PKK’s Syrian offshoot recruits minors: UN
The outlawed PKK’s offshoot taking part in the Syrian civil war - the YPG - has recruited at least 313 minors and used schools for military purposes, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.
Nearly 40 percent of minors recruited by the YPG were girls, 20 of them under 15 years old, according to the annual Children in Armed Conflict report submitted to the Security Council.
The report found that these minors had received military training and that 119 girls have fought in battles.
The U.N. report unveiled that the YPG/PKK militants used 24 schools and hospitals as training grounds and 14 schools as ammunition depots.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Its Syrian offshoot YPG has been supported by the United States and its western allies in the fight against ISIL in a move that has strained tensions with Turkey.
The U.N. working group on children and armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has recently confirmed that minors were exploited by groups including the YPG and its women’s branch, YPJ; ISIL, the FSA and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
The working group urged all groups “to end and prevent all six grave violations against children affected by armed conflict,” in a report dated July 18.
The “six grave violations against children” described by the U.N. include killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, attacks on schools and hospitals, abduction of children and denial of humanitarian access.