On July 30, sheikh Suleiman al-Kassar, a prominent leader of the Al Uqaydat tribe in northeastern Syria, was assassinated by ISIS in southeastern Deir Ezzor.
According to the Hawar News Agency, the terrorists shot al-Kassar and his son inside their house in the town of al-Kassar. The sheikh died of his wounds in a nearby hospital. However, his son survived.
Al-Kassar, who is known as “Abu Naim,” was a key member of Al Uqaydat’s tribal council and a spokesman for the tribe. He was reportedly a vocal opponent of Turkish intervention in Syria.
ISIS confirmed that al-Kassar was assassinated by its members in an official statement released by its news agency, Amaq. The group accused the sheikh of “apostasy.”
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that al-Kassar had joined ISIS when it first had gained control over southeastern Deir Ezzor. The late sheikh even recorded a video arguing Al Uqaydat men to join the terrorist group.
Once southeastern Deir Ezzor was liberated by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), al-Kassar switched sides. The sheikh even gained local fame for writing a poem praising U.S. President Donald Trump.
The assassination of sheikh al-Kassar proves that ISIS is still active in southeastern Deir Ezzor, despite the recent large-scale operations by the SDF and the U.S.-led coalition.