Besides the incorporation of military factions with roots in former rebel groups of northwest Syria into the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), there is also a civilian administration body that works with the Autonomous Administration backed by the SDF and has its roots in the northwest. This body is called the Green Idlib Council, which is based in Raqqa and serves as a liaison between displaced people from Idlib currently residing in the SDF-held areas and the Autonomous Administration. The Green Idlib Council hopes to be able to return someday to Idlib.
In general, when figures in the SDF speak of working with the 'opposition,' they are referring to the military factions aligned with it and rooted in former rebel groups as well as civil administration embodied in the likes of the Green Idlib Council. They are not referring to Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and its allies in Idlib and its environs, the conventional opposition-in-exile based in Turkey or the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, for these entities are deemed subservient agents of Turkey and/or terrorists and extremists.
Below is an account provided to me by the Green Idlib Council concerning the reasons for its name, the council's history and structure as well as its accomplishments.
The Autonomous Administration
Green Idlib Council
Indeed Idlib in what it represents from a civilised past and a historical heritage: the imprints of terrorism and extremism will not be able to wipe out all that deep-rooted history and civil civilisation that extends over thousands of years that reach deep into human history.
Therefore it has been necessary for us- the sons of Idlib- to display its true face and its leading role, which it has enjoyed and by which it has been distinguished- disregarding us- from the rest of the Syrian towns, on account of captivating natural beauty and diversity of plant cover and moderate climate. This has made the characterisation of Idlib through the ages as green a plain fact.
Therefore the 'Green Idlib Council' is the true title and content to give expression to Green Idlib, and it is not as the crows of evil and bats of darkness from the terrorist organisations have wanted for the place to be a black centre.
And the date of establishment of the 'Green Idlib Council' was on 7 July 2019 in the city of Raqqa in a temporary sense until Green Idlib is liberated from the filth of terrorism and the extremists.
And of course those who lead the 'Green Idlib Council' are of the people of competencies and skills and have patriotic sentiment and high ethics.
And among the most important tasks of the Green Idlib Council:
The council is considered the link between the people of Idlib and the civil and military authorities, and it works to answer the needs of the people with those authorities, and the council responds to the request of the institutions in what concerns the people of Idlib.
And the 'Green Idlib Council' is composed of offices that cover the various aspects and fields that concern the sons of Green Idlib and oversee them and facilitate their affairs in addition to supervising the organisation of their matters in the various fields of livelihood and social life in all the regions of the Autonomous Administration for North and East Syria for those resident and the displaced from Green Idlib.
1. Joint Presidency: which oversees the work of the committees and organisation of their work.
2. Services Office: which answers the services needs of the people from providing mazout and gas and bread and water and renovating and repairing the sewage as well as cleaning, in coordination with the People's Municipal Office in Raqqa.
3. Woman's Committee which deals with the affairs that concern the woman and the most important of them is to defend the rights of the woman and work to implement the role of the woman and many other works.
4. Conciliation Committee that works on the problems if present and spreading the culture and spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding by removing the seeds of division and dispute from their roots.
5. Youth and Sports Committee that deals with the affairs of the male and female youth by establishing matters of entertainment like a stadium for football, volleyball and other sports.
6. The Education Committee that deals with matters of education and removing illiteracy by opening educational courses where the children have been cut off from the schools because of the war and displacement.
And the 'Green Idlib Council' has had an important role since its establishment in tracking, facilitating and organising the sons of Green Idlib who became displaced from Idlib during the battles and bombing from which Green Idlib has suffered since the extremist organisations seized its territory.
For the 'Green Idlib Council' has secured matters of life and the necessary facilities for the displaced people fleeing from the hell of what has been occurring in Green Idlib.
And there was the patriotic and humanitarian initiative that 'General Madlhoum Abdi' announced on 27 December 2019 through a tweet of his saying:
'Our doors are open to our people in Idlib. They can coordinate with the Idlibi military forces that come under the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces in order to head to our regions.'
From the participation of the Green Idlib Council in a demonstration against the third anniversary of the Turkish-led invasion of Afrin. The sign in the centre reads: 'No to the occupation. We defend the gains of the revolution and protect them.'
And the coordination, tracking and facilitation of the crossing for the displaced people coming from Green Idlib to the areas of the Autonomous Administration took place through 'Liwa al-Shamal al-Dimoqrati' that put all its capabilities and the efforts of its personnel to use in order to offer all that is necessary for the displaced people from the sons and people of Green Idlib, and secure all their basic and humanitarian needs. And here we must praise the humanitarian and ethical role of 'Liwa al-Shamal al-Dimoqrati' and we must thank all they have offered us.
And the 'Green Idlib Council' has coordinated and cooperated with the democratic institutions of the Autonomous Administration for North and East Syria, which have offered all their available capabilities, in accordance with the noble initiative of 'General Madloum Abdi.' And we still receive constant oversight and tracking from them.
Indeed the 'Green Idlib Council' has proven since its establishment the importance of its entrusted role and the necessity of what it undertakes. Despite the catastrophic humanitarian situation that has befallen the people of Idlib, which is not hidden, nonetheless the international NGOs have not had any tangible or positive role to reduce the suffering of the displaced people of Idlib.
But this will not and has not diverted us from our determination we have taken up and our aim that we have kept in mind, in serving the sons and people of Green Idlib.
Therefore we are continuing to raise the level of our efforts and develop the level of our work that we put in place in service to Idlib and its people.