DAMASCUS (Dispatches) -- Hundreds of people in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah staged separate demonstrations Sunday to denounce the Turkish military deployment to their area as well as the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and arbitrary practices of the U.S.-backed militants.
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.
Security situation is 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 U.S.-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 rally was also held in Tayy neighborhood of Qamishli on Saturday, where participants expressed resentment over the deteriorating living conditions in their region.
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.
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.