Insurgent attacks continue on SDF forces in Deir ez-Zor

Arab fighters have continued to attack positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir ez-Zor.
SDF fighters in Deir ez-Zor (Photo: SDF Media Centre)
SDF fighters in Deir ez-Zor (Photo: SDF Media Centre)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Arab fighters have continued to attack positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir ez-Zor and the SDF have stepped up arrests of suspected gunmen.

On Wednesday, the SDF arrested nearly 20 people in the Nazl Al-Faour area in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, accusing them of carrying out sabotage acts,  the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

On Wednesday, Syrian government forces also opened fire on SDF positions across the river.

Also on Monday, Syrian government forces shelled the SDF-held town of Hajin in Deir ez-Zor.

The eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir ez-Zor is controlled by the SDF forces, while the western bank is controlled by the Syrian government and Iranian-backed armed groups.

Moreover, local gunmen attacked a commander of the SDF in Deir ez-Zor, in which one civilian was killed and four were injured, the SOHR reported on Tuesday.

The commander’s car was targeted with an improvised explosive device (IED), after which gunmen attacked the car.

On Monday, two gunmen died from their injuries in clashes that took place between SDF and local gunmen in Al-Rabida Town in the northern Deir ez-Zor countryside.

Also on Monday, the SDF also arrested eight civilians on charges of helping rival Arab fighters in al-Sousah in Deir ez-Zor. Furthermore, on Sept. 27, three men were arrested by the Kurdish Asayish forces in Al-Hawa’aj town in eastern Deir ez-Zor.

From Aug. 27 to Sept. 12, heavy clashes broke out between the SDF and rival Arab militants in Deir ez-Zor, after the SDF arrested and dismissed Abu Khawla, the head of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council.

Some tribes in Deir ez-Zor have supported the insurgents against the SDF, while others stayed neutral or backed the SDF.

Also on Sept. 25, fighting resumed when rival fighters again attacked SDF fighters near Dhiban. However, by Sept. 26, the SDF regained their positions.

The SOHR said in a report that at least 118 people, including ten civilians, were killed in the two rounds of violent clashes between local gunmen from Deir ez-Zor countryside and members of the SDF.

Read More: Syrian government sends groups to attack SDF in Deir ez-Zor: SDF

The SDF has accused the Syrian government of backing tribal leader Ibrahim al-Hifl and tribal fighters in stirring unrest in Deir ez-Zor  and launching insurgent attacks on the SDF. Supporters of al-Hifl have denied the accusations of regime support.

In a voice message last week, al-Hifl also called for continued attacks on the SDF.

The US-led coalition earlier called on tribal leaders to repel the influence of malign actors.

“It is imperative that all local leaders resist the influence of malign actors who promise many rewards but will deliver only suffering to the peoples of the area,” US-led Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant (SOJTF LEVANT) said in an earlier statement.

Farhad Shami, the head of SDF’s Media Center, said during an interview with Rojava TV on Tuesday, that al-Hifl is under house arrest by the Syrian government, which prevents him from surrendering to the SDF.