Ankara ‘Rejects’ US Decision to Add Turkey to List of States Using Child Soldiers

World

The Biden administration has sought to find ways to mend relations with its Turkish ally in the aftermath of the F-35/S-400 scandal. Tensions have remained heightened, however, following a US decision to recognize the Armenian Genocide and ongoing disagreements over US cooperation with Kurdish forces in Syria.

Ankara has refuted a move by Washington to add Turkey to the list of nations implicated in the use of child soldiers, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

“A striking example of hypocrisy and double standards as the US openly aids, provides weapons to [Kurdish militant groups] PKK/YPG that forcibly recruits children,” the ministry said in a statement.

A US State Department official indicated that the listing was “the first time a NATO member has been listed in the child soldier prevention act list,” and suggested Turkey’s status “as a respected regional leader” gave it “the opportunity to address this issue – the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Syria and Libya.”

In a Friday statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry called the absence of Kurdish militias in the US listing a “grotesque” oversight.

Along with Turkey, Washington’s Pakistani allies are included in the CSPA listing for the first time, with the list said to imply the possibility of sanctions in the area of military cooperation among affected countries. The list also includes Afghanistan, Burma, DR Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali,…

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