The uprising in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, which saw the death of several civilians, has ended with concessions from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
On June 2, the SDF’s wing in Manbij, the Manbij Military Council (MMC), announced that it had reached a settlement with the town’s tribal leaders and elderlies to end the uprising.
Hundreds of Manbij residents took to the streets of the town on May 31 to protest against the forced conscription of men into the ranks of the SDF. The peaceful protestors were met with live fire from the SDF’s security forces, Asayish. At least six civilians were killed.
In a statement, the MMC promised that the forced conscription will be halted, detainees will be released and an investigation into the deadly events will be launched.
“An extensive meeting was held between all the tribes in Manbij and its countryside with the civil and military administration, and in response to the wishes, suggestions, dignitaries and sheikhs of the tribes, to preserve the security and stability of the country, civil peace and coexistence, and in order to end sedition and prevent bloodshed, it was agreed in this meeting on the following:
- Suspending the Self-Defense Duty campaign in Manbij and its countryside and referring it to study and discussion.
- The release of everyone who was detained during the recent events.
- Forming a committee to investigate the circumstances in which the shooting took place and to hold everyone involved in it accountable,” the statement reads.
The settlement represents a major victory for the protesters, who were willing to escalate further had not the SDF backed down.
Initially, the SDF attempted to blame the events on the Syrian Arab Army, which maintains a number of posts around Manbij. These false claims were quickly called out by the locals and activists.
The SDF liberated Manbij from ISIS in 2016. Since then, the Arab-majority town has been under the strict ruler of the Kurdish-led group. This situation has been causing social tensions in the town, which is under the constant threat of Turkish forces.
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