A wave of violence has swept through Deir ez-Zor (Dêrezor), a governorate in eastern Syria that has recently seen unrest due to the activities of Islamic State (ISIS) and armed groups linked to Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militias, as unidentified gunmen carried out a series of attacks, resulting in casualties among both Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters and employees of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
In a town in eastern Deir ez-Zor, an employee of the AANES’s Fuel Administration was killed by an assailant on a motorcycle on Friday, while the head of the al-Kishkiyah municipality was injured in the same attack, North Press Agency reported.
At the same time, in a separate incident in the north of the governorate, a local council employee was also fatally shot by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles. The violence escalated further when six SDF fighters were killed in two separate attacks in the Deir ez-Zor countryside.
An unidentified gunman believed to have infiltrated from areas controlled by Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militias targeted an SDF checkpoint. Four SDF fighters were killed in the attack.
In a parallel incident in eastern Deir ez-Zor, unknown gunmen attacked an SDF military post near the Euphrates River, killing two fighters. The SDF responded by initiating patrols in the area in pursuit of the attackers. The SDF then conducted a raid and arrested two individuals for their alleged involvement in attacks on military posts and civilian facilities in the area.
On Saturday, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for an attack in the countryside in the west of Deir ez-Zor. The ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency said that militants had targeted an SDF fighter, killing him instantly.
The situation in the governorate remains tense as security forces intensify efforts to apprehend those responsible for the attacks and prevent further violence in the region.
In late August, the SDF launched a security reinforcement operation of several days in eastern Syria, with a focus on targeting ISIS cells and drug-related criminal elements. However, the operation faced significant challenges when armed groups from areas west of the Euphrates River controlled by the Syrian regime infiltrated villages in Deir ez-Zor. These infiltrations led to significant reponse attacks by the SDF. The clashes resulted in the deaths of nine civilians and 25 SDF fighters, making it the deadliest offensive the SDF has faced since its inception.
Simultaneously, a separate series of attacks orchestrated by Turkish mercenaries took place in the autonomous region of North and East Syria.