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US-backed SDF militants kidnap civilians, prevent food from entering al-Hawl refugee camp

In this file picture, women and children are seen at the al-Hawl refugee camp in northeastern Syria near the border with Iraq. (Photo by The New York Times)

Militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have abducted several civilians from the al-Hawl refugee camp in the northeastern Syrian province of al-Hasakah, and prevented the entry of food stuff highly needed for thousands of people stranded at the camp.

Local sources told Syria’s official news agency SANA that US-backed SDF militants on Thursday stormed the camp, located near the border with Iraq, and arrested a number of people, before preventing food from crossing into the site amid a worsening humanitarian situation there.

SANA added that the development took place only a day after more than 25 minors suffered nausea and breathing difficulties after they were apparently given various doses of sleeping bills to be smuggled out of the refugee camp to a training camp run by the SDF militants.

SDF militants’ positions attacked in Dayr al-Zawr, Raqqah

Also on Thursday, the positions of the US-sponsored militants were attacked by unidentified assailants in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr as well as the northwestern province of Raqqah.

SANA, citing civil sources in Dayr al-Zawr, reported that unknown people hurled a hand grenade at an SDF position in Abu Hamam town in Abu Kamal district, causing material damage. There were no reports of casualties.

Elsewhere in al-Hous village in Raqqah province, several SDF militants were injured when a car bomb explosion struck them.

Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in SDF-controlled areas in Hasakah, Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the militants.

Local Syrians complain that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihood.

Residents accuse the US-sponsored militants of stealing crude oil and refusing to spend money on service sectors.

Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption.

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