SDF official denies handover of Manbij to Syrian regime

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SDF fighters surrounded by civilians in Manbij after liberating the city from ISIS. File photo: ARA News

ARA News

The official spokesperson of the SDF-led Manbij Military Council, Sharvan Darwish, on Monday denied Syrian regime media reports that suggested that Manbij city was handed over to the regime.

Manbij city was liberated by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from ISIS in August 2016.

Some individuals claiming to represent civilian and tribal institutions in Manbij city said they have reached reconciliation with the Syrian government and said they wished the Syrian army would return to Manbij.

“This is a game played by the regime through its tools and agents to incite the people by mass media campaigns by the regime’s media and opposition media that Manbij will be handed over to the regime,” Darwish said.

In response, the Manbij Military Council spokesperson said the only institutions that represent the people of Manbij is the Manbij Military Council and the Democratic Civil Administration of Manbij. “[They] are the only authorized bodies to speak on behalf of Manbij and represent them,” he said. “They have sacrificed hundreds of martyrs to liberate the city.”

“This while the regime in the last few years did nothing to liberate Manbij from ISIS,” he said. “The regime was watching how Daesh [ISIS] was slaughtering the people in the streets.”

“We affirm that any groups or individuals acting as representatives of the people in Manbij will be prosecuted and referred to the judiciary and that the necessary legal measures will be taken against them if they are present in the land of the city [Manbij], or want to return to it,” Darwish said.

Moreover, he said those who want to return to the regime ‘despite of it’s crimes and practices against the Syrian people’ are welcome to return to the regime’s lap.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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