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Syrian protesters call for withdrawal of Turkish, SDF forces from Qamishli

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Local residents of Halkou neighborhood in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, Hasakah province, Syria, stage a demonstration on January 10, 2021 to protest the presence of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and demand their withdrawal. (Photo by SANA)

Hundreds of people in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah have staged separate demonstrations to denounce the Turkish military deployment to their area, in addition to the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and arbitrary practices of the US-backed militants.

On Sunday, residents of Halkou neighborhood in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli demonstrated against poor living conditions.

The SDF militants have had the area under siege for a week, preventing the entry of food supplies for the locals.

The protesters demanded an immediate end to criminal actions by the militants in addition to their withdrawal.

Local residents of Halkou neighborhood in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, Hasakah province, Syria, stage a demonstration on January 10, 2021 to protest the presence of US-backed SDF militants and demand their withdrawal. (Photo by SANA)

Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in the areas controlled by the SDF in Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces.

Locals argue that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaign have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihood.

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

Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, neglecting services and not meeting the people’s primary needs.

A protest was also held in Tayy neighborhood of Qamishli on Saturday, where participants expressed resentment over the deteriorating living conditions in their region.

Syrians participate in a demonstration against military deployment by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkey to their land in Tayy neighborhood of Qamishli, Hasakah province, Syria, January 9, 2021. (Photo by SANA)

On October 9, 2019, Turkey launched a cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in an attempt to push Kurdish militants affiliated with the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) — which Ankara views as a terror outfit — away from its borders.

Two weeks later, Russia and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding that forced the YPG militants to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, after which Ankara and Moscow began joint patrols around the area.

Syrians participate in a demonstration against military deployment by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkey to their land in Tayy neighborhood of Qamishli, Hasakah province, Syria, January 9, 2021. (Photo by SANA)

Turkey has since wrested control of several areas in northern Syria in addition to other Kurdish-controlled areas.

Damascus views the Turkish military presence on Syrian soil as an attack on the Arab country's sovereignty.


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