For almost eight years, international community has been witnessing a tearing down of a country, Syria, through a civil-war that caused the lives of many. While the actions of Bashar Assad regime and terrorist groups like Daesh mostly hit the headlines in the period, when it comes to the brutalities of the PKK's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG), international community seemed to prefer turning blind eye for the most part. However, as the time passes, the terrorist group's human rights violations gained momentum instead of declining, as the killing of a mother in one of the camps last week proved so. YPG killed a female refugee for protesting the terrorist group's policy of separating mothers from their children in northern Syria's al-Hol camp, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported last week. Citing local sources, AA said a group of female refugees have been protesting the poor conditions in the camp and YPG oppression after it recently begun separating children, aged 12 and younger, from their mothers. The YPG violently clamped down on the protests, killing one of the protesters.
The camp is a holding place for civilians who escaped the conflict in Deir el-Zour, along with the families of former Daesh members who surrendered and captured terrorists. Most of the civilians were forcefully brought to the camp by the YPG in April 2017, according to reports. Several human rights organizations including the U.N. have repeatedly warned that conditions at the al-Hol camp are worsening every day and have demanded access to the centers where the families of former Daesh members are being held.
The inhumane conditions in al-Hol is only one face of the YPG's atrocity as the group has been accused of various human rights violations, from child recruitment to pressure on local people's life styles.
YPG EXPLOITS CHILDREN
It has been reported many times before that the YPG terror group has been forcibly recruiting children between ages 11 and 16 years old, separating minors from their families to fight illegally in the north of Syria and Iraq.
Trafficking in Persons Report, published by the U.S. back in July 2015, says that PKK sometimes kidnaps Kurdish children or forces them to join the terrorist group. The same report published in June 2016 says that YPG recruited and used boys and girls younger than 15 years and took them to training camps.
In addition to the U.S., several international human rights organizations and NGOs drew attention to the PKK's inhumane attitude.
A report by Human Rights Watch published on June 19, 2014, on the other hand, says that YPG was using boys and girls younger than 18 at checkpoints in Afrin, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane) and Jazira provinces in Syria. UN's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic also said in their report in Aug. 2013 that YPG recruited 12-year-old boys and girls in Afrin and Al-Hasakah provinces. YPG previously admitted that they recruited 16 and 17-year-old children but claimed that they did not use them for military purpose. Still, despite the terrorist group's denials, in Dec. 2016, Human Rights Watch said that PKK used children in Iraq and YPG recruited girls and boys and kidnapped those who wanted to leave or abused them.
According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, recruiting and using persons under 15 years of age is regarded as a war crime. The statements of the surrendered terrorists also confirm the YPG's crimes. For instance, previously, in an interview, minors Arhat and Fatima Salim Ali said that they were forcibly recruited to fight for the terror group.
A similar case happened to 13-year-old Maisa Muhyiddin Akirman as YPG took her from school to join the terrorist organization. Her family protested this however they learned that Maisa was in a Women's Protection Units (YPJ) [YPG's woman branch] camp.
TERRORIST GROUP OPPRESSES LOCALSThe terrorist group is also exposing non-stop pressure to the locals, especially the opposition Kurds, to the level that would prevent them from living their culture, religion freely. Last week, the Syrian Kurdish National Council (ENKS) has condemned the PKK and YPG's oppressive tactics after they banned a cultural event in Syria's northeastern Qamishli province. The ENKS reported that the PKK has also detained Kadri Can, the local council head of the town of Korniş, who had organized the cultural event. In a written statement, the ENKS said the terrorist organization oppressed civilians based on their political affiliations and cultural affinities. YPG also recently reported to be ramping up its exploitation of religious places and civilian properties in northern Syria's Manbij province, turning them into their headquarters. TRT Haber reported that the YPG turned the only mosque in the Jat village with 700 inhabitants situated 20 kilometers northeast of Manbij into a headquarter. YPG forces reportedly boarded up windows and sandbagged the roof of the mosque and dug trenches around the mosque. The terrorist organization also confiscated the homes situated in the hills to observe movements east of the Euphrates. In relation to the issue, a local said that the terrorists were not only turning the mosque into a headquarters but they were also exploiting other mosques in Qamishli and Qalat Jabar districts in Syria's Raqqa. He added that they are also banning local people from using the mosques. In December, locals living in YPG-held areas reported that the terrorist organization destroyed the homes of people in areas near the Syrian-Turkish border such as in Ayn al-Arab and Tal Abyad by digging tunnels under their homes.