DAYRO ZCURO (DEIR EZ-ZOR), Syria — On Monday, a meeting was held between General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi, the Military Commander of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council (DMC), and the Co-Chair of Deir ez-Zor Civil Council in the Al-Omar oil fields in the eastern countryside of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor).
The meeting was held to discuss the latest developments of the assassination campaign against officials and tribal leaders in Dayro Zcuro and recent tensions with Syrian regime forces positioned on the western bank of the Euphrates River.
Earlier, the Al-Bakir clan of the Al-Akkidat tribe held a meeting to discuss the situation in the region. That meeting was attended by the Co-Chair of the Deir ez-Zor Civil Council and a delegation from the U.S.-led International Coalition. A statement was issued following the meeting that called for the removal of Russian, Iranian, and Syrian regime forces from villages in Dayro Zcuro countryside and the intensification of the investigation into the assassinations.
Dayro Zcuro has experienced an increase in targeted shootings and bombings in recent weeks.
The SDF suspects that the Syrian regime and allied Iranian militias are behind the campaign of assassinations targeting local security personnel and tribal leaders cooperating with the SDF and its civil partners, the Syrian Democratic Council and the Democratic Autonomous Administration.
Earlier this month, people in Dayro Zcuro took to the streets to protest the attacks.
During the demonstration, clashes broke out between local security forces and armed men in the crowd.
Several media outlets and human rights organizations erroneous reported that the SDF forces opened fire on the unarmed, peaceful protesters.
However, Mahmoud Awwad al-Huwaidi from the Al-Akkidat tribe was among those who participated in the demonstration in the village of Diban, described a very situation. Al-Huwaidi told Hawar News that around 25 armed men entered the demonstrations after they had already begun and began opening fire.
Al-Huwaidi indicated that the group of armed men were not from the region and that during the skirmishes, the Deir ez-Zor Military Council managed to kill several and chased the remaining men across the Euphrates.
Other SDF forces have since been relocated along the eastern banks of the river to improve security.
Sheikh Abdel Rahman al-Rashid, one of the elders of the Al-Jawala tribe in North and East Syria’s Gozarto (Jazira) Region, explained that he believed the campaign of assassinations are the workings of external forces trying to spread discord among the components of the region.
“The components of northern and eastern Syria, the tribal elders and sheikhs stand together against these actions that are far from the values and principles of the Syrian people,” said al-Rashid, recalling the assassination Sheikh Faisal Bashir al-Huwaidi in Raqqa two years ago and its echoes in the current targeting of elders from the Al-Akkidat tribe.
Al-Rashid explained that the peoples of North and East Syria have created a cohesive society out of the ruins of war, explained al-Rashid, which has made it a target of external forces trying to control it through division.