The residents of Al-Atarib have managed to stop the looting of grain silos in their city through means of civil resistance. On 31 December, activists called for a protest on social media and they also directly communicated with the local civilians to spread awareness about the current situation. In addition, they stressed on the necessity of holding the protest mainly because the head of the grain institution in the city had already appealed for help and stated that the Zenki Movement was willing to loot all the grain silos on the pretense of protecting them from the Nusra Front (HTS).
According to an Aleppo24 correspondent, a massive number of civilians responded to the call and held a mass protest during which they shouted slogans such as ‘ grain is for the people and not for the factions and organizations that are ruining our lives’. One of the protesters said that , ‘ We revolted in order to build institutions, so how can we allow an armed faction to end the activities of the institution of grain silos, which is a civil institution and has all expertise to administer its activities. If they manage to seize control over the grain silos, they will surely keep them for themselves and they could also sell them to the regime.’
Despite the presence of some armed men at the grain silos, the civilians broke their silence and fear and held the protest at the silos. Some Zenki affiliates were loading grain into their trucks when the protesters encircled them and then the head of the civil council of the city asked them what they were doing, and they answered by claiming that they were only protecting the silos from the Nusra. He responded by saying that the people of the Atarib region are able to protect it from both, you and Nusra. Afterwards, he ordered them to stop before the situation would escalate. Then, the affiliates halted the looting of grain and communicated with their leaders, who repeated the same excuse. In the end, the people told them that they are able to protect them and that they must leave the civil institutions alone and go to fight at the frontlines, which forced the Zenki to withdraw its affiliates from all the silos and stop its illegal activity.