SDF to offer amnesty to Deir ez-Zor fighters
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi on Thursday said the SDF will work on an amnesty for fighters detained during the clashes in Deir ez-Zor after the SDF cleared the city from rival fighters.
"After discussing the recent situation in Deir ez-Zor with tribal leaders and elders from Raqqa, and at their request, they have been tasked with communicating with Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Hafel," the commander posted on the social media platform X.
Sheikh Ibrahim al-Hafel is a tribal leader who had mobilized forces against the SDF in Dhiban. The SDF accused him of working with the Syrian government, and earlier said he would not be pardoned and was wanted by SDF forces. He reportedly fled after the SDF took Dhiban.
"Additionally, we will work on announcing an amnesty for detainees," the SDF leader added.
SDF Commander-in-Chief Abdi also told Reuters that he had met tribal leaders and would honour their request to release dozens of local fighters who had revolted and been detained as the SDF quelled the unrest.
Moreover, he told Al Monitor that he spoke with Ibrahim over the past few days. "I told him that we are ready to work with him. I am renewing this message again through you. I am saying to him, “Come back. Let us meet face to face."
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 and the SDF initially withdrew from large parts of Deir ez-Zor to avoid more bloodshed.
But the SDF quickly regained territory. On Sept 6, the SDF announced that sweeping operations in Dhiban were completed and the main battle was over.
Acccording to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) at least 90 people died during the clashes.
"We lost 25 of our security people. And we also lost seven civilians; 97 of our fighters were wounded," SDF Commander-in-Chief Abdi also told Al Monitor.
In the meanwhile, Turkish-backed groups have continued attacks near Manbij, Ain Issa and Tal Tamr.
Villages on the frontlines between the two sides have experienced mass displacement of civilians to safer areas amidst the military escalation by Turkish-backed factions, SOHR reported.