Clashes in Kurdish-held Syria kill 13 fighters: War monitor
Clashes in Kurdish-held eastern Syria between the United States-backed group and the members of Deir Ezzor Military Council have killed 13 fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which documents human rights abuses in Syria, said that the clashes between the two groups, which began on Monday in various villages in the east of Deir Ezzor province, led to the killing of 10 local fighters and three members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Fighting between the two groups
Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is backed by the United States. SDF fought against the Islamic State group (ISIS) in 2019.
Deir Ezzor Military Council, was led by Ahmad al-Khabil, who was arrested on Sunday. After his arrest, Abu Laith Khisham was appointed by Syrian Democratic Forces as the new leader of Deir ez-Zor military council.
The move led to tensions between the two groups. Clashes reportedly began after gunmen attacked SDF positions. Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces clashed with the Deir Ezzor Military Council, which led to the killing of fighters.
It was not immediately clear why Ahmad al-Khabil was arrested. However, according to a SDF source, Ahmad al-Khabil was involved in arms smuggling and collected a huge amount of wealth over the years.
Deir Ezzor Military Council
The Deir Ezzor Military Council is reportedly responsible for maintaining peace and security in the Deir Ezzor province, the largest city in eastern Syria. It is affiliated with the Kurdish-majority SDF. It is an Arab-majority militia created during a SDF conference in Hasaka, Syria.
Syrian Democratic Forces
According to reports, the Syrian Democratic Forces is a coalition of rebel groups in North and East Syria formed during the Syrian civil war. The group, backed by the US, defeated Islamic State in 2019. The Kurdish People’s Protection Unit and various other Arab groups formed the SDF to fight the militant group. Kurdish fighters were the backbone of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Syrian Democratic Forces and the Deir Ezzor Military Council have become hostile towards each other after the arrest of Ahmad al-Khabil. The clashes between the two US-backed groups in eastern Syria began two days after the SDF apprehended Ahmad al-Khabil.
Omar Abu Layla, an activist who leads the DeirEzzor24 media platform, said, “What’s happening today is a settling of scores. Corrupt commanders felt they were in danger after Abu Khawla was arrested.”