Over the weekend, the city of Ras al-Ain (Serêkaniyê) in northeast Syria witnessed a series of raids by the Syrian National Army (SNA) targeting individuals for refusing to join protests against US sanctions imposed on specific SNA factions.
These raids led to the detention of 16 administrative employees who declined to participate in demonstrations condemning recent US sanctions against SNA-affiliated groups.
The US Department of the Treasury’s sanctions, announced on 17 August, targeted two divisions within the SNA, along with their leaders and a related car dealership in Istanbul. The sanctions were imposed in response to reported human rights violations against the Kurdish population in Afrin (Efrîn).
According to reports, the SNA’s actions extended beyond the arrests, with local religious and tribal leaders being coerced into publicly rejecting the sanctions. Residents of Afrin and its surrounding areas were also pressured to join protests, with Kurdish residents specifically targeted.