Turkey commits new war crime

Turkey has recruited dozens of Syrian children to fight alongside Tripoli militias, in flagrant violation of the protocols on children's rights and international law, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman said in an interview with Sky News Arabia on Wednesday that Turkey is resorting to several tricks to persuade children under the age of 18 to leave their country to carry weapons in Libya.

"Many children under the age of 18 go from Idlib and the northern Aleppo countryside to Afrin, on the pretext of working at the beginning. Some of them went without the knowledge of their relatives, to be recruited by mercenaries of Turkey, and to fight for the Government of Tripoli in its battles against the Libyan national army." He said.

Turkey has recruited some 150 Syrian children to fight in Libya, among the thousands of mercenaries it has sent to Tripoli, Abdul Rahman said.

Abdul Rahman monitored the details of a 15-year-old boy after he left his camp with his family to work in Afrin.

"The child had been in touch with his relatives for about 20 days, after which he was cut off and his family was surprised to see him in one of the videos fighting alongside the Syrian factions in Libya. Later they found that the child had been recruited into the ranks of the pro-Turkish Faction of Sultan Murad," he said.

"However, the mercenary leaders initially denied this while the family was heading to their headquarters in Afrin, and no information was received about the child's fate until now."

After several attempts, the mercenaries told the family that their child had been killed in Libya's battles, in order to get rid of the family's urgency to ask for their child.

When she asked about the fate of her son's body, the mercenaries told her that the body is with to the Libyan army forces.

As the Turkish regime continues to transfer mercenaries to Libya to fight alongside the capital's militias, the number Ankara's Syrian militias that are more than 12,000, including 287 killed in combat, is rising.

UN's protocol of CRC on children's participation in armed conflicts requires that all States commit not to recruit minors in armed conflicts.

International human rights law also classifies the recruitment of minors as a "war crime".

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