Turkey rejects US report claiming link to child soldiers | World news


ISTANBUL (AP) – The Turkish Foreign Ministry has criticized a US report on human trafficking that criticized Ankara for providing “operational, material and financial support” to an armed militia in Syria that recruits child soldiers.

In a statement Friday evening, Turkey’s foreign ministry said it “completely rejected” the request and that its file was blank.

The statement also accuses Washington of “double standards and hypocrisy”, underlining American support for Syrian Kurdish militants. He cites a United Nations report that documented the recruitment and exploitation of children under the aegis of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Turkey claims that the Syrian Kurdish militants who provided the backbone of the SDF fighting the Islamic State group were linked to Kurdish fighters who have been leading an insurgency against Turkey for more than three decades and are designated as terrorists. US support for them has been a major irritant in US-Turkish relations.

On Thursday, the US State Department highlighted Turkey and 14 other countries for the use of child soldiers. It was the first time that a NATO ally had appeared on such a list.

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