Underage Kurdish girl forced into Syria war

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Kurdish fighters of the YPG and the YPJ in a funeral of fellow fighters in Efrin. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Derbasiyah, Syria– Rosim Mohammed Haj Karmo, a 13-year-old Kurdish girl from Derbasiyah city in northern Syria, has recently joined the PYD-linked armed forces of the Women Protection Units (YPJ).

Talking to ARA News, a member of Karmo’s family said that the underage girl was “pushed to join the YPJ” last week without the knowledge of her parents.

Rosim was a student in the middle school in Derbasiyah city before joining the YPJ. According to her family member, who preferred anonymity, a group affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), known as “Active Group At Schools”, is working to recruiting students to join the ranks of the PYD-linked armed forces.

YPJ conference, north Syria. File photo: PYD-MC

“The group, led by three female members of the PYD, took Rosim to the YPJ leadership to join their ranks,” he said. “The members are Berivan Sheikh Dawood Bedro, Leila Abdul Rahman Yousef (Sozdar) and a third one called Afshin. They are known for their activities in the PYD.”

The same source told ARA News that in the next day, members of Karmo family gathered in front of the “People’s House” (one of the service and social affairs institutions of the PYD in the area) condemning the recruitment of minors, demanding to return their daughter.

“But the Assayish forces (security arm of the PYD) dispersed the protesters by force. Rosim’s mother, Aziza Mohammed, continued screaming in demand of revealing the destiny of her daughter,” the source added.

“Rumors spread by the PYD supports saying that Rosim ran away from her father after suffering domestic violence,” the same source said.

Funeral of a YPG fighter. File photo: AL

In a linked context, Um Marwan, a mother of two middle school female students, stated to ARA News: “Under the current conditions, our children should either drop out of school or we have to keep them under strict and constant surveillance to avoid the danger of being recruited by the PYD-linked forces.”

On April 27, villagers of Girbawi in the countryside of Qamishli city, northeast of Syria, released a statement demanding the PYD-lined Popular Protection Units (YPG) to stop recruitment of children, referring to five male children from Girbawi village who were recruited by the YPG start of April, 2014.

Several human rights organizations criticized all armed factions in Syria, including the Popular Protection Units (YPG), for recruiting minors, and called on these factions to “stop involving children” in Syria war.

 

Reporting by: Jiwan al-Ali

Source: ARA News

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