The UN's annual Children and Armed Conflict report showed that the US-backed YPG terrorist group and its affiliates in Syria have recruited 221 minors, killed dozens others and even seized schools for military use from January to December 2021.

The terror group  recruited 221 child soldiers and seized 12 schools and hospitals for military use, according to the UN report.
The terror group recruited 221 child soldiers and seized 12 schools and hospitals for military use, according to the UN report. (Reuters)

A UN report has revealed that the YPG/PKK terrorist group has continued to recruit child soldiers last year in northern Syria.

The group, which rebranded itself as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the US and Western nations, recruited 221 child soldiers, according to the UN's annual Children and Armed Conflict report released on Monday.

The report covers the period from January to December 2021 and lists parties that engage in the recruitment and use of children, the killing and maiming of children and sexual violence against children, among other things.

The report also said another branch of the YPG/PKK, the so-called "Internal Security Forces" recruited 24 children as soldiers in northern and eastern Syria.

In addition, the "Afrin Liberation Forces," linked to the same terror group, recruited two children in 2021. According to the report, the "Internal Security Forces" jailed 43 children, while the YPG/PKK imprisoned six children in regions they occupied.

"At the end of 2021, over 800 children, including foreigners, reportedly remained in detention for alleged association with Daesh in the north-eastern Syrian Arab Republic," said the report, referring to YPG/PKK-run prisons.

The report also recorded that the YPG/PKK killed 55 children in 2021, while the "Internal Security Forces" and "Afrin Liberation Forces" killed 18 children last year.

READ MORE: Exclusive: PKK/YPG conscripting minors as it struggles with recruitment

Attacks on schools and hospitals 

The body reported attacks on 45 schools and hospitals in Syria, saying 26 of them were carried out by the Bashar al Assad regime and pro-government forces while 12 of them were attributed to the YPG/PKK terror group. 

The group also seized 12 schools and hospitals for military use. It also denied humanitarian access for children.

The report also said the highest numbers of grave violations were verified in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

The report said non-state armed groups were responsible for 55 percent of violations and state forces for 25 percent.

"Over 25 percent of child casualties resulted from improvised explosive devices, explosive remnants of war and landmines, for a total of 2,257 child casualties," it added.

The YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK, which Türkiye, the US and the EU designate as a terrorist group. The PKK has waged a terror campaign against Türkiye for over 30 years and the fighting has left more than 40,000 dead, including civilians.

However, Washington has chosen the group as an ally on to fight against Daesh in Syria despite Ankara’s protest, sweeping the links between the PKK and the YPG under the rug. 

READ MORE: US military report reveals YPG/PKK terrorists still use child recruits

Source: TRTWorld and agencies