Since Monday, the SDF-held city of Manbij, east of Aleppo, has witnessed great unrest following a general strike carried out by the citizens condemning the practices of the Syrian Democratic Forces against civilians, and their decision to impose forced conscription.
The protests against the YPG’s forced recruitment of children started in the town center of Manbij, spilled into rural areas, and continues to grow, undeterred by the curfew the terrorist group imposed.
According to eyewitnesses, the militia opened fire directly on the demonstrators, causing the death of at least 8 people, including a teacher, and injuring many more.
Kurdish dominated militias have a record of discrimination between the Arab and Kurdish components, despite the fact that the areas under their control contain a majority Arab population; primarily in the governorates of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, the city of Manbij, and its countryside.
The SDF militia imposed mandatory military service on men and women born between the years 1990 and 2003. This conscription campaign forcibly recruits Arab children and teens across several areas including Manbij, Ain al-Arab, Qamishli, Malikiyah, Hassakeh, Raqqa, and Deir ez-Zor.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported on May 22nd that nearly 3800 civilians are forcibly held in detention centers established by the group.