The Iranian news agency Fars News reported on February 4 that a “senior commander” of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), named Rikan, had allegedly defected to the Syrian Arab Army. The SDF has not commented on this claim yet. However, if it’s confirmed, this will be another sign of the developing tensions within the US-backed group.
Senior US-Backed SDF Commander Defects (source):
A senior commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces surrendered to the Syrian army in Eastern Deir Ezzur, local sources reported, adding that another SDF commander was also killed in Hasaka province.
The sources said on Monday that the commander named Rikan defected the SDF in al-Salehiyeh region and surrendered himself to the Syrian army along with a military vehicle full of weapons and military equipment.
They added that the SDF has put its forces on alert immediately and closed al-Salehiyeh passageway.
Also, another SDF commander, nom de guerre Jarrah, was killed along with his aide after a bomb was exploded in one of their strongholds in the village of al-Sab’ei in Merkada region of Southern Hasaka.
The two provinces of Deir Ezzur and Raqqa have been the scene of protests and clashes between civilians and SDF fighters over the past three years for the latter’s crimes and atrocities.
Last week, a large number of people poured into the street in Eastern Deir Ezzur to show their protests against the SDF.
Residents of the town of Abu Humman in Southeastern Deir Ezzur launched massive protests and closed the roads leading to the town, battlefield sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said.
The sources reiterated that the civilians staged massive protests against SDF’s measures, including piling up fuel products, corruption and other offenses in the region.
“The residents of Deir Ezzur called for releasing the people who have been arrested by the SDF fighters,” they said.
The residents of Shaitat town in Southeastern Deir Ezzur also held massive protests and called for their rights with regard to oil revenues.
The report comes as the armed tribesmen had clashed with SDF fighters in the town of Khasham over control of oil resources of the region.