ANF reports: “The Turkish state is already responsible of many crimes in Syria. However, as there is no end to its brutality, now it is providing war training to children under the age of 18 in the occupied areas of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî. This training is called by the Turkish army ‘demining course’.”
Speaking to the ANF on the issue, Jazira Region Human Rights Organization co-chair Evîn Cuma said that the Turkish army has already committed numerous war crimes in the areas it occupied and added that “it had been exposed before that the Turkish state was carrying out such training. During clashes between mercenaries in Afrin, a child wearing a military uniform lost his life. The Turkish state uses children in war. There are children in the mercenary groups affiliated to the Turkish army. It has been proved that it even trains Syrian children and sends them to other countries such as Libya.”
Cuma pointed out that children aged 5-15 are being trained on mines and bombs, as seen in the photo, and added: “The Turkish state is in the Syrian territory as an occupying force. They should be held accountable for these criminal activities. An international delegation should go to Turkish-occupied areas and investigate the situation of children there. Human rights and legal institutions should also fulfil their duties.”
The issue of Turkey arming children in Syria has been brought to the Parliament in Ankara. CHP deputy chairman for Foreign Affairs, Ünal Çeviköz, had said in his speech in the Parliament, on 25 November, that the Turkish army is arming children in Syria and that at least 4 percent of the Syrian National Army (SNA) members are children under the age of 18.