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25 dead in fierce new fighting in Deir Ezzor

A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter with his colleagues in Syria’s northeastern Deir Ezzor province. (AFP)
A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter with his colleagues in Syria’s northeastern Deir Ezzor province. (AFP)
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27 Sep 2023 03:09:33 GMT9
27 Sep 2023 03:09:33 GMT9
  • Forces loyal to Assad regime clash with Kurdish-led troops in eastern Syria

Arab News

JEDDAH: At least 25 people have died in two days of fierce clashes between fighters loyal to the Assad regime and Kurdish-led forces in the Dheiban area of Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said they had “driven out the regime gunmen who had infiltrated the area” after gun battles erupted on Monday.

At least 90 people were killed in the same area this month in 10 days of fighting between the SDF and armed Arab tribesmen.

Britain-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the latest clashes erupted when pro-regime fighters crossed the Euphrates river, which separates their positions in southwestern Deir Ezzor from the SDF in the northeast. It said 21 of the dead were regime loyalists and three were SDF fighters. A woman was also killed.

The SDF said the loyalist fighters had crossed the Euphrates “under cover of an indiscriminate bombardment”of its positions. The SDF responded by bombarding the right bank of the river, which is controlled by regimetroops with support from Iran-backed militias.

The Kurds form a majority in the core areas of SDF control in northeastern and northern Syria. But in several areas that they captured in their campaign against Daesh, Arabs form the majority.

According to the Observatory, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria, some of the Arab fighters who fled to government-held territory after the previous clashes took part in this week’s assault.

The SDF was Washington’s main Syrian ally in its fightback against Daesh, which culminated in the militants’defeat in their last Syrian foothold on the left bank of the Euphrates in 2019.

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