Syrian Democratic Forces military councils

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Flag of the Syrian Democratic Forces

Throughout 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces have established 3 separate military councils in the Shahba region in order to facilitate and conduct military operations in the region. As of late 2016, the three military councils are the Manbij Military Council, the al-Bab Military Council, and the Jarabulus Military Council.


Manbij Military Council
Participant in Syrian Civil War
File:The logo of the Council.jpg
Flag of the Manbij Military Council
Active 2 April 2016 - present
Groups 23x15px Army of Revolutionaries Euphrates Liberation Brigade[2]
  • Adnan Abu-Amjad (military council top commander)
  • Ibrahim al-Bannawi
  • Abu Layla (DOW)
  • Abu Jassim
  • Abu Khalaf
  • Abu Adel
Headquarters Tishrin Dam (pre-offensive)
Manbij (post-offensive)
Area of operations Manbij District, Aleppo Governorate, Syria
Battles and wars

The Manbij Military Council is a coalition established by seven components of the SDF group Army of Revolutionaries on 2 April 2016 at the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates. The military council aims to capture the city of Manbij across the river and many of the council members are local fighters from the surrounding areas.


The Manbij offensive has included the Manbij Military Council, the US Special Operations Forces, and minimal YPG and YPJ involvement assisted by coalition airstrikes, and the offensive will be mostly made of Arabs which what the Manbij Military Council fighters are composed of and minimal YPG involvement. During the offensive, an SDF fighter gave his perspective as "we have Arabs, Kurds, nobody knows how many exactly, we all work under the SDF-forces".[3]

On 5 April, a civilian council was formed in the town of Sarin by individuals originally from Manbij who had fled when IS took over. The council consists of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Circassians,[4] and was created to administer Manbij after its future capture.[5]

The commander of the Manbij Military Council, Abu Layla, died of wounds he suffered from gunshots in the Manbij front against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He was replaced by Abu Adel.

On 19 August 2016, Manbij Military Council issued a written statement and announced that it took over the security of Manbij city center and villages from the official wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces.[6][7]


Al-Bab Military Council
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Infobox al-Bab Military Council.png
Active 14 August 2016-present
Headquarters Manbij
Area of operations Al-Bab District, Aleppo Governorate, Syria
Battles and wars

The al-Bab Military Council was formed on 14 August 2016 by seven small SDF-affiliated factions with the goal of capturing the city of al-Bab, west of Manbij and "a symbol of the revolution and the foundation for a democratic, free and plural Syria". The military council called for US support, and later Afrin based SDF forces launched the an offensive in the countryside, west of al-Bab.[10]

On 31 October 2016, an all-female battalion was established within' the al-Bab Military Council.[11]


Jarabulus Military Council
Participant in the Syrian Civil War
Flag of the Jarablus Military Council
Flag of the Jarablus Military Council
Active August 2016-present
Headquarters Manbij
Area of operations Manbij District, Aleppo Governorate, Syria
Battles and wars

The Jarabulus Military Council is a SDF coalition in the Shaba Region formed by local fighters from the city of Jarabulus and the surrounding areas that fled from ISIL.[14]

Abdel Sattar al-Jader, the initial leader of the Jarabulus Military Council and the commander of the Euphrates Jarabulus Brigades, was assassinated just prior to the Turkish military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, and the SDF have accused the Turkish military intelligence of organizing the murder.[12]


  2. "Join the banner of liberalization of the Euphrates to the Military Council in Aleppo Manbej". ARA News. 2 October 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "SDF-led Manbij Military Council cuts off ISIS supply route between Raqqa and Manbij". Ara News. 2016-06-05. Retrieved 2016-06-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wilgenburg, Wladimir van. "Kurds, rebels in rat race to seize ISIS territory". Retrieved 2016-05-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Kurds set up new civilian council for recapturing Syria's Manbij from ISIS". ARA News. 6 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "SDF withdraws from Manbij after liberation, handing city over to local council". aranews. 19 April 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Manbij Military Council takes over the security of Manbij". ANF. 19 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Military Council Formed for the Liberation of Al-Bab in Rojava". Kurdish Question. 14 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Turkey's Syria offensive aimed at Kurdish YPG". Deutsche Welle. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Kurdish-backed council says Turkey's intervention to make Syrian town "grave for Erdogan troops"". ARA News. 26 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Kurdish-backed council says Turkey's intervention to make Syrian town "grave for Erdogan troops"". ARA News. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>