Syria’s Manbij Military Council accuses parties of seeking discord, protests continue

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press)Since yesterday evening, the city of Manbij, north Syria, has been witnessing protests that were said to be against  the “duty of self-defense,” while the Manbij Military Council accused parties it described as “known for seeking to spread discord,” amid testimonies that the government forces targeting the protesters.

The city of Manbij witnessed protests, which activists said on social media, they were against the duty of self-defense, which the Autonomous Administration enacted in 2014, to be implemented later on all areas of its control.

“The duty of self-defense has been implemented for seven years without any problems, and this confirms that those parties are trying to exploit the economic conditions and the difficulties that the Syrians suffer from in order to achieve goals and agendas that serve the interests of parties aiming to destabilize Manbij,” the Council said earlier today.

A number of protesters lost their lives, and social media accounts accused the security forces in Manbij of being behind the incidents, local sources in the city said.

Eyewitnesses from the village of al-Hudhud, north of Manbij, told North Press that members of the Syrian government forces “were in a car, and shot the protesters before fleeing.”

Four young residents of the village lost their lives as a result of the incident, including Wafa Hassan al-Bahiwi, who died after arriving at the hospital, and Muhanna al-Bahiwi who was injured as a result of the accident, according to eyewitnesses.

The Council cited the targeting of “security and military headquarters by some people and criminal cells receiving instructions from outside parties, resulting in casualties and injuries.”

A state of tension followed the incident among the residents of al-Hudhud village, who “went in the evening to the neighboring village of al-Thiyabat and stormed a military post of the Military Council, and then headed to al-Khattaf Checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Manbij, to stop there for about half an hour before returning to the village.”

Yesterday, the Manbij Civil Administration imposed a 48-hour curfew, but the protests returned this morning at the al-Khattaf Checkpoint and the entrance to Kabarja, south of the city.

Reporting by Hoshang Hassan