On September 18, fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attacked a ferry transporting civilians across the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzor, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The eastern part of Deir Ezzor is held by the SDF, while the western part is under the control of Damascus government forces.
“SDF fighters opened fire from their machine guns on a ferry transporting passengers between the two banks of the Euphrates in the town of al-Shheell,” the SOHR said in a report.
According to the London-based monitoring group, a woman was killed and five other civilians were injured in the SDF’s attack.
In response to the attack, local gunmen attacked several positions of the SDF along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in al-Shheel. No losses were reported, however.
The motives behind the SDF’s attack remain unclear. The group’s fighters may have mistaken the ferry for a smuggling boat. Smugglers are known to be active in this part of the Euphrates River.
The unprovoked attack will lead serious tension between the Arab population of Deir Ezzor and the SDF. In the last few months, the locals clashed with the Kurdish-led group on several occasions. The group was even accused of plotting a number of attacks on local tribal leaders.
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