SDF arrest 16 activists, media professionals in Syria's Raqqa province
The US-backed forces’ internal security service Asayish targeted the individuals, as they continue to launch arrest campaigns against activists and media professionals in areas under their control, sources told Syria TV.
The arrests come amid heightened tensions surrounding the SDF in Syria, after Turkey – who deem the forces “terrorists” - threatened to launch a military operation against them in the north of the country.
The SDF - the military branch of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria - also arrested Syrian-Kurdish journalist Kamiran Sadoun earlier this month.
The detainee says he was given no clear reason for his detention, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Sadoun said the officers forced him into a car, blindfolded him and hit him, before pointing a gun to his head and ordering him to lay down, simply telling him that he was “wanted” with no further explanation.
Turkish threats towards the SDF led to the Syrian regime fortifying its positions in SDF-held areas in preparation for “any possible aggression” by Ankara.
Russian officials called on the regime and Syrian Kurdish officials to work together to fight against Turkish-backed forces in recent weeks, which the SDF indicated it could do if Turkey follows through on its threats.
Idlib and parts of the Aleppo province are the last areas of Syria to be controlled by anti-Assad rebels, while Turkish-backed Syrian fighters control areas of Syria along the Turkish border.
The Syrian regime does not recognise the SDF's control of northeastern Syria, but has cooperated with it in the past against Turkey and Syrian opposition groups.