Reports by international institutions and organizations in recent years reveal YPG/PKK's activities in Syria violate international law and human rights.
Organizations such as the UN, UNICEF, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as variety NGOs reported violations.
Forced recruitment of children into terrorist organization
The tactic of recruiting children to join the terrorist organization has been highlighted in the reports.
The reports stated that YPG/PKK has disregarded international law and human rights by forcing girls and boys to join.
It was revealed that PKK members, who try to involve children who have been kidnapped from their families of mostly Kurdish origin, abuse them and force them to fight for the organization.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international legal instruments classify child recruitment as “a crime against humanity”.
A 107-page report by HRW on June 19, 2014, titled, Under Kurdish Rule: Abuses in PYD-run Enclaves of Syria, showed in details all crimes committed by the terrorist organization.
It stressed that a lot of children are in organization's body.
"Despite these commitments, human rights violations in PYD-controlled areas persist," it said.
In a news release May 29, 2018, the World Council of Arameans drew attention to the abductions of young Arameans by the PYD/YPG.
It states that YPG seized 50 people, including children, and sent them to training camps against their will.
According to HRW’s report Aug. 3, 2018, the YPG recruited children from vulnerable families in displacement camps without their parents’ knowledge or even telling them the whereabouts of their children.
It was also reported that in some cases, the terrorist organization paid salaries to the families based on their children’s enlistment.
A UN report June 20, 2019, Children and Armed Conflict, provided information and insights to the series of horrific treatment of children at the hands of the PKK terror group and in areas under its control in Syria.
The report underlined the disturbing increase in arming children in Syria, noting that 313 children were recruited and used by YPG, while over 40% of the children recruited by the YPG were girls, 20 of whom were below the age of 15 and 119 served in combat roles.
Forced migration and displacement of local populations
Forced migration and displacement of local populations is also amongst other crimes that YPG perpetrated in Syria, and many reports document it by the terrorist organization.
Amnesty International’s report in 2015 titled, We had nowhere else to go: forced displacements and demolitions in northern Syria, shed light on abuse of civilian populations -- which also included forced displacement and home demolitions -- living in areas where the PKK was located.
A six-month investigation by the U.S.-based Nation magazine showed the YPG evicted Arabs from their homes at gunpoint starting in 2013 and subsequently had blown up, torched or bulldozed homes and villages.
The investigation also showed that the pace of expulsions seriously picked up after the U.S. began joint operations against the Daesh/ISIS terror group in Syria in mid-2015, as the YPG threatened Arabs with air strikes if they did not leave their villages.
Intimidation and killings of local populations
The intimidation policy of the terrorist organization against those who do not accept its ideology, and even crimes committed for this reason, have been the subject of many reports.
In a statement Sept. 24, 2018, the World Council of Arameans condemned the attack against a local Aramean teacher in a failed murder attempt just because he resisted PYD-doctrinated curriculum in a local school.
Separately, the UN-OCHA’s Situation Report last October indicated that about 60,000 students were not allowed to attend school in areas controlled by YPG, while only in northern Syria’s Qamishli, the rate of school attendance has fallen by 45%.
In his report, submitted to the UN Security Council last November, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that Arabic education has been banned in over 250 schools in the region.
Consequently, Arabic speaking populations had to move to other places to provide their children with education in Arabic.
The report highlighted the passage of school buses in Qamishli bound for Arabic speaking schools was also restricted.
On Aug. 23 2019, the World Council of Arameans said in a statement that the armed PYD/YPG have murdered young Arameans, while beating up elderly teachers, almost to the point of death.
The statement also indicated that the PYD/YPG has intimidated, threatened and fired warning shots at residences of the region’s Orthodox and Catholic bishops.
Radicalization of young minds
The Intercept’s edition of Dec. 28 2018 provided accounts as to how YPG abducted young boys and girls to recruit and train.
A detailed article pointed out that parents avoid sending school age children to school in the regions under YPG rule with the fear of abduction and terrorist indoctrination.
In the light of interviews with witnesses, the article also explained in detail how young people and children have been deceived, and what they were exposed to when trying to escape from the organization.
Foreign terrorist fighters
It is also known that the YPG/PKK has "foreign terrorist fighters" in their lines.
Open source data indicated that more than 400 foreign terror fighters, mainly from different European countries, joined PKK/YPG.
They are also returning to their home-countries, having received radical leftist training and combat experience, as well as radical ideology.
The PYD/YPG’s contribution to the terrorist ideology and incitement to terrorism have been well established by the independent institutions, such as the U.K.-based The Henry Jackson Society.
Kyle Orton’s publication titled The Forgotten Foreign Fighters: the PKK in Syria, provided riveting accounts as to how YPG recruits foreign terrorist fighters.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev
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