Skip to main content

Child recruitment leaves parents heartbroken in northeast Syria

The PKK-linked Revolutionary Youth movement has continued its campaign of child recruitment in northeast Syria despite efforts from local authorities, and SDF chief Mazloum Kobane to stop the practice, leaving a trail of anguished parents in its wake.
Syria Kurds

Late last year, members of a youth group held a computer literacy class in the Syrian town of Amuda. This was no ordinary extracurricular activity: its purpose was to recruit children for military service, and over the course of the lessons, organizers convinced two local girls to leave home and pick up arms.

“It was a kidnapping through indirect means, not at the barrel of a gun,” said Shams Antar, the aunt of one of the girls, sixteen-year-old Hadiya Abdul Raheem Antar. Hadiya and her friend Ayana persuaded a third classmate who had not attended the computer course, 15-year-old Afeen Jalal Khalil, to tag along on their military adventure, added Shams Antar.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.