20 dead in one day in clashes between the SDF and Arab tribes in the east
International

20 dead in one day in clashes between the SDF and Arab tribes in the east

With our correspondent from the region, Paul Khalifeh

Fights focus around the locality of Zeiban, on the left bank of the Euphrates, the stronghold of the tribal chief Ibrahim al-Hafl, whom the Syrian Democratic Forces consider the initiator of the rebellion of the Arab tribes. And they are very intense. The Pan-Arab channel al-Mayadeen, near Damascus, indicates that the SDF has violently bombarded Zeibane using armed drones and mortar shells.

Although they have far more firepower than tribal fighters, the Kurdish-dominated forces move slowly. The Arab tribes, who ordered a general mobilization, offered strong resistance.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and sources close to Damascus claim that the SDF took over some localities after bringing in large reinforcements from other provinces under its control. But much of the east of the eastern province of Deir Ezzor still eludes them.

Negotiations and refugees

American officers and diplomats sponsored a meeting between representatives of the warring parties to try to end the conflict between their allies. Mediation failed.

Faced with the violence of the fighting, residents of several localities crossed to the right bank of the Euphrates to seek refuge in areas controlled by the Syrian government.

For more than a week, the SDF and Arab tribes have clashed following the arrest of former Ahmad al-Khabil, head of the Deir Ezzor Military Council, a local armed Arab group linked to the SDF. He is accused of embezzlement, drug trafficking and collusion with the regime.

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