Kurdistan WATCH: Manbij celebrates first Newroz after eliminating IS

WATCH: Manbij celebrates first Newroz after eliminating IS
A musical band whose members are locals from the Syrian northern town of Manbij participate in the Kurdish New Year (Nawroz) celebration in the town, Manbij, Aleppo province, Syria, March 21, 2017. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

MANBIJ, Syria (Kurdistan24) - On Tuesday, people of the Syrian northern town of Manbij celebrated the Kurdish New Year (Newroz) for the first time since it was liberated from the Islamic State (IS) last year.

A Kurdistan24 correspondent at the ceremony reported that various ethnic and religious components of Manbij participated in the celebrations.

"Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen of Manbij are celebrating Newroz. We say Happy Newroz to them," said Berivan, a woman who was participating in the ceremony.

"After suffering for three years under the tyranny of [IS], life returned to the region and its people," she said.

Newroz celebration in Manbij was organized by the new local administration.

People of Manbij say they took part in the celebration because they regard Newroz as a symbol of peaceful coexistence.

Husen, an Arab man from Manbij, told Kurdistan 24, "This is the New Day and the new life returned by the struggle of our people."

"[This celebration] is the achievement of our fighters who spill their blood to protect us. They liberated our country and people and now we are celebrating Newroz together," he said.

Kurds usually mark the celebration by lighting large bonfires, singing and dancing.

For Kurds, Newroz is an event which symbolizes their revolution and struggle throughout history.

Manbij is a key town located in the IS-held area in northern Syria. It is the only corridor open to the Turkish border and the world.

The YPG-led, US-backed SDF launched the Manbij operation on May 31 and liberated the town completely on Aug. 12 after a two-month battle.

The Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, who were organized under a Turkey-brokered operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield," took control of the Syrian town of Jarabulus on the border with Turkey last August.


Editing by Ava Homa

(Additional reporting by Kurdistan24 correspondent Redwan Bezar) 

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