US officials meet with SDF and Deir ez-Zor tribal leaders
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The US Embassy in Syria on Sunday announced that Ethan Goldrich, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Coalition Commander Major General Joel B. Vowell met with leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and tribal leaders from Deir ez-Zor, where they discussed the situation in Deir ez-Zor.
NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary Goldrich and OIR Commander Major General Vowell met in northeast Syria with the SDF, the SDC, and tribal leaders from Deir El-Zour. They agreed on the importance of addressing the grievances of residents of Deir El-Zour, the dangers of outsiders…— U.S. Embassy Syria (@USEmbassySyria) September 3, 2023
“They agreed on the importance of addressing the grievances of residents of Deir El-Zour (Deir ez-Zor), the dangers of outsiders interfering in Deir El-Zour (Deir ez-Zor), the need to avoid civilian deaths and casualties, and the need for de-escalation of violence as soon as possible,” the US Embassy in Syria said.
Moreover, “DAS Goldrich and MG Vowell reiterated the importance of the strong U.S. partnership with the SDF in the D-ISIS effort.”
Also on Sunday, the US-led coalition in a statement again called for an immediate end to the continued clashes in the Deir ez-Zor region.
The coalition underlined “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. This poses dire consequences and only allows for a situation that nobody welcomes—the resurgence of our common enemy—Daesh.”
Since Aug. 27, heavy clashes broke out between the SDF and Arab tribes in Deir ez-Zor, after the SDF arrested and dismissed Abu Khawla, the head of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council, an Arab majority group that was part of the SDF and fought against ISIS. Since then the conflict has escalated.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Sunday that the SDF began complete combing operations for Al-Basirah city in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor after completely taking control of it.
Lastly, it also began operations in Al-Shuhail town after taking control of parts of it. “The region is witnessing a complete calm and cease of clashes between both sides,” SOHR reported.
“De-escalatory efforts are occurring, the latest being today's meeting between the US, SDF, SDC (Syrian Democratic Council), and Deir ez-Zor tribal figures. The participation of the SDC is notable, demonstrating recognition of the importance of the situation not being dealt with purely as a security file. In addition, several tribal notables across NES (Northeast Syria) have made statements calling for de-escalation,” Samantha Teal from the Rojava Information Centre (RIC), told Kurdistan 24.
“Their impact remains to be seen, however, in the face of the ongoing attempts at escalating the situation by actors ranging from Government of Syria affiliates on the banks of the Euphrates, to SNA-linked (Syrian National Army) militiamen in Syria’s Turkish-occupied north, with numerous media also citing evidence of the involvement of Iranian-backed militias in the rapid acceleration of violence,” she added.