Middle East

YPG/PKK terror group kidnapped Syrian brothers, ages 9 and 10, to join terrorist ranks

Terror group usually takes children it kidnapped or detained to PKK terror base in northern Iraq, say local sources

Esref Musa and Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu   | 09.06.2022
YPG/PKK terror group kidnapped Syrian brothers, ages 9 and 10, to join terrorist ranks FILE PHOTO


Near northern Syria, a region where YPG/PKK terror group has large areas of control and oppresses local populations, this week the group kidnapped two brothers, ages 9 and 10, to join its armed ranks.

Ibrahim, just 9 years old, Muhammed Sevki Yusuf, 10, – both born in Afrin, northern Syria – were kidnapped last Sunday by YPG/PKK terrorists in the city center of Aleppo, some 42 kilometers (26 miles) away, local sources said.

The terror group usually takes the children it kidnapped or detained to terror camps for armed training. The use of children as armed combatants is expressly forbidden under international humanitarian law and is defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.

YPG/PKK terrorists also do not allow forcibly recruited children to contact their families.

‘Abductions of children under age 10 by terrorist YPG/PKK on the rise’

Abdulaziz Temmo, the head of Syria’s Independent Kurdish Association, told Anadolu Agency that the abduction of children under age 10 by YPG/PKK terrorists has risen over the last six months.

By kidnapping them, the terror group aims to tear the children away from their schools, families, and social life, he said.

“These children are taken to Mount Qandil (northern Iraq). Since their ties with their families were severed at an early age, their new family became the terror group. Cases of 10-year-olds being kidnapped started to increase. We have always condemned this,” said Temmo.

Qandil is the base of PKK terror group, while the YPG/PKK is the group’s Syrian branch.

While recognizing the PKK as a terror group, some Western countries have refused to recognize its link to the YPG/PKK, but its child recruits being taken from northern Syria to the PKK base in northern Iraq is yet another piece of evidence that the two terror groups are in fact the same.

This February, YPG/PKK terrorists kidnapped four children, age 14-16, from the Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) region, Syria, an area the terror group occupies.

This March, a 14-year-old was kidnapped by YPG/PKK terrorists, and two girls, ages 16 and 17, were kidnapped by the terror group from Aleppo, adjacent to northern Syria.

The terror group also kidnapped four children from Aleppo in April, according to local sources.

YPG/PKK terror group keeps recruiting, using children in Syria

Since 2016, Türkiye has launched several military operations across its border to free northern Syria from YPG/PKK terror group's domination, secure the border region, and make the area safe for locals.

After suffering heavy losses from these Turkish counter-terrorist operations, including similar ones into northern Iraq, YPG/PKK terror group is forcing minors to serve in combat zones, in flagrant violation of both the laws of war and human rights agreements.

The terror group declared mobilization in response to Turkish counter-terrorist cross-border operations, and it uses its proxies in Syria to recruit children.

The terror group's practice of abducting children and pushing them into combat zones is nothing new, as seen in the US State Department’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report.

According to the report, YPG/PKK terror group forcibly recruited girls as young as 12 from refugee camps located in northwestern Syria.

Moreover, a January 2020 UN human rights office (OHCHR) report said its findings suggest YPG/PKK is using children as fighters in Syria.

In July 2019, Virginia Gamba, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, signed an action plan with the SDF – the label YPG/PKK terror group uses in Syria – to end and prevent the recruitment and use of minors under 18, but the terror group has violated the plan.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

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