Compulsory youth recruitment in Raqqa, ISIS and SDF


Every day, the Syrian Democratic Forces SDF continue to advance in Raqqa suburbs and in each new village they control, they arrest dozens of young men and force them to join the battles against ISIS.

Civilians from northern Raqqa confirmed that the SDF have arrested lots of young men, older than 15 years old, and forced them to join the battles against ISIS. In the past two days, SDF have arrested several young men in Tal Abyad, Suluk and Ayn Esa.

Some of the families who fled from Raqqa towards the northern suburbs of the city indicated that once they reach SDF areas the troops start to look for young men to recruit them and send them to battles.

On the other hand, the terrorist group ISIS is also recruiting young men, either forcing them to join the group or by convincing them with money taking advantage of their poverty. But today, the terrorist group is losing the influence over the people of Raqqa due to the major losses.

Every time ISIS fighters feel that they cannot confront the attacking forces they withdraw but they kidnap tens of young men and take them to unknown places, this is what happened in Ratla a few days ago, activists believe that ISIS is recruiting those who have been kidnapped to make up the shortage in their numbers.

It is either to join ISIS or to join SDF but most of young men chose none, they fled Syria and crossed the borders with Turkey despite all the danger, they were forced to leave their families and their homes to face an unknown fate.

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".