Late on Tuesday and into the early hours of Wednesday, August 29, tensions escalated in Deir Ezzor, eastern Syria, as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), linked with the PKK, clashed with the Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC). This confrontation was preceded by SDF raids and arrests targeting DMC leaders, their affiliates, journalists, and family members. Over the subsequent four days, the conflict intensified, with the SDF’s attacks on civilians prompting regional tribes to defend their territories and repel the SDF.
The Syrian Salvation Government’s (SSG) Department of Political Affairs released a statement on the matter. It lauds the eastern tribes for their pivotal role in the revolution, particularly against ISIS. The statement points out that while the focus was on these battles, the PKK aimed to covertly dominate the resource-rich eastern regions.
The SSG emphasizes the tribes’ defense of their ancestral lands and acknowledges the support from the people of Idlib. It calls for unity against divisive ideologies that exploit sectarian differences and encourages eastern region residents, including those in Raqqa and Hasakah, to voice their support.
The Assad regime and Iran are pinpointed as the main instigators due to their divisive agendas. The SSG advocates for a united revolutionary stance ensuring every Syrian’s freedom and dignity. It also appeals to media and human rights bodies to spotlight the ongoing violations and seeks immediate intervention to protect the local populace.
Recent updates reveal that tribesmen reclaimed two villages in Aleppo from SDF control, only to retreat under heavy shelling and airstrikes from Russian jets, and combined SDF and Assad forces.
Many tribesmen heeded a collective call from clans and tribes, mobilizing from northern Syria regions governed by the Syrian Interim Government and the SSG. Some defected from the SDF, while others joined the resistance from affected areas.
Ibrahim al-Hafil, a leader of the Akidat tribe, has urged Arab tribes to rally against the SDF, demanding the release of detained civilians and advocating for an Arab tribes’ military council devoid of Kurdish influence. Preliminary death tolls suggest 45 casualties, including five civilians, 17 SDF members, and notably, five children due to combined SDF and Russian shelling.
The Syrian Civil Defense’s deputy director reported Assad regime attacks on the Aleppo village of al-Mohsenli. Despite the SDF being part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, the US has abstained from direct involvement but has urged for a halt in hostilities and de-escalation.