Video campaign targets SDF amid threats of Turkish invasion: Manbij spokesperson

"The videos are meant to undermine the security and stability in Syria’s northeast."

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Shervan Derwish, a spokesperson for the Manbij Military Council (MMC), claimed on Monday that there is a media campaign meant to distort the image of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) amid Turkish threats to invade the east of the Euphrates.

A video spread on social media and published in Turkish media channels shows what appears to be a person in an SDF uniform beating three people, including one woman, before urinating on them.

Derwish claimed the video was fabricated and meant to cause conflict between Arabs and Kurds in the region amid ongoing rumors of a Turkish invasion of Syria’s northeast.

“The noted person, who appears in the video, says that those individuals have been fleeing forced conscription—even though the SDF does not apply compulsory recruitment to women,” he said.

The MMC spokesperson noted that the military disciplinary police is responsible for prosecuting military violations, such as civilians attempting to escape compulsory service in the SDF-linked self-duty forces.

A vehicle with the logo of the internal security forces, known as Asayish in Kurdish, along with an SDF flag also appears in the video.

According to Derwish, the uniforms worn by the internal security forces are different from the military fatigues the SDF wear.

“The tape was circulated in Manbij, where the Manbij Military Council is in charge, and they do not raise the flags of any other military forces in the city,” he said.

On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which has been critical of SDF actions in the past, particularly in Deir al-Zor province, claimed that evidence shows the video is fake.

“The Syrian Observatory rejects all forms of torture and abuse against the Syrian citizen by any party,” it said in a statement.

“However, such fabricated videos in primitive ways which appear…at a time when Turkey is preparing to launch a military campaign east of Euphrates, aim to create an Arab-Kurdish strife.”

Turkey has threatened to invade the east of the Euphrates and has mobilized troops on the Syrian-Turkish border.

In response, the US-led coalition has launched patrols on the border between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany