The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested 63 “terrorists” during a large-scale combing operation in the war-torn city of Raqqa on February 7.
“These terrorist cells are directly responsible of spreading fear, chaos and rumors among the residents of the city,” the US-backed group said in an official statement released by its press center.
The group’s statement didn’t mention ISIS or accuse these supposed terrorists of any real crimes. Therefore, many activists concluded that the operation targeted supporters of the Damascus government or the Turkish-backed opposition.
The upcoming withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria has encouraged many locals, especially in Raqqa, to voice their opposition to the SDF. Some areas even witnessed protests and clashes with the Kurdish-dominated group.
The SDF’s poor management and strict stand against Arab population in northeastern Syria will likely lead to further tensions between the group and the local population once all U.S. forces leave the country.