'Syrian National Army committed to international law on prohibition of child soldiers'

'Syrian National Army committed to international law on prohibition of child soldiers'

At least 1,440 officers will have received training by end-2023, says defense minister of Syrian interim government

By Esref Musa and Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu

ANKARA (AA) – The defense minister of the Syrian interim government has reiterated the commitment of the Syrian National Army to international law on prohibition of child soldiers.

In a written statement about the training the Syrian National Army received on international humanitarian law and prohibition of child soldiers, Hassan al-Hamada said: “From August 2021 to the end of January 2023, the Syrian National Army conducted 85 humanitarian law courses. The Syrian National Army is on its way to becoming an army trained in international humanitarian law.”

Al-Hamada recalled that the Syrian interim government issued a decree in May 2020 banning child recruitment into the Syrian National Army.

He said at least 15,000 members of the Syrian National Army of different ranks have been trained on humanitarian and international law by organizations such as Afaq, Ward Al-Balad Organization, Benevolent Seed Humanitarian, Human Rights Guards Organization, and ORSAM – Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

At least 1,440 officers will have received training by the end of 2023, he added.


- Military justice mechanism actively operating

As part of the reform and transformation process of the Syrian National Army, al-Hamada said that a military justice mechanism is actively operating.

He said the military judicial administration is open to individual applications from citizens. “In approximately 150 of these cases, the investigation and trial process has been completed.”

All international institutions, organizations and states can contact the Syrian interim government and receive information transparently about any file, he added.

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