The United States administration has justifiably criticized the Syrian regime for brutal actions against civilians that violate human rights, while still preferring to ignore similar actions by the PKK'S Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG), a group Washington has partnered with under the pretext of the fight against Daesh in the country.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State released a statement, saying that it "strongly reiterates its condemnation of the Assad regime's cruel actions," while calling on the regime to adhere to international laws and norms.
"The Syrian regime's recent notices confirming the deaths of thousands of political prisoners in its custody affirms what the international community has long suspected and can never forget: the regime has systematically arrested, tortured, and murdered tens of thousands of Syrian civilians in response to their legitimate and nonviolent calls for their freedom, rights, and political reforms," the statement said, while stating that since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, at least 117,000 Syrians have been detained or forcibly disappeared, according to numerous human rights organizations.
"The vast majority of them are believed to be in regime custody, across a network of prisons where regime officials torture and murder civilians to intimidate and silence any opposition to Assad's rule," the statement further expressed, indicating that extensive documentation and other evidence of this torture and murder is being collected by international organizations.
The U.S. also said that it will continue to work with the international community to investigate and shed light on the nefarious activities of the regime and work to hold those responsible accountable.
However, while the U.S. has shown sensitivity regarding the human rights violations by the Assad regime, it has remained silent in the face of similar violations by the YPG, a group which has received numerous condemnations by international human rights bodies for its violations of human rights, including arbitrary arrests, forced recruitment of child soldiers and forceful relocation of locals.
Turkey has long criticized the U.S. partnership with the YPG, arguing that it has organic links with the PKK, a group recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Turkey, and the European Union.
Last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that YPG is recruiting children from displacement camps in the country's northeast in violation of international law.
The YPG has used child soldiers in the past, according to the United Nations, HRW and other rights groups, and has not put a stop to the practice despite pledging to do so.
International law prohibits non-state armed factions from recruiting anyone under the age of 18, and enlisting children under 15 is a war crime.
HRW spoke to eight families in three displacement camps in northeastern Syria who said the terrorists had encouraged their children to enlist. The youngest among them was a 13-year-old girl.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists, has occupied large parts of northern Syria after years of fierce fighting against Daesh that displaced thousands of people.
A YPG-linked political administration runs much of northern Syria with a system that is autonomous from the Assad regime, complete with its own schools and tax system.
The YPG also enforces military conscription for those above 18 years of age in areas under its control.
The terrorist PKK's Syrian wing did not only forcibly conscript minors, HRW told Agence France-Presse (AFP), but they barred families from communicating with their children and declined to disclose their location.
HRW also stated previously that the YPG terrorists in the north were "unlawfully restricting" the freedom of movement of thousands in displacement camps.
Last year, the U.N. found 224 cases of child recruitment by the YPG and its female forces, nearly five times the number in 2016. It said the YPG had forcibly abducted the children in at least three cases.