DEIR EZ-ZOR, Syria (North Press) -The commander of Deir ez-Zor Military Council Ahmed Abu Khawla said on Wednesday the Syrian government and the Iranian militias were standing behind attacking the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor.
Abu Khawla said Syrian government and Iranian militias have been working to provoke discord and chaos in Deir ez-Zor by recruiting people working for them and moving across the Euphrates.
“We obtained documents and confessions from gunmen who were arrested during the attack on the SDF and Deir ez-Zor Military Council points,” he said.
The town of Hawayej, east of Deir ez-Zor countryside, on Tuesday, witnessed an attack by number of masked armed men, targeting military posts belonging to the SDF and their ally known as Deir ez-Zor Military Council, after protesters went out demanding an investigation in the assassination of tribal leaders of al-Egidat tribe.
“The Islamic State (ISIS) had claimed responsibility for some operations targeting tribal leaders in Deir ez-Zor and perpetrators of some other acts are still unknown and under investigation,” he said.
Abu Khawla also condemned the “terrorist acts” and said that they came as a response to the operations carried out by the SDF and Deir ez-Zor Military Council to eliminate ISIS sleeper cells in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor, which came in response to the demands of these tribes to achieve security and stability in the region.
He added that ISIS sleeper cells, groups close to the Syrian government and the Iranian militias, joined the demonstrators and shot SDF fighters in the town of Hawayej and planted land mines in the nearby village of Thiban.
Abu Khawla said there was quick response by their forces and that the situation was "under control at the present time".
Abu Khawla pointed out that many of those who attacked the SDF forces fled to the other side of the Euphrates River, which is under the control of the Syrian government.
“The armed men we arrested have admitted that it is the Syrian government and the Iranian militias who works on disturbing the security and stability of the region, and they are also trying to recruit elements in the SDF-controlled areas,” he added.
Two prominent leaders of al-Egidat tribe Sheikh Mutashar Hammoud al-Jad’an al-Hafel and Sheikh Ibrahim al-Khalil al-Aboud al-Jad’an al-Hafel were were attacked by unknown gunmen last week on the first day of Eid al-Adha festival while returning from a tribal reconciliation conference,
The attack led to the death of Sheikh Mutashar and his driver, and the injury of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Khalil.