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Turkey’s involvement in recruiting children from the areas it occupies in northern Syria

The armed factions loyal to Turkey recruited 1,316 children during the period from 2014 to 2019 

Report | Times Of Sudan

Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights released a report entitled “Turkey’s involvement in the recruitment of children from the areas it occupies in northern Syria”.

The report emphasized that the international community’s repeated failure to act effectively to protect civilians in Syria has encouraged the pro-Turkish armed factions to commit systematic war crimes and other violations of international law, including child recruitment.

The report indicated that these militias use complex patterns to forcibly recruit children and throw them into hostilities in the various areas they control in northern Syria, which has resulted in the death and injury of hundreds of them, as children are used on the battlefronts as direct fighters or in security services such as searches. At the border points or logistical support related to military operations, in addition to working to serve older fighters, not to mention carrying out espionage activities. This phenomenon was fueled by a set of social factors, including a lack of funds and a high level of lack of awareness due to lack of education, which facilitated recruitment These children are based on ideology.

The report indicated that the Turkish government was directly involved in the recruitment of children to fight in northeastern Syria, not only that, but also the transfer and use of these children to fight in Libya to support the Government of National Accord, Turkey’s political ally, by using security companies such as Sadat International Company for Defense Consulting, which works to recruit Children under the age of 18 to take part in armed hostilities, especially in Libya.

For his part, Ayman Aqil, head of the Maat Foundation, said that the armed factions loyal to Turkey in northeastern Syria were involved in the recruitment of about 1,316 children during the period from 2014 to 2019, according to the UN reports and the follow-up of Maat Foundation, which violates all international conventions and treaties that prohibit the recruitment Children in armed conflict and their related actions. Aqeel explained that the Turkish authorities sent about 380 children after their recruitment by the pro-government factions in northern Syria to fight in the various conflict areas involved in it, especially Libya, which led to the death of about 25 of them.

The Turkish government ignores international conventions that prohibit child recruitment

Muhammad Mukhtar

For his part, Muhammad Mukhtar, a researcher at the Maat Foundation, said that the Turkish government, despite its accession to most of the international conventions that prohibit the recruitment of children under eighteen, whether directly or indirectly, ignores these international agreements and international agreements and UN resolutions, and provides full support to the armed factions affiliated with it. In north-eastern Syria, in order to recruit children to participate in armed conflicts.

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