Kurdish-led militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by helicopters from the US-led coalition, have reportedly stormed a town in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, killing and injuring a number of locals.
Local sources, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that the US-sponsored militants laid siege to the al-Katef neighborhood of al-Shuhayl town for more than two hours on Thursday, before raiding the area and firing at people indiscriminately.
The sources added that six civilians lost their lives and four others sustained injuries as a result. SDF militants rounded up a number of local residents as well.
Back in late April, hundreds of people took to the streets in the northeastern Syrian towns of al-Busayrah, Masheikh, al-Tayyana as well as the villages of Tal al-Dhaman, al-Namliyah and Tayyeb Al Faall to protest the presence of SDF militants, rising cases of abduction and assassination in their areas and plunder of Syria’s oil wealth by the US-sponsored forces.
The protesters closed the main roads to their areas, burning tires and demanding the expulsion of SDF militants from their hometowns.
Local sources said the Kurdish-led militants fired indiscriminately at demonstrators in al-Tayyana to disperse the protest. There were no reports about possible casualties.
The development came only a day after dozens of people staged demonstrations in the towns of al-Shuhayl, al-Sur and al-Hissan as well as Mweileh village against the presence of SDF militants in their areas.
Local residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Kurdish-led forces opened fire on protesters in Hissan, injuring a number of them.
SDF militants illegally transport Dayr al-Zawr’s crude oil to neighboring Hasakah province in Syria’s northeast, a move that has angered local people.
The United States has long been providing the SDF, a Kurdish alliance, with arms and militants, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against the Daesh terrorist group.
Many observers, however, see the support in the context of Washington’s plans to carve out a foothold in the Arab country.
Such support has also angered Washington’s NATO ally, Turkey, which views militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF, as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group.
The PKK has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.