SDF commander killed in IED attack in Deir ez-Zor
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Wednesday confirmed that prominent SDF commander Roni Welat (Shervan Hassan) was killed in a ‘terrorist attack’ in Deir ez-Zor on Tuesday.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for HUman Rights (SOHR) also confirmed the commander’s death, reporting that he was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) at the entrance of Al-Omar Oil Field base, which also hosts US troops, in Deir ez-Zor.
Roni Welat participated in many operations against ISIS, including in Tal Abyad, Raqqa, Manbij, Tabqa, and Deir ez-Zor, including leading the battle against ISIS in Hajin, Deir ez-Zor.
Moreover, Welat played a role in reconciliation efforts with Arab tribes after the SDF engaged in battles with a tribal force in regards to the arrest of Abu Khawla, the leader of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council in late August.
Since then, Deir ez-Zor saw several clashes between the SDF and Arab tribal gunmen, lead by Sheikh Ibrahim al-Hifl, in which dozens were killed.
The SDF has blamed the Syrian Government and Iran for being behind the unrest in Deir ez-Zor.
Sheikh Ahmad Al Qais al-Huwaidi of the Al Bushaban tribe claimed in a recent interview with Al Monitor’s Amberin Zaman that Iran has supported a revolt by al-Hifl, and gave him control of a village in exchange for his support.
Social media accounts supporting al-Hifl’s tribal forces claimed responsibility for the attack. However, his forces have not officially claimed the attack.