Locals in Afrin, a town in northern Aleppo, have accused the PKK's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) of forcibly recruiting at least one member from each family for its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.
According to claims, the PYD forcibly recruits underage individuals in order to boost the number of militants in its self-defense forces in Afrin. It has conscripted at least one civilian from each family, especially from the village of Cala in Afrin, according to claims.
To escape forcible recruitment, many residents have taken refuge in the surrounding mountains while others have fled to more secure areas.
The PYD has also been accused of taking men under the age of 60 hostage to force younger people to come out of hiding and join its ranks. Sources claimed that the PYD was ready to recruit children and quizzed families. This has raised concerns among residents worried about their children's future. Earlier, it was reported that YPG militants entered a bazaar in Dirbessiye, a town of al-Hasakah and took at least 15 young individuals for forced conscription. The PKK is recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey. The YPG is in control of al-Hasakah in the east, northern Raqqa, Manbij, Afrin and Tal Rifaat. A U.S. as an ally in the fight against Daesh, the YPG operates in Syria under the name of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Despite the fact that the militants were given SDF uniforms, many of them brandish the PKK insignia and banners with pictures of Abdullah Öcalan's, the imprisoned head of the PKK.