On November 2, Sheikh Basheer Faisal al-Huwaidi, a leader of al-Afdalah tribe and a member of the Raqqa Civil Council, was assassinated in broad daylight in the western part of the city of Raqqa, which is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
ISIS claimed responsibility for the assassination and said in a statement released by the Amaq news agency that one of its elements had killed al-Huwaidi with a suppressed gun.
“We warn everyone who helped the apostates and was a supporter of them, the soldiers of the Caliphate are in the lookout for you, and you will be killed sooner or later, God willing,” ISIS said.
The Raqqa Civil Council, which is affiliated with the SDF, condemned the assassination of al-Huwaidi and called on local and tribal figures to warn from these attempts to disturb the peace in governorate of Raqqa.
“With great sadness and sorrow, we received the news of the assassination of Sheikh Bashir Faisal al-Huwaidi … He had a positive and active role in the life and the progress of the council,” the Raqqa Civil Council said in an official statement published by the Kurdish Hawar News Agency.
Local observers have repeatedly warned that the lack of proper security measures in the SDF-held areas will allow ISIS cells to carry out more significant attacks there. However, the US-backed group is yet to take any serious steps to counter these cells. One of the reasons is tensions between the Kurdish-dominated group and the local Arab population.