May 23, 2018
In a reproduction of the Assad regime’s repressive policies, the terrorist militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) pursues policies aimed at intimidating and terrorizing the Syrian people. Over the past few days, the PYD militia has launched a campaign of arrests, kidnappings and house-to-house raids in the town of Manbij as well as the Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces searching for young men to forcibly recruit them into its ranks.
The Syrian Coalition affirms its condemnation of these violations, kidnappings and intimidation of the civilian population as it expresses its full solidarity with the local residents and the internally displaced persons who went on a general strike in Manbij to protest against these violations. The PYD militia responded to the strike by opening fire at the shops whose owns closed down, an act that is reminiscent of the Assad regime’s attempts to suppress the popular uprising in its infancy.
The reprehensible crimes and violations being committed by the PYD militia also affected the IDPs as the militia is preventing them from returning to their villages and towns in the Afrin area. The PYD militia kidnapped several displaced households families, including women and children, and took them to an unknown location. PYD militiamen also seized identity cards of residents of the IDPs camps to force them to stay inside. One of the displaced people was killed after the PYD militia opened fire to disperse a demonstration that the IDPs staged to demand that they are allowed to return to their homes in Afrin.
The Coalition calls for a complete and immediate cessation of all forms of support for the PYD militias as it denounces the lukewarm position some countries are showing towards the terrorist threat being posed by this militia.
The Coalition calls attention to hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced from the areas that are currently under the control of the PYD militia, stressing the need to allow them to return to their towns and villages and provide guarantees for their safety.
The Coalition commends the continued efforts to clear the mines that were planted by the PYD militia in the Afrin area, which have already killed many civilians, including women and children.