Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Iraq

Exclusive: Hashd al-Shaabi trains hundreds of child soldiers south of Kirkuk

By Rudaw 12/8/2017
-
BASHIR, Kirkuk – The mainly Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi forces have trained some 280 children since last year in the use of light and heavy weapons. Some may take part in fighting ISIS south of Kirkuk.
 
Commanders of the Hashd, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), are giving the military training in Bashir village, Kirkuk province, a Rudaw investigation revealed.
 
The children are under 18 years old. They are seen in military uniforms, receiving weapons training.  
 
Those who are 15 or 16 years old are to take part in combat, if necessary.
 
The Iraqi parliament passed a law last year that recognizes the Shiite force as an official part of the Iraqi armed forces, subject to the laws of Iraq. Recruitment and use of child soldiers is prohibited internationally and under Iraqi law.
 
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and has said on more than an occasion that the Hashd are official forces of the Iraqi state.
 
A reported 100 child soldiers have graduated from three months of military training in Bashir village so far this year.
 
Last year, 180 child soldiers received training.
 
A representative of the Shiite authority in the village defended the decision to train children in using arms.
 
“These youngsters are taught martial arts and how to use weapons so that they can defend themselves and their areas,” said Sayyid Qambar Musawi, a Shiite cleric in Bashir. 
 
“When ISIS attacked Bashir village, we suffered a lot of damage since nobody was trained to use weapons,” he continued.
 
The US-based Human Rights Watch has documented the prevalence of child soldiers by various armed groups in Iraq, including the Hashd al-Shaabi. In June it called on the US to return Iraq to the US’ list of governments who use child soldiers after it emerged that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had decided to remove Iraq.
 
Kirkuk Provincial Council has said they will form a committee to investigate the issue and call for action.
 
“[We call] on civil society organizations, security institutions, and the United Nations to bring this to an end,” Jwan Hassan, head of the Human Rights Committee of Kirkuk Council, told Rudaw.
 
“And also to put pressure on the central government so that the ministries of interior and defence respond and ensure that children under the age of 18 are not used in fighting or their rights violated in any shape or form,” she added.
 
The Hashd al-Shaabi now has more than 20 military units in Bashir village and Taza Khurmatu town, south of Kirkuk.
 
Bashir initially fell to ISIS in June 2014 as the extremist group gained large amounts of territory in Iraq and Syria. It was liberated in a joint operation of the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Hashd two years later.
 
The Peshmerga handed the village over to the Hashd after its liberation in an agreement that stipulated that Hashd forces return control to the Iraqi police in stages.

Comments

 
TheFacto | 13/8/2017
False!! these poor kids will be used against kurds. we must act now!! iraq has fallen and the iranians use every method to brake the kurds.
Non kurd | 13/8/2017
Mullah terrorists have trained them well. Soon they'll be running through minefields to blow themselves up.
Kurdisanian | 13/8/2017
Another reason why we shouldn´t trus Iaqi´s, and go a head with the referendom. This is morally wrong to brain wash young children to become killers, this is another Iran Iraq war. I can´t belive thier families allowing thier children to become WAHISH AL SHAABI. Yes to Independant KURDISTAN,,,,,,,
Kurdo | 13/8/2017
Dont worry, our sunni brothers will help us against Iran. We have Turkey, Chechen, Taliban, Qaida, ISIS, Saud, Qatar and Zoomalia.

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

kurd | 2/25/2018 2:54:41 AM
why they did not protest when they lost Kerkok? it is weird kurds in iraq did not do anything when shias took over many kurdish areas, threw...
Azad Azadi | 2/25/2018 4:15:33 AM
Muraz Adzhoev..... What is "true protester"? is it Turkish attack on Rojava or Turkish operation ? is it Kurdish district or western Kurdistan ?...
People across Kurdistan Region protest ongoing Turkish attacks on Afrin
| 17 hours ago | (5)
No treason reaction? | 2/25/2018 3:25:05 AM
Among the Kurdish people, there is a surprising acceptance of treason. In any other country and among most suppressed people, there is only one way...
A Patriot | 2/25/2018 4:03:46 AM
Kosrat, we're behind you. It's really scary to think what would've happend (God forbid) if Hero and the rest of the bunch got hold of the power. May...
PUK’s Hero Ibrahim demands Kosrat Rasul act on congress date
| 21 hours ago | (4)
Rogério | 2/25/2018 12:38:50 AM
Kurds have to have more opinion, are intelligent but have to know how to decide. great fighters, but very submissive. I love you.
A Patriot. | 2/25/2018 4:01:32 AM
I really don't like that woman.
PUK leader accuses Hero Ibrahim Ahmed of provoking party rifts
| 15 hours ago | (4)
FAUthman | 2/24/2018 10:45:49 PM
Important BREAKING NEWS!!: "Kurdish SDF Forces to Pass Control Over Manbij to Syrian Army – Source"
Rogério | 2/25/2018 12:43:34 AM
Turks, cowards, will never be friendly like the Kurds.
Syrian forces in Afrin for border security only: YPG
| yesterday at 10:03 | (4)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Updated: Syria urges UN to include Afrin in ceasefire deal 12 hours ago | (2)

Updated: Syria urges UN to include Afrin in ceasefire deal

The resolution gained the support of the Syrian more
US to send Erbil $365 million to pay Peshmerga salaries, KRG minister confirms 19 hours ago | (5)

US to send Erbil $365 million to pay Peshmerga salaries, KRG minister confirms

It will cover the monthly salaries of nearly more
Olive grove execution next chapter in Turkey’s operation yesterday at 03:35 | (5)

Olive grove execution next chapter in Turkey’s operation

the man is shot more than a dozen times more
1.109 seconds