Raids and arrests by Syrian regime after 21 members of regime-aligned National Defense Forces defect in Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) in North and East Syria

DAYRO ZCURO, Syria —Twenty-one members of the Syrian regime-affiliated National Defense forces (NDF) fled towards the regions of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria in Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor). Defections from the NDF to the DAA have become commonplace as the former are poorly paid and equipped and are subjected to routine attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) around the Badia (Syria desert).

According to informed sources, the NDF members defected with their light weapons from the village of Al-Duwair in the Bukamal countryside, crossing the Euphrates River and surrendering themselves to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

After the defection, NDF patrols raided the village and arrested the mayor, as well as families of some of those who defected, making the families pay them the equivalent value of the weapons the defectors had taken.

The defections are not limited to the NDF, but also local forces recruited into Iranian-backed militias.