UPDATE: Escalation in Rojava-Foreign-Backed Attacks Heighten Instability
The situation in Rojava has become increasingly volatile due to recent developments. Tensions have escalated, after the arrest of Ab Khawla, the leader of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council, by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) amid accusations of his involvement in drug trafficking and failure to address the ISIS threat. After clashes erupted in Deir ez-Zor with various insurgent groups, Turkish-backed attacks on Minbic & Til Temir lead to heightened security measures across the region, all while ISIS aims to seizes the opportunity to mount an assault on Al Hol camp.
In the context of an operation conducted by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) aimed at dismantling ISIS sleeper cells and addressing drug trafficking in the Deir ez-Zor region, SDF forces arrested Abu Khawla, the leader of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council (DMC). Abu Khawla faced accusations from the people of Deir ez-Zor, including involvement in drug trade, exploiting his position for personal gain, and inadequately addressing the ISIS threat.
Subsequently, tensions escalated as members of the DMC and individuals from Abu Khwala’s Al-Bakir tribe launched attacks on SDF checkpoints along the Euphrates River village border, adjacent to the regime-controlled area of Deir ez-Zor. In recent days, groups associated with Iran and the Syrian regime infiltrated from regime-controlled territories across the Euphrates River, exacerbating the situation. These infiltrators took control of several villages, where they looted administrative buildings under autonomy governance and terrorized residents. Following intense confrontations, SDF forces managed to regain control over many of these villages. Fighting continues in the region as SDF forces have encircled the remaining insurgent groups in Dhiban and issued an ultimatum for their surrender.
Exploiting the situation, Turkish-backed insurgent groups initiated ground assaults from multiple directions on the outskirts of Minbic. These attacks targeted civilians and tragically resulted in the loss of four young lives. Subsequently, these groups withdrew after suffering significant casualties but launched a fresh attack on the morning of September 3rd.
On the same day, heavy clashes unfolded along the Til Temir frontline, as Turkish-backed forces launched assaults on several villages supported by Turkish artillery fire. These attacks were successfully repelled by the Til Temir Military Council.
ISIS announced plan to assault on Al Hol camp, housing numerous ISIS members detained by the SDF. It is evident that any attempt to destabilize the region will only bolster ISIS’s presence.
On social media platforms, we have observed extensive propaganda efforts attempting to depict the ongoing conflict as an Arab-Kurdish war, fueling tensions and bearing a resemblance to Turkish propaganda in terms of language and rhetoric.
Stringent security measures have been implemented throughout Rojava and the liberated areas, with self-defense forces on high alert. We have received reports of Islamist groups with ties to Turkey amassing troops in Azaz, raising concerns of a potential attack on Tel Rifaat. We are closely monitoring the situation and will promptly share any updates.
We urge you to remain vigilant and mobilize your networks and organizations in the event of further escalation.
#RiseUp4Rojava – Koordination,