Youth from Manbij talked to Hawar News Agency regarding the Turkish offensive that is ongoing in the region and shared their messages of resistance despite the attacks they have been facing.
Supported by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Manbij Military Council (MMC) liberated the northern Syrian town of Manbij from the ISIS in 2016.
Turkey launched a ground and air assault on the town in 2019 only days after the US President Donald Trump agreed to move American troops from the town and other border regions in northern Syria when Turkey targeted the SDF-held towns of Ras al-Ain (Serêkaniyê) and Tell Abyad (Gire Spi).
Following Turkey’s intervention in northeastern Syria in October 2019, the US and Russia signed separate ceasefire deals with Turkey, limiting Turkish control of the area between Ras al-Ain and Tell Abyad, yet Turkish-backed groups and the Turkish army have continued targeting Manbij as well as many other SDF-held regions in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) previously reported a number of civilian casualties, including children, caused by shelling from a Turkish military base in the village of Sheikh Nasser in Manbij.
“Special war techniques”
“Ideological war is far more dangerous than the military war,” said Ehmed Cemil, the Co-Chair of the Manbij Syria Youth Movement.
“The Turkish state does not want the peoples of the region to live in peace and plunders the region. In order to do that, it uses special war techniques. They are trying to introduce the use of narcotic drugs in the region to keep the youth away from the struggle.”
“They target the youth most”
“We condemn the international community and NGOs for their continuing silence in the face of the attacks of the Turkish state,” said Meryem Şahis, the Co-Chair of the Manbij Revolutionary Movement.
She emphasised that the Turkish offensive in Manbij has a special target. “Due to the attacks of Turkey the people of the region are forced to migrate. The Turkish state especially targets young people, because they know that the youth are the leading power of the society. They want to assimilate the youth and occupy the region easily,” Şahis said.
Mistefa Misiri from the Manbij Revolutionary Youth Movement stated, “The youth should resist more against the occupation in North and East Syria, but especially in Ain Issa. The youth should never accept the occupation of their lands.”