Sutoro forces, recruiting underage girls and a “Christian” face used by PYD to gain support

Beit Nahrin women protection forces-Sutoro media office

Sutoro forces of “Self-autonomous” controlled by PYD, started lately to follow YPG and the regime steps and recruit female and teenagers girls in Hasakah governorate and preparing them to fight with the forces after they go through training courses, but Sutoro recruitment is not forced until now but with finical luring.

A profile on Sutoro and what is it

Sutoro is an Assyrian word means protection or safety, the formation of the forces was announced in March 2013 to protect its areas from ISIS and al-Nusra Front, and it is controlled by “Assyrian Union Party” which is a part of the “Self-Autonomous” dominated by PYD, the fighters spread out in al-Hasakah,Qamishli,Malikye,Qahtanyie and 33 village on al-Khabour river starting from Ras al-Ayn in north to Abdulaziz Mountain in south, they are paid by “Self-Autonomous” and fight with YPG against ISIS and have training camps and now trying to recruit women by luring them financially according to sources from Sutoro itself.

Luring with money to attract teenagers 

One of the ladies offered to enlist to Sutoro called (A S) told NSO “female officials in Assyrian Union Party visiting houses in the Christian neighborhoods to advertise enlisting for girls, saying 2 officials called Eillin and Nahrin tried to recruit her underage daughter(15years old) and offered her a 60K SYP (more than 100$) as a salary for her and her daughter but they refused.

(A S) added the recruitment attempt succeeded with 2 other women and 3 underage girls between 14&16 years old due to their bad financial situation, while another girl called (A H) told NSO reporter she joined “Assyrian Women Protection forces” for 5 months, 3 months spent it in training and then left the camp she went to in al-Hakimiya in Malikye countryside north east Hasakah.
The training was in Mehrakan village near al-Qahtanyie then the trainees sent to al-Hakimiya camp near Malikye but now it is in al-Hakimiya camp only.

motto without a meaning and frontage to gain support

The young girl (A H) said the camp has 25 women and girls,9 underage girls between 14-17 years serve there, and every women and girl enlist with “Assyrian Women Protection forces” go through training camp for a month in another camp in Mehrakan in Malikye countryside north east Hasakah, and the recruitment rate is 2 females monthly,addeing she kept working at the camp as a fighter of “Protection” for 5 months with 40000 SYP salary then she left completely later.

On why she left the “Assyrian Women Protection forces” (A H) said” the mottos\slogans she joined for was completely different because PYD uses the Assyrians inside Assyrians Military Council, Assyrian Women Protection forces and Sutoro to gain foreign support and it is not a partner for Assyrian Military Council but control it completely.(A H) mentioned visits of foreign military men with YPG to the camps to show the religious variety of fighters in “Self-Autonomous” describing it as “trading with minorities and typical to what Assad regime is doing”.

(A H) pointed out that the commander of recruiting called “Shimoni” an Assyrian with Syrian-German nationality and she is also responsible for the camp, among the trainers of the camp there is “Inana” a Syrian-German too and two Syrian: Izla and Peirola were dealing with YPG commanders during visit to the camp in “fighter-commander” relationship.

The Assyrian Military Council which is a part of SDF announced late 2015 the formation of female fighters battalion called “Beit Nahrin women protection forces” to defend Assyrian in al-Jaeere area and fighting ISIS, beside conscription campaigns by Assad regime and YPG of the male between 18-35 in their held areas while PYD forcibly recruit girls too.

Worth to mention the number of Assyrians in Syria before the Syrian uprising in March 2011 was about 100K from 1200000 Christians in Syria, around 30K live in al-Hasakah and its countryside while the Christians are 5% of the Syrian population but huge numbers immigrated outside the country since the revolution started and the rise of the extremists groups.

Samir Yousef

A graduate of law, a human-right and media activist. NSO reporter in Malkiye and its countryside.