A field source in Deir-ez-Zor province has refuted claims made by General Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the “Syrian Democratic Forces – SDF,” regarding air support from the International Coalition during clashes with Arab tribal forces in Deir-ez-Zor’s countryside.
According to these sources, International Coalition helicopters intervened on September 3rd, flying over a convoy of the People’s Protection Units, the primary component of the SDF, preventing their movement towards the town of Dhiban. This town is a stronghold of the SDF, particularly the Al-Akidat tribe, which has been in conflict with the SDF recently.
On September 4th, fighters from the Al-Akidat tribe launched a counter-attack, reclaiming lost parts of the strategic town of Al-Shuhail, which had previously been taken by the People’s Protection Units.
Insiders have informed Syria TV that the behaviour of the United States indicates a desire to maintain Arab influence in the Deir-ez-Zor governorate, likely to prevent upsetting the balance, given that future dynamics may require Arab clans to counter the influence of Iranian militias in the region. Nevertheless, American forces in northeastern Syria are reportedly uncomfortable with Ibrahim al-Hafel.
The sources claim that on September 2nd, U.S. diplomats contacted Musab, the brother of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Hafel, leader of the Al-Akidat tribe’s uprising against the YPG. During this communication, Washington apparently stressed that it wasn’t involved in the conflict and would not target the Arab component.
Sources suggest that the U.S. sought to have Musab expand the role of his uncle, Sheikh Hafel Al-Jadaan, within the leadership of the Al-Akidat tribe. The American side trusts al-Hafel, who resides in the U.S., and is uncertain about Ibrahim’s positions and potential future decisions regarding the international coalition forces.
Syria TV has obtained information from Syrian opposition sources, confirming talks between Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Ethan Goldrich and the head of the Syrian National Coalition, Salem Al-Muslat. These discussions took place in Istanbul on September 3rd, focusing on the “Kurdish component’s” alleged violations against other Arab components within the SDF.
This article was translated and 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.