On August 2, sheikh Mutashar Hammoud al-Havel, a prominent leader of Al Uqaydat Arab tribe in northeast Syria, was assassinated.
Unidentified gunmen opened fire at the sheikh’s car in the town of al-Hawaij in southeast Deir Ezzor in the morning. The sheikh and his driver were killed on the spot. Another leader of Al Uqaydat, sheikh Ibrahim Khalil Aboud al-Jadaan al-Havel, was injured.
— ديرالزور24 (@DeirEzzor24) August 2, 2020
In a statement, Al Uqaydat held the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls southeast Deir Ezzor, responsible for the assassination. The Kurdish-led group is yet to commented on the matter.
“There should be a stand against this act, and all other cowardly acts in the region,” the statement reads.
Several activists went as a far as accusing the U.S.-backed SDF of orchestrating the assassination of sheikh Mutashar Hammoud al-Havel.
Al-Havel is the third Arab tribal leader to be assassinated in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside this week. On July 30, sheikh Suleiman al-Kassar of Al Uqaydat was killed by ISIS. A day later, an attack claimed the life of sheikh Ali Alwis of Al Baggara.
The situation in southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside is slowly spinning out of control. ISIS influence there is increasing. The SDF has failed to secure the region, so far.