SDF comes under renewed regime attack in Deir ez-Zor
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) came under a renewed attack on Sunday morning from gunmen crossing the Euphrates River 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.
“Al-Thiban, Hawayij Thiban, Hawayij Al-Jurthi, Abu Hardoub and Al-Shakikah villages in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, witnessed attacks by local gunmen and [are] under an artillery coverage by regime forces,” the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.
The SDF media center in a press statement said the SDF was attacked at 5 a.m. from three different directions in “the Syrian regime-controlled areas of Sabikhan, Dweir, and Al-Mayadin, on the western bank of the Euphrates River.”
The media center added that rival gunmen sought to infiltrate the villages and towns of Abu Hardoub, Dhiban, and Abu Hamam. “Nevertheless, our forces confronted them, resulting in intense clashes that culminated in the elimination of 19 mercenaries, including 6 in the town of Dhiban and 13 others in the village of Abu Hardoub.”
“Furthermore, a vessel transporting a contingent of mercenaries was obliterated, and 20 mercenaries sustained injuries, among them Marwan Al-Fadel, a prominent figure in the Syrian regime-backed militia ‘Osoud al Sharqiya’. Our forces also confiscated substantial quantities of weaponry, ammunition, and military apparatus.”
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.
Also on Sept. 25, fighting resumed when rival Arab fighters again attacked SDF fighters near Dhiban. However, by Sept. 26, the SDF regained their positions.
The SDF has accused the Syrian regime of backing tribal leader Sheikh 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.
On Oct. 18, Sheikh Hifl also announced his forces would again launch attacks on the SDF.