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Rifts Widening among US-Backed Militants in Eastern Syria


Tens of militants defected the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) only one week after the SDF alleged fresh attacks on ISIL’s positions in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur, a militant-affiliated website reported on Tuesday.

Smart news website reported that sixty gunmen of al-Shoaytat Tribe defected the SDF and retreated from contact lines with ISIL in the villages and settlements of Granij, al-Bahra, Jubb al-Bahra and Hajin.

It further said that the defection was a result of discrimination between Araba and Kurds among the SDF ranks, adding that the defected gunmen handed over their arms and ammunition and vowed not to take part in any military operation led by the SDF.

Growing differences have been on rise between the SDF and the US-backed gunmen known as the Special Forces in Eastern Syria.

In a relevant development, local sources said on Monday that the US-backed SDF arrested a number of Arab militants in Western Deir Ezzur accusing them of cooperation with the Syrian Army.

In the meantime, one of the tribal leaders pointed to the recent clashes between the SDF and the US-backed Arab Special Forces and said that the Kurds were fearful of the Arabs’ presence in Eastern Syria.

He further said that the Arab tribes in the region did not intend to join the Kurdish militias in Deir Ezzur, adding that possibility that Arab tribes might join Arab militant groups pushed the Kurds into a status of deep fear.

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