According to the Arabic site of the rahnam news agency, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their latest criminal act are kidnapping and recruiting “child soldiers” from Syrian Kurdish refugees in the northeastern region of Syria. The group known as “Rebellious Youths”, affiliated with QSD, kidnaps children and transports them to military camps, using them as child soldiers.
Mother of a victim of a youth gang: They first held a closed meeting to recruit my son and then we didn’t hear from him for 26 months. Our appeal to regional and international organizations was useless.
According to statistics, only in 2022, at least 49 children have been attracted to the group of rebellious youths under the cover of cultural events such as festivals.
Reza Al-Basha, Syrian Field Correspondent: This group uses three methods of holding cultural events, kidnapping and offering significant financial promises to attract children into its military structure.
Referring to the follow-up of the situation of these children through their families, Reza Al-Basha, a field reporter, says: Their families have confirmed that their children were recruited in different ways. Perhaps the most dangerous way to attract children is that parents who trust them and send their children to cultural centers to participate in courses such as music, poetry, design, art and the like. But Children are gradually recruited through closed meetings and secret gatherings.
He continued: In the first stage, the recruitment process is carried out by some leaders of QSD in these cultural centers. In the second stage, some leaders of the rebel youth organization recruit children. they They pretend that these children are learning military training and working with weapons inside the camps. But in fact, we are faced with the abuse of cultural centers and cultural and artistic activities in order to brainwash children with the aim of transferring children from childhood to carrying weapons and fighting.
Pasha added: The second method is direct kidnapping. This direct kidnapping was carried out by one of the activists and employees of the United Nations. It has been confirmed in the region that it happens most of the time in villages and parts located on the outskirts of the city. They come with frosted cars and smoked glass so you can’t see what’s inside the car. Masked people watch one of the houses until the desired child comes out, then they kidnap him, put him in a car and take him somewhere far away or to camps.
The third method, of course, is to abuse the needs of the people in the shadow of the bad economic situation, as well as the needs of children who face the temptation of salaries of 400 to 500 thousand Syrian pounds due to the bad economic reality. This is an opportunity for a child who feels that he has begun to build his personality somewhere, which is considered the third method of attracting children. Of course, during the first 3 months of recruiting children, parents are not allowed to get any information about their children’s condition.
After 3 months and after these children are sent to certain camps, their parents are contacted and given information that your child is in a certain place and is carrying out a certain military operation, or He is being trained in one of the camps. Of course, at this stage, the families may not be allowed to visit their children until the next stage, which is six months to a year after the course.
Children are separated in military camps located in Qandil mountains and north of Haskeh in northeastern Syria even before their fate is determined and their military role is determined. The camps where children aged 10 to 15 are transferred are first stage camps. Children are transferred and gathered to camps in the north of Haskeh province and in the northern reef of Haskeh near the border triangle of Syria, Turkey and Iraq. Then these children are separated based on their physical abilities, mental structure, cognitive power and the ability to carry weapons.
Some of them are sent to the camps inside Qandil mountains. This group is among the elite forces of rebel youth who move to the said camps and some of them remain in other camps and others in the border zone of Syria, Turkey and Iraq to spend intensive periods and then to go through the period of stationed commanders. be.
Those inside Syria are usually recruited into groups known as comfort forces and internal security forces. Those who are transferred to Qandil camps go through long ideological courses to become military tools for violent and brutal battles and maybe even suicide operations.
The kidnapping of children and the activities of the rebel youth group are not limited to the areas under the control of the SDF forces in the Syrian island. Information indicates that the activity of this group extends to southern Anatolia, Iraqi Kurdistan, and western Iran, so that the children of these areas are the reserve forces of the organization on the war fronts.
The situation of refugees in Afrin has created favorable conditions for the recruitment of dozens of children in the rebel youth group affiliated with Qasd. Here in the northern outskirts of Aleppo, the refugee camps and the poor economic conditions of the people have created a good opportunity to attract children.
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