US-backed Kurdish forces on Tuesday arrested nine people in eastern Deir ez-Zor province, claiming they have links with the Islamic State (ISIS).
Residents told Zaman al-Wasl that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had stormed the town of al-Baghouz in the Albukamal region and detained nine people, who are mostly cattle dealers.
But Kurdish news outlets said the detained people are members of a sleeper cell that carried out a series of car bombs in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor.
The YPG-led forces say ISIS sleeper cells are still active in Deir ez-Zor, claiming that tens of families are still receiving salaries from the ultra-hardline Sunni militant group.
ISIS has been largely defeated in the country but has continued to carry out ambushes, assassinations and bombings there and still poses a threat along its border with Syria.
Last week, ISIS killed 19 regime troops in a desert town near Palmyra city.
The Islamic State still controls a territory in the gas-rich desert that lies between Homs and Deir ez-Zor provinces.
ISIS has resorted to guerrilla tactics since it abandoned its goal of holding territory and creating a self-declared caliphate straddling Iraq and Syria.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.