A human rights organization working in the areas of northern Syria outside Syrian state control confirmed that the Liberation and Construction Movement factions of the National Army, which is supported by Turkey, continues to recruit children. The organization has documented 17 children who were recruited and used in combat missions.
The organization based its report, released on Wednesday, on data concerning 17 children recruited into the Liberation and Construction Movement, as well as testimonies from the families of some of the children and factional leaders.
The organization pointed out that Ahrar al-Sharqiya, Division 20, and Jaish al-Sharqiya have added 800 new fighters to their ranks since the beginning of this year. Amongst these ranks, the percentage of child soldiers is estimated at about 40 percent.
The report indicated that the faction manipulated the children’s personal data while also pointing to the role of the children’s parents in submitting false identification papers. The report found that these identities were obtained from the civil registry centers of local councils in the region.
Since the beginning of this year, Ankara’s factions have recruited at least 40 children and placed them in training camps alongside new adult recruits. Ankara’s factions deny that they are recruiting children into their ranks.
The statement said that children under the age of 18 should not be recruited or volunteered for service in the National Army and that children already involved should be immediately demobilized.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.