange for certain amounts of money that are usually granted to minors in order to lure them to join the camps. According to our sources, the kids had been recruited through the “tent advocacy” ceremonies, usually held by the organization in Al-Raqqa province, through which ISIS members tend to preach their ideology and attempt to attract youngsters and thus boost the organization with new blood.

The recruitment camps have been established by ISIS, as an attempt to brainwash the minors and promote extremism among the young generations in order to create an army of loyal followers that would subsequently be appointed as checkpoint guards, whose main objective is to prevent potential attacks conducted by anti-ISIS battalions.

There are several well-known ISIS youth training camps across Al-Raqqa province:

1-Al-Zarqawi Camp

2-Osama Bin Laden Camp

3-Al-Sharea’I Camp for kids under the age of 16

4-Al-Sherkrak Camp

5-Al-Talaea Camp

#children, #isis, #raqqa, #recruitment