Syrian Kurds in Qamishli protest recruitment of teenage girls by YPG/PKK

On Sunday, nearly 30 people gathered outside a UN building in the city of Qamishli to demand action after a number of girls were reported to have been recruited into fighting, some of them allegedly by force. The protesters carried banners saying: “Bring back our children” and “Child recruitment sows panic in the heart of mothers.”

SYRIAN KURDS IN QAMISHLI PROTEST RECRUITMENT OF TEENAGE GIRLS BY YPG/PKK

Kurdish protesters in northeastern Syria demonstrated outside UN offices on Sunday against what they say is the continued recruitment of teenage girls for combat, an AFP correspondent reported.

A decade of war in Syria has seen all parties to the conflict recruit minors, both boys and girls.

A report published by the United Nations in May said that more than 400 children were recruited between July 2018 and June 2020 by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) — the Syrian branch of bloody-minded PKK terror group –, and its affiliates in northeastern Syria.

On Sunday, dozens of people gathered outside a UN building in the city of Qamishli to demand action after a number of girls were reported to have been recruited into fighting, some of them allegedly by force.

The protesters carried banners saying: “Bring back our children” and “Child recruitment sows panic in the heart of mothers.”

Mohammad Sharif said his 16-year-old daughter had been missing for almost a week.

“I want my daughter to come back home,” he told local reporters, adding that he believes she could be with the Women’s Protections Units (YPJ), sister organisation of the YPG/PKK.

Balqis Hussein, 45, said her daughter had been missing for eight days.

She said she didn’t know if her child had been abducted by the or joined voluntarily. She emphasized it shouldn’t matter as minors cannot make such big decisions for themselves, but should be in school instead.

“We fear for the future of our children, they should not be recruited or made to hold weapons,” she said.

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