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SDF arrests Syrians who refuse to serve

Residents of Syria’s Raqqa governorate are protesting the conscription efforts by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces as young men who refuse to enlist are arrested.

ALEPPO, Syria — The Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is stepping up efforts to force young men into military service in the northern province of Raqqa. Though SDF leaders deny that service is compulsory, on May 18 its Military Discipline Units arrested 20 young men from Tel al-Saman, Khaniz and Mazraat Tishrin in Raqqa for avoiding service and took them to training camps.

The arrest campaign has raised public ire in northeast Syria, specifically in Raqqa, though arrests have been made across the Euphrates region that SDF controls, such as KobaniManbij and its countryside and Al-Jazira. The campaign targets all ethnicities, including Arabs and Kurds.

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