Northeast Syrian Kurdish Region Imposes Military Draft on Locals

One Per Family Mandatory Conscription Aims at Growing Militias

An indication that their de facto autonomy is expected to continue, one of the three major Kurdish regions in Syria’s far northeast, the Jazira region, has announced a new military draft.

The new law, announced last week, requires every family to submit one male member, age 18-30, to a minimum six months of military service in defense of the new autonomous Kurdish region.

The Kurdish regions are primarily governed by the PYD faction, and the militias defending the region are almost exclusively linked to the YPG, which is unofficially their armed wing.

The YPG has had considerable success in recruiting volunteer fighters with its various calls to arms, but as the fighting between Syrian Kurdish regions and ISIS continue to grow, they seem to believe that overt conscription will secure them an even larger force.

That may well be true, though many YPG recruits recently have come from neighboring Turkey, and wouldn’t be directly conscriptable.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.