The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has released more than 100 detainees from its prisons in Deir ez-Zor province over the last two weeks, to satisfy tribes in the area whose relations with them have become tense, especially in the town of al-Shaheel.
The SDF announced that it had released 89 prisoners at the request of tribal notables in Deir ez-Zor, following the release of 43 prisoners on May 14, 2019.
The Kurdish Hawar news agency said that the release of the prisoners came as part of ceremonies attended by sheikhs and notables of the area’s tribes, representing civilian institutions, the public relations committee in the civil council and military commanders.
The SDF arrested hundreds of people in the eastern areas after the end of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) influence there, accusing them of belonging to the group and targeting military positions.
The arrest campaigns led to a state of high tension in Deir ez-Zor, especially in the eastern countryside, which has seen protests in recent days criticizing the SDF’s violations and demanding an international intervention to stop them.
On May 15, 2019, the SDF said that it had arrested a number of participants of demonstrations in the Deir ez-Zor countryside, accusing them of belonging to ISIS, saying in a statement that their members had arrested, “four ISIS fighters in the al-Jarazi village east of Deir ez-Zor.
Al-Shaheel in the Deir ez-Zor countryside has seen angry popular demonstrations that have led to military bases being burned after civilians were killed by the SDF, while the villages of Damaan and Dhibaan also saw demonstrations against the killing of civilians in al-Shaheel.
This led to meetings of sheikhs and notables from the Uqaydat tribe in Deir ez-Zor province on May 13, 2019, in al-Shaheel, who took a position against the SDF. The meeting ended with a closing statement that called on the US-led International Coalition to intervene and stop the SDF’s violations against residents in Deir ez-Zor.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.