Raqqa civilians stage protest, demand YPG pullout

Published 30.05.2018 23:40
Updated 30.05.2018 23:41

Civilians in Raqqa Tuesday protested the presence of PKK-affiliated groups in the city and demanded their immediate pullout, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported yesterday.

Hundreds of people poured on to the city's five different streets on the northeast bank of the Euphrates. They called on the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG) terror group to leave the city.

They also urged the Syrian regime forces to not exploit the vacuum left behind by fleeing terrorists and enter the city. In response, the YPG opened fire at the protesters and kidnapped six civilians.

They also protested the YPG's forced recruitment of youngsters, torture and occupation of the property.

The use of child soldiers by the YPG and the PKK have long been documented by international rights groups, like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations. However, the issue has not received any significant attention in the Western media.

A U.N. report, published on Feb. 12, had said that Syria was among the countries with the most number of child soldiers, trapped in its seven-year-old civil war. Locals in areas under YPG control have long complained that the terrorist group forcefully takes a child from each family to join its ranks. If a family does not have children, they are forced to pay money to the group.

The terrorist organization also changed the name of the city to "Komun," a move rejected by the residents.

The YPG - backed by U.S. air support - captured Raqqa in October 2017. The terrorists have since used Raqqa as their headquarters.

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