Syrian Democratic Forces release statement on latest developments in Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor), North and East Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — The Media Center of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released a statement addressing the unfolding situation in the town of Al-Shuhail in the Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) region of North and East Syria.

According to the Media Center’s statement, the SDF is still conducting counter-terrorism operations targeting cells of the Islamic State (ISIS) despite the ongoing clashes between the SDF and tribal forces in the wake of the arrest of former leader of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council (DMC) Abu Khawla.

The decision to continue counter-terrorism operations was made in discussion between the SDF General Command and respected notables and sheikhs of local clans.

The SDF announced the apprehension of 11 ISIS fighters and 10 drug traffickers. Three suspected ISIS members were killed during operations. However, the operations are likely to be hampered by the ongoing clashes in the region.

According to the SDF, a confrontation unfolded when an armed group intercepted an SDF patrol in Al-Shuhail. During the ensuing clashes, an SDF fighter and two civilians tragically lost their lives.

The SDF clarified its motivation for relieving Abu Khawla of his command of the DMC and his arrest. According to the statement, Abu Khawla was involved in numerous criminal activities, collaborating with external entities, engaging in drug trafficking, mismanaging the security situation, and exacerbating the proliferation of ISIS cell activities.

In some of the most recent clashes in Al-Izba, newly appointed Commander of the DMC Abu al-Laith Khasham sustained injuries and is receiving treatment.