Iraq Recruiting Child Soldiers
by Stephen Lendman
According to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Iraq’s US-installed puppet regime is recruiting children as soldiers - flagrantly violating international law, forbidding use of combatants under age 18.
Recruitment allegedly is in preparation for an offensive against ISIS in Mosul. According to HRW’s Bill Van Esveld, “(t)he recruitment of children as fighters for the Mosul operation should be a warning sign for the Iraqi government.”
Its authorities and “foreign allies need to take action now, or children are going to be fighting” each other on both sides. ISIS extensively uses child combatants.
Debaga camp in Iraqi Kurdistan houses over 35,000 war-related refugees. According to HRW, “at least two militia groups engaged in (combat) are entirely made up of camp residents.”
Trucks arrive daily, “driving away with men, and in some cases, boys.” An unnamed aid worker said enlisting recruits from camps like Debaga was approved by authorities in Baghdad.
Iraq ratified the UN Optional Protocol, prohibiting the use of child soldiers in combat. Yet enlisting them to fight continues, neither America or other international powers doing anything to stop it.
ISIS and likeminded terrorist groups remain resilient because of US/NATO/regional support. Washington claiming it’s combating this scourge is a ruse.
It can easily be defeated in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere by cutting off all military and other aid. Instead these elements continue flourishing as US imperial foot soldiers, children included in their ranks.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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