Fierce clashes have broken out among Turkish-backed Takfiri militants in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province following dispute over the distribution of stolen objects and occupation of local people’s houses.
Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, reported that the infighting erupted between two rival militant groups in Umm Ashba village, which lies north of Abu Rasin town and near the border with Turkey on Friday.
Sources said both sides used various types of weapons during the skirmishes, which badly damaged local houses and properties.
US-backed SDF militants abduct civilians in Dayr al-Zawr
US-sponsored militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) also abducted a number of civilians as people staged a rally in Syria’s northeastern province of Dayr al-Zawr to demand the withdrawal of US military forces and their allies from the region.
SANA reported that the Kurdish-led militants raided al-Kassar camp on the outskirts of al-Shuhayl town, rounded up several people and took them away to an unknown location.
Security situation is reportedly deteriorating in areas controlled by the US-backed SDF in Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the militants.
Locals complain that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.
Residents accuse the US-sponsored militants of stealing crude oil and refusing to offer services to local people.
Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, and failing to provide basic public requirements.
New US deployment in Syria’s Hasakah
In the northern province of Raqqah, Turkish-backed militants have reportedly stolen power cables transmitting electricity to the villages of al-Wibda and al-Wasta, located north of Ayn Issa town, and fired random shots to terrorize local people.
Informed sources, requesting anonymity, said US military forces have dispatched a new batch of weapons and logistic equipment to their base in al-Shaddadi town in Hasakah province.
The sources added that another shipment was sent to Tal Baydar base close to the town of Tal Tamr.
They noted that SDF militants later received 23 vehicles with four-wheel drive as well as military uniforms equipped with communication devices from the US forces.
Since late October 2019, the United States has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.
The Pentagon claims the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by Daesh. That claim came although Trump had earlier suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oil fields.
The presence of US forces in eastern Syria has particularly irked the civilians, and local residents have on several occasions stopped American military convoys entering the region.
Syria, which has not authorized the presence of the US military in its territory, says Washington is “plundering” the country’s oil.