The recent events of Manbij between interpretation and correction

Ali al-Jassem/Manbij

The popular movement in Manbij and the chaos resulted on the one hand, and the presentation of legitimate popular demands on the other hand, topped the scene as an exceptional event since the liberation of Manbij from the terrorist mercenaries of ISIS. It certainly will not go unnoticed at various levels. Rather, we do not exaggerate if we say that this popular movement has sent many diverse messages, whether with regard to the community or the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

The first message: bridging the gap

Those who follow the Syrian crisis since its outbreak in Syria in March 2011 will find many indications that the two poles of the Syrian conflict tried to exploit the clans and sectarianism as one of the cards to pressure the other side. The Syrian government started to win over the clans, especially the Arab ones, for fear that the mercenaries of the Syrian National Coalition (SNA) would benefit from their investment and turn against them or vice versa by the Syrian government, which happened from time to time, but the majority of the Syrian clans realized that both sides had destroyed the country in a marginal conflict that did not touch the core of the clan’s demands in the search for a stable and secure life while tired of the painful economic reality. The clans realized the large number of losses in Syria that the two sides of the conflict, with their indiscriminate war, affected people, stones and trees, after it became a rolling snowball affecting everyone who stands in front of it, while it proved that it is inevitable to stand with the democratic nation project, which took the position of the third party, and this was reflected in the broadening of the popular base, demanding the necessity of laying down arms and sitting on the negotiating table and accepting a political settlement for all parties.

There is no doubt that the security and stability that the city of Manbij has witnessed since the liberation in its five years, and the clans played a major role in achieving it, was the impact of their sons who joined the ranks of the Manbij Military Council and contributed to the victory made on August 15, 2016. This was accompanied with the establishment of the democratic civil administration that emerged from the local circles of the various communities which worked with each other to advance the process of construction, development and prosperity.

The recent events in Manbij would not have occurred and developed into a complete chaos that claimed the lives of some civilians and injured others had it not been for a social hole between the body of the democratic autonomous administration and the popular clan cohesion, as the agenda and poison of the hostile parties leaked through it which became aware that if the democratic nation project continues, it will threaten their presence and in a way swallows all the leaders, including the ruling regimes.

In this sense, keeping this hole wide open will expose the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) to danger and risks, especially as hostile parties plot conspiracies and wait for chances to intervene and destabilize security and stability in order to broadcast the sectarian and clan discourse, which if it expands, will be difficult to close it later. This entails that it should take concrete steps towards that, according to the following:

  • Holding broad conference for the clans in the AANES areas with the aim of strengthening its position by engaging within the various social strata.
  • Conducting a national charter in the form of a work sheet in the presence of all the dignitaries and tribal sheikhs of the Autonomous Administration regions, as a pledge from them to ensure that the security and stability of the regions of north and east Syria are preserved from any danger that threatens the cohesion of society.

The second message: Fall to the top

It is striking that the recent events in Manbij demanded a number of legitimate demands from the Autonomous Administration of Manbij. Various crises have recently been raised that have affected the social services, such as a shortage of fuel and cement and improving the quality of bread. Despite the fact that these services are marred by many errors and shortcomings, the inciting discourse on the social media reached its peak, and the instigators who were outside Manbij, according to the opinion of many followers, took advantage of that.

The legitimate popular demands could have been resolved through dialogue or expressed on the street in civilized ways, as expressed by the organizers of the demonstrations in Europe calling for reform by lying on the asphalt or by wearing a flannel containing writings and slogans that they wish to convey to the competent authorities without any riot and clamor or to reach a stage of attacking public or private property, as happened at the beginning of the Syrian revolution.

The recent popular protests in Manbij lacked real guidance or a good example that would communicate their complaints about the inadequate performance of social services or what they called in response to the recruitment campaigns which recently carried out by the Self-Defense in Manbij in an optimal manner. In the context of the sequence of events, some of the boys carrying sticks and stones went out in the public square of the city of Manbij, and then demanded that the recruitment campaign carried out by the Defense Office be immediately cancelled, which was accompanied by encroachment on some public property in addition to riots that affected 70 cameras in a number of different places belonging to the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) of Manbij and the demolition of some signs/store fronts, in addition to assaulting and insulting members of the Asayish.

The Autonomous Administration of Manbij succeeded in turning the page on the recent events through continuous meetings with dignitaries and clan elders in Manbij that resulted in several outcomes, foremost of which was stopping the recruitment campaign and caring for the injured in private hospitals until they recover, in addition to compensating the families of the killers by paying blood money to them. However, this page did not prevent the presence of several important points as follows:

  • The main reason for the popular demonstrations was the self-defense campaign, which included the recruitment of some young people for compulsory service, which created a negative reaction by the population, and this would not have happened if the community knew the importance of self-defense and the necessity of its presence in preserving the gains of the Autonomous Administration and the public and private property, while the shortcoming is caused by a weakness in the work of the academies in their ability to clarify the concepts of self-defense so that the people can accept it voluntarily.
  • The Autonomous Administration had embarked on its endeavor to improve social services such as fuel, cement and bread. At the same time, it was not at the level of comprehensive economic feasibility with emergency solutions that would soon be renewed. By economic feasibility, we mean studying the needs of each region regarding various services and providing them through projects based on the corporate system, where the Autonomous Administration provides all facilities to contain deficiencies instead of getting lost in finding the procedure that is supposed to solve the problem temporarily. While searching for activation and increasing production efficiency should be done and then opening a second gas plant that covers all the needs in the interior regions, or opening a factory for the manufacture of yeast to meet the needs of bakeries, which limits their import from Turkey instead of looking for a new, futile procedure.
  • Founding centers for research and social studies affiliated to the General Legislative Council that works on crystallizing laws and legislation in light of their connection to reality, which helps to be accurate and studied, as well as avoiding excess and error, which has cost the Autonomous Administration to fall into the consequences of widespread objections that began with the decision to raise fuel prices, not the last of which is to stop the recruitment campaign in Manbij in light of the popular protests and its complete rejection of it.