The Democratic Union Party (PYD) continues to forcibly recruit children to war in northern Syria. Activists have recently published photos showing children dressed in military uniform and carrying weapons with badges bearing the insignia of the PYD on their left arm.
Recruitment of children is a war crime under international law and international humanitarian law.
The IRT news network published photos of child soldiers in the ranks of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, an armed group that is dominated by the PYD.
Vice-president of the Syrian Coalition Abdul Hakim Bashar has accused the PYD and its affiliated militias of carrying out terrorist acts, including “the abduction and recruitment of children.” He called for holding these militias accountable for the war crimes they are committing in Syria.
Militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) continue to engage in repressive practices against political dissidents and activists in northern Syria. PYD militias have detained about 42 members of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) in the areas under their control over the past two days.
Bashar said that these practices violate the values of democracy and freedom and are aimed at silencing all dissident voices.
Last week, the PYD militias raided the offices of the Kurdish National Council in the towns of Qamishli and Afrin and set them on fire. They also detained many of its members.
Bashar said that the PYD militias assaulted dozens of women and beat them with clubs while they were celebrating the International Women’s Day and prevented such celebrations in all areas under their control, except those organized by the militias themselves.
Human Rights Watch in mid-2015 said that the PYD is still not meeting its commitment to demobilize child soldiers and to stop using boys and girls under 18 in combat, adding that many of these child soldiers were killed in combat. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)