Syrian Democratic Forces Face Protests

05/12/2019 Syria (International Christian Concern) –The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are backed by the United States and took credit for defeating the Islamic State earlier this year, is facing a series of protests from tribesmen in Deir el-Zour. The protests have been ongoing for two weeks.

The Syrian Democratic Forces are the military arm of the Syrian Democratic Council, which operates the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. The SDF is composed mostly of Kurdish forces, but is also the primary military arm that Syrian religious minority groups have joined to fight ISIS.

Protestors are accusing the SDF of compulsory conscription, arbitrary detention of suspected ISIS militants, and selling oil to Assad’s loyalists. The SDF maintains that the protests are under control. At least one fatality was reported on Thursday. There is concern that the protests could transform into a large uprising which would threaten the stability of the Autonomous Administration and undermine security efforts against ISIS.

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