On October 22, thousands of Arab refugees from Deir Ezzor governorate protested against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) inside the al-Sad refugee camp in the southern al-Hasakah countryside, according to opposition sources.

The refuges reportedly protested because they were forced to stay inside the camps by the SDF. The sources described the refugee camps in SDF-held areas as “big jails”.

Meanwhile, local sources from the camp reported that even ill refugees are not allowed to leave the camps to receive the medical treatment they need. The refuges also protested against the “inhuman treatment”, and the lack of food water and medical supplies, according to opposition activists.

The protest ended after SDF fighters opened fire in the air from their machineguns, according to local sources. However, no casualties related to the shooting were reported.

Local sources believe that hundreds of thousands of Arab refugees from Aleppo, Raqqa, Homs and Deir Ezzor are being held inside the SDF refugee camps. The SDF mainly relies on humanitarian aid from non-governmental organizations to support the camps. However, the aid is not enough to support the high number of the refugees.

The SDF is likely banning the refugees from leaving the camps for security reasons, as many of them are relatives of ISIS fighters. However, this SDF policy contrinutes to growing the tensions between Arabs and Kurds in the SDF-held areas which are already at the dangerous level.

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