On November 11, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that its security forces had arrested a key ISIS commander, who was responsible for the assassination of prominent tribal leader Sheikh Basheer Faisal al-Huwaidi.
“The SDF will continue to increase operations until all who were involved in Sheikh Al-Huwaidi’s assassination are held accountable,” the SDF said in a short statement published by its media center.
The SDF added that it is efforts against ISIS cells will “contribute to the stability and safety of the People of Raqqa” and to the defeat of ISIS across Syria.
Sheikh al-Huwaidi was assassinated in broad daylight in the western part of the city of Raqqa on November 2. Back then, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack and warned that its cells will target anyone who cooperate with the SDF in any way.
The assassination of Sheikh al-Huwaidi sparked a conflict between the SDF and the Arab tribes in Raqqa, which accused the Kurdish-dominated group of killing the Sheikh because he had opposed to its policy in Raqqa. Several tribes even called on the locals to stop cooperating with the SDF until the criminals are held accountable.
The arrest of one of the attackers will for sure ease the tension in Raqqa. However, the SDF’s hostile policies toward the Arab population will likely cause a further crisis in the future.