Damascus didn’t delay in capturing the anger generated by the repeated assassinations of Arab tribal sheikhs in the eastern region, as it hastened to launch implementation steps to seize what it sees as an opportunity to “launch popular resistance” in the face of the American occupation.
This was what began yesterday, with the announcement of the Akidat tribe to form a military wing in coordination with the Syrian army.
The developments that accompanied the assassination of one of the most prominent sheikhs of the Akidat tribe, Mutashar al Hafl, proved that this incident would constitute a foundational milestone in the path of the tribes’ regaining their weight in the Eastern Region, which emerged first in the remarkable clan solidarity with the stakes in the face of the Americans who were accused of being behind the operations The recent assassination.
Thus, the Arab tribes began to regain their presence and status, after marginalization that extended since the armed “Free Army”, and then “al Nusra Front” and “ISIS”, took control of their areas, leading to the spread of the Americans and the SDF in the countryside of Deir al Zour in particular.
This comes after many demands by the tribes for the de-facto forces to grant their sons a political and military role, in light of the continued absence of the Syrian government, so that the response to those demands came with assassinations of their sheikhs and notables.
Although it is not decided the identity of the party behind the assassinations, as well as the possibility that “ISIS” might have a hand in it, its occurrence in the areas controlled by “SDF” and “the coalition” makes disclosing the perpetrators of their responsibility.
However, instead of making a serious and real effort in this regard, the “SDF” sought to place the accusation on Damascus, which was met with a tribal refusal.
Damascus, which believed that it was its duty to stand with the tribesmen in what they were subjected to, saw in the assassinations an opportunity to “mobilize the tribes to launch popular resistance,” relying on it to expel the Americans from the region and restore its sovereignty over its oil and agricultural wealth.
Based on this, the Syrian government sponsored, on Sunday indirectly, a meeting for the members of the Akidat tribe in the city of Deir Al Zour, through which the tribe formally launched a “popular resistance against the American presence in the region”.
The meeting announced the establishment of two political and military councils for the tribe, in an attempt to restore Its presence and role in the belt of oil regions in Deir al Zour.
Akidat tribe issued a statement announcing “the formation of the Akidat Army, as an armed military wing to achieve the comprehensive liberation of Syrian lands in coordination with the Syrian army, and to eliminate terrorism”.
It also announced “the start of the popular resistance against the American occupier, its tools and its mercenaries, and considering them a legitimate target of the resistance”, calling on “the sheikhs and elders of the clans associated with the occupier and his aides from the tribe and the region to return to the bosom of the homeland”.
What is striking about the statement is the tribe’s keenness to confirm that its movement is supported by the Syrian army, in addition to its implicit rejection of any accusation to Russia or Iran of being behind the assassinations.
For its part, Damascus wanted to declare its support for this resistance, which would inevitably mean supplying it with equipment and weapons.
While it is expected that, on Tuesday, a meeting of the sheikhs of the Akidat tribe and its leaders will be held in the tribe’s office in the town of Dhiban after the completion of the funeral ceremony for Sheikh Mutashar al Hafl, the Sharabian tribe called for “its sons and all the tribes to boycott the SDF and unite to resist the killing Americans and their offspring in Syria”.
The SDF began, in an attempt to absorb the tribal anger against it, by lifting the curfew on the towns of Dhiban, al Hawayj and al Shehail, four days after it was imposed, and allowed the return of commercial traffic to these towns.
It also released a number of civilians it had arrested during the past few days, while maintaining a large number of checkpoints in the region to counter any new attacks on its forces.
This came at a time when Kurdish sites close to the “SDF” published a statement by one of the leaders of the “Syria Democratic Forces” accusing “cells of the Syrian regime of targeting points of the Asayish in the countryside of Deir al Zour, with the aim of destabilizing the region and spreading discord between the tribes and the SDF forces”.
For its part, official Syrian media outlets confirmed, “3 vehicles were destroyed in the city of Shaddadi, south of Hasakah, as a convoy headed for the al Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir al Zour,” while unidentified armed men launched an attack with light weapons on SDF headquarters spread on the banks of The Euphrates River, in the town of Jadid al Aqeedat, in the eastern countryside of Deir al Zour.
At this time, anti-SDF activists circulated an audio clip of the head of the Deir al Zour Military Council, Ahmed Abu Khawla, in which he attacks the clans and reduces their ability to rule their regions, which met with widespread anger among the clans.
According to the audio clip, Abu Khawla said, “The tribes will not succeed in managing their areas now with the presence of the SDF and the international coalition there, especially after their failure during the control of the opposition forces and ISIS over those areas”.
He continued, “Your clans want to run a state, a section that resembles Erdogan, and a section that resembles Assad… Now the Shawaya wants to run a state”.