(Zaman Al Wasl)- Manbij Military Council, key unit in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), looted and confiscated the property of residents of the town of Rtala, southeast of Raqqa city. Meanwhile other militias in the SDF continue to prevent residents from returning to their homes in the villages in Raqqa’s eastern countryside.
In a Facebook message to Zaman al-Wasl, local sources said that a group from the Manbij militia, known as the Manbij Military Council, robbed houses in Rtala after breaking down doors and they vandalized some houses. The sources explained that the fighters stole sheep, motor bikes, and electrical generators on July 3.
The sources pointed out that the villagers went to the militia leadership to demand the stolen items be returned three days ago. The militia members fired at villagers to disperse them resulting in one civilian causality.
According to the same sources, other militias led by the Democratic Union Party in the battle against the Islamic State forces in al-Raqqah, carried out looting campaigns in the villages of al-Hamrat in the Karama district east of al-Raqqah. The militias are still preventing residents of these areas from returning to their homes with the exception of very few families who returned to Hamrat Nasir to harvest the agricultural land only.
The sources said that these militias “even stole the cow feed in the village of Hamra Bouitiya,” as a metaphor to indicate that they stole everything that is useful no matter how cheap the object.
In a related context, activists in the “Raqqah is being slaughtered silently” campaign said that Mashlab neighborhood and al-Akerishi town east of al-Raqqah, witnessed an arbitrary campaign of theft and vandalism at the hands of SDF militias.
It is noteworthy that the Syrian Democratic Forces led by the Democratic Union Party began the battle for al-Raqqah from the eastern and western axes 40 days ago. The International Coalition forces against the Islamic State have provided aerial and artillery support throughout the campaign.