Syrian democratic forces detain conscripts in Raqqa

Syrian democratic forces detain conscripts in Raqqa
2 min read
11 November, 2019
The SDF detained thirty young men in Raqqa province, northeast Syria, in order to recruit them into the ranks of their forces, according to local news agencies.
SDF forces have been accused of human rights abuses (Getty)
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained thirty young men in Raqqa province, northeast Syria, in order to recruit them into the ranks of their forces.  

According to the local news agency SMART, the young men were arrested from the villages of Al-Masrat, Ruta, Mansoura, and Salhabiya in areas surrounding Raqqa city.

The detentions reportedly took place at temporary checkpoints inside the towns, before the men were taken to military centres.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights documented at least 183 cases of arbitrary detention in Syria in October, including 109 cases of enforced disappearance, 46 of which were thought to be detained by SDF forces.

According to the human rights network, the SDF and its allied security services regularly detain people for the purposes of enforced military conscription, or on charges of supporting the Islamic State group.

In a previous report, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that nearly 3,000 people in total have been detained or forcibly disappeared by SDF militias.

"The militias are trying to legalise all repression, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and kidnapping, with the aim of enforced recruitment...under the pretext of fighting terrorism," the human rights network said.

Turkey recently launched an assault on areas dominated by the SDF, believing it necessary to curb their power due to their ties with Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey.

Comment: Syria's Kurds abandoned to a perfect storm of Turkish aggression and US isolationism

Ankara insists
the SDF, and its political wing the Syrian Democratic Council, are merely fronts for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), allegedly an arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged an insurgency against Turkey for the past 35 years.

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