Abu Khawla: We coordinate with Russia and I brought thousands of opposition fighters to our areas
Deir ez-Zor – North-Press Agency
Roj Mousa/Jindar Abdulqader
In the second part of his interview with North-Press, Abu Khawla, the commander of Deir ez-Zor Military Council revealed the coordination between them and the Russian forces, through an operations’ coordination room organized by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
Abu Khawla stated about his constant contact with Deir ez-Zor’s tribal figures, those who work with the Turkish-backed armed opposition and that he’s brought in thousands of the Syrian opposition fighters to their areas of control.
In the first part of his interview with North-Press, Abu Khawla launched a harsh attack against the Shiitizing campaigns which are taking place on the other side of Deir ez-Zor, considering the military forces in that area are “occupation forces”, as his forces are in charge of fighting them.
The military commander denied any kind of communications with the Syrian government forces and the allied Iranian forces, referring to three attacks launched by the government forces against theirs.
In early 2018, the Syrian government forces attacked “Konico” Oil Field and the areas of Al-Hisan and Al-Jiaa, where the Global Coalition fighter jets targeted them and killed about 220 soldiers of Syrian and foreign nationalities, according to statistics published by media outlets at that time.
Abu Khawla held the Global Coalition responsible for protecting the borders with warplanes, considering his forces responsible for coordination with the Russian side, in case of repeated attacks by the Syrian government forces against them.
Abu Khawla, who considers his forces the “backbone” that will end the military presence of the Islamic State, said that they began the operations of taking control over the countryside of Deir ez-Zor, while the majority of forces were in battles of Raqqa, noting to the ability of the Syrian government of exploiting their preoccupation with their battles against ISIS to control five villages east of the Euphrates on the road between Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor, which is the only land crossing between the Syrian government and Deir ez-Zor Military Council.
Amir of the tribes
Regarding their relations, as being military forces, with the Iraqi side, he said: “There was direct contact with the Iraqi government and its army, and it was strong coordination,” noting that the Iraqi forces supported them with heavy artillery and border control to prevent the infiltration of ISIS militants.
13 Arab tribes, most of them Syrian, have selected Abu Khawla as Amir (prince) upon them as it’s known in the tribal custom in recent times, the thing Abu Khawla considered “a momentum for him,” pointing out that this selection will have a significant impact on their security operations against ISIS sleeper cells.
As for the mechanism of discrepancy in the political orientation of the tribes in Deir ez-Zor and its division among the parties of Syrian conflict, especially the tribes whose sons are fighting in the ranks of SDF on one hand, and the Turkey-backed armed opposition groups on the other, Abu Khawla said “The tribe is a whole society where each has a particular way of thinking”.
“We all are revolutionaries”
As for the division among the members of the tribes in their political affiliations, the military commander viewed no danger in a tribe to stay divided, considering that they as members of the tribe are all “ideologically close, for being revolutionaries against the regime”.
Abu Khawla unveiled that he has brought thousands of tribesmen from the armed opposition-held territories in the northern countryside of Aleppo, known as the “Euphrates Shield”, which he described as “liberated” (referring to the absence of the Syrian government), he could manage to bring them to areas under their control in Deir ez-Zor to join them in the fight against ISIS, pointing out that the first batch of them was about 1200 fighters.
Abu Khawla said that the most obvious example of tribes’ fighting against ISIS, is what Al-Shaitat tribe did in this regard, stressing on the members of the tribes who work with some “hostile” parties to SDF, saying “all of them will regret”.
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