Ahmad al-Khubail, leader of the Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC), has been disowned by his tribe, Al Bakir, for being a “tool” of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Al Bakir’s Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Hamada disowned al-Khubail in an official statement on September 2, accusing him and the Arab-dominated DMC of being nothing but tools in the hands of the Kurdish-led SDF.
“Al-Khubail and his military council are far from the parity that was desired from them towards the SDF, later, it became clear that he is not interested in the Deir Ezzor region,” Sheikh al-Hamada said, adding “al-Khubail is nothing but a tool to threaten Deir Ezzor and its peace.”
Sheikh al-Hamada accused al-Khubail of intimidating his opponents by accusing them of terrorism as well as for being responsible for arbitrary arrests in Deir Ezzor.
Before the war, Al-Khbail, who is also known as “Abu Khaula,” was reportedly involved in stealing motorcycles and was imprisoned for it by Syrian authorities. As the war began, he joined the Syrian Opposition in Deir Ezzor and established his own militia which allegedly took part in running checkpoints that would extort and steal from drivers.
According to al-Hamada, al-Khubail and the DMC employed some people with bad reputation, some even used to work for ISIS.
“Al-Khubail intends to spread security chaos in the region, from systematic kidnappings and assassinations, to the pursuit of civilian activists opposed to the SDF and its policy, to the harassment of some independent tribal sheikhs,” said the Sheikh.
The DMC controls eastern and southeastern Deir Ezzor with direct support from the U.S.-led coalition, which maintain large bases in the region’s rich oil fields.
Al Bakir’s statement against al-Khbail is a sign of the growing tension between Arabs and the Kurdish-led SDF in Deir Ezzor and other Arab-majority areas in the northeast.