DEIR AL-ZOR, Syria (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Kurdish-Arab alliance last week announced the formation of a civilian council to govern Deir al-Zor city once they retake it from the Islamic State (IS).
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in an online statement said they helped establish the council in Jazra village in the northwest countryside of the city.
The council was formed by a founding committee organized by the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the SDF of which the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is a key component.
Members of the founding committee have elected Ghassan Al-Yousef and Layla Al-Hasan as co-chairs of the council.
“The Deir al-Zor civilian council contains 15 boards which will run the affairs of liberated areas in the province,” the SDF media office stated.
The SDF's media office said it would help the civilian council in their basic tasks, including the rebuilding and protection of liberated areas in Deir al-Zor.
“The civilian board members and agencies will take on the main role, and we will support them,” an SDF officer told Kurdistan 24.
The council members said they would soon start establishing service departments.
The SDF and its political wing, the SDC, along with community leaders in Deir al-Zor province began working on forming the civilian council when operations to retake the eastern areas of the Euphrates from IS was announced a few weeks ago.
Syrian government forces, supported by Russian airstrikes and Iran-backed militias, and the SDF, are converging on the jihadist group in separate offensives around Deir al-Zor.
Last week, the SDF seized the Conoco gas field, a major natural gas field in Deir al-Zor province, from IS militants in an expeditious assault. The start of the operation to capture areas east of the Euphrates river was launched earlier this month.
Editing by G.H. Renaud
(Additional reporting by Ekrem Saleh from Jazra, Deir al-Zor province)