Manbij security forces release 41 prisoners after mediation by Syrian tribes

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SDF-led Manbij Military Council announcing the outcomes of the anti-ISIS operation in the Syrian border city of Manbij. File photo: ARA News

ARA News

The internal security forces of Manbij city in northern Syria released on Monday 41 detainees after mediation by local tribal leaders.

Farouk al-Mashi, the co-head of the Manbij city council thanked the internal security forces to accept the request of the elders and tribal leaders of Manbij for an amnesty.

The Manbij Civilian Council was formed on 5 April 2016 and took over the city’s administration and countryside after the city was liberated from ISIS in August 2016, in a campaign that took over two months.

The Manbij council was headed by co-presidents Faruk al-Mashi, an Arab tribal member and a former Syrian parliament member, and Sozdar Khalid, a female Kurd from Manbij.

Currently, the city is under the protection of the internal security forces of Manbij.

A similar force is being trained by the US-led coalition to control Raqqa after ISIS is defeated. Furthermore, a civilian council was also created for Raqqa last month.

The Arab-majority towns of Manbij and Tel Abyad are seen as future examples for Raqqa that is now being besieged by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Washington-based Middle East researcher at the Centre for a New American Security, Nicholas Heras, told ARA News: “Establishing local councils comprised of Arab tribal leaders is an important component of the strategy to replace ISIS.”

“Local governance must be present on Day 1 after ISIS, to coordinate humanitarian aid, oversee reconstruction, and to support the security forces left by the SDF to hold the hard-won territory taken from ISIS,” Heras said.

“The Coalition depends on the SDF for military victory over ISIS, and the SDF will depend on the local councils for the governance after victory over ISIS,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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