In a renewed incident of child abduction, the Syrian wing of the PKK, the YPG, has kidnapped two Syrian brothers to recruit them into their ranks, according to local sources.
Ibrahim, just 9 years old, Muhammed Sevki Yusuf, 10, both born in Afrin, northern Syria, were kidnapped last Sunday by YPG terrorists in the city center of Aleppo, some 42 kilometers (26 miles) away, local sources told Anadolu Agency ( AA).
The terrorist group usually takes the children it kidnapped or detained to terrorism 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 terrorists also do not allow forcibly recruited children to contact their families.
Abdulaziz Temmo, the head of Syria’s Independent Kurdish Association, told AA that the abduction of children under age 10 by YPG terrorists has risen over the last six months.
By kidnapping them, the terrorist 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, the terrorist group became their new family. Cases of 10-year-olds being kidnapped started to increase. We have always condemned this,” said Temmo.
Qandil is the base of the PKK terrorist group.
While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, some Western countries have refused to recognize its link to the YPG, 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 terrorists kidnapped four children, aged 14-16, from the Ain al-Arab (Kobani) region, Syria, an area the terrorist group occupies.
In March, a 14-year-old was kidnapped by YPG terrorists, and two girls, ages 16 and 17, were kidnapped from Aleppo, adjacent to northern Syria.
The terrorist group also kidnapped four children from Aleppo in April, according to local sources.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched several military operations across its border to free northern Syria from YPG terror group’s domination, secure the border region, and make the area safe for locals.
After suffering heavy losses from these Turkish counterterrorism operations, including similar ones into northern Iraq, the YPG is forcing minors to serve in combat zones, in flagrant violation of both the laws of the war and human rights agreements.
The terror group declared mobilization in response to Turkish counterterrorism 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, the YPG terrorist 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 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 terrorist group uses in Syria – to end and prevent the recruitment and use of minors under 18, but the terrorist group has violated the plan.