The United States added Turkey to the list of countries involved in the use of child soldiers over the past year, making Turkey the first NATO ally to join such a list.
The State Department said Turkey provided “tangible support” to Sultan Murad’s division in Syria, a faction of the Syrian opposition that Ankara has long supported, which Washington says has recruited and used child soldiers.
A senior state department official speaking to reporters also made reference to the use of child soldiers in Libya, saying Washington hoped to work with Ankara on the issue to resolve it.
“Especially in relation to Turkey… This is the first time a NATO member has been on the list,” the State Department official said. “As a respected regional leader and NATO member, Turkey has the opportunity to address this issue – the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Syria and Libya,” he said.