Merchants in Manbij town, in the governorate of Aleppo, closed their shops and businesses to express their opposition to a campaign of detentions, harassment and summary executions by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in recent weeks.
According to witnesses, the ISIL militants fired warning shots and set fire on a number of stores that were closed as part of the strike. Witnesses also said that the ISIL militants detained one merchant and several activists, including a woman.
This comes as the Syrian army continues its push to free more areas from the militants in and around Aleppo, including the two regions of al-Barij and Tal Aleppo.
On May 16, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon blasted the militants over cutting water supplies to the people in Aleppo. “Deliberate targeting of civilians and depriving them of essential supplies is a clear breach of international humanitarian and human rights law,” Ban said.
According to statistics compiled by the UN, some 2.5 million people have been deprived of access to clean water since the militants cut water supplies in the strategic city earlier this month.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.