The YPG/PKK terrorist group has launched a fresh “operation” in an Arab district of Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province on the pretext of fighting Daesh.
Many local residents, however, believe the operation has a hidden agenda.
The YPG/PKK claims the operation targets Daesh “sleeper cells” in Deir ez-Zor’s YPG/PKK-held Siheyl district.
According to local sources who spoke to Anadolu Agency on Thursday, however, the operation is merely intended to intimidate the region’s Arab inhabitants.
Late Wednesday, YPG/PKK terrorists reportedly torched some 200 acres of farmland in Siheyl.
Located near the Iraqi border, Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province is cut through the middle by the Euphrates River.
While the U.S.-backed YPG/PKK holds the eastern bank of the river, Syrian regime forces and Iran-backed terrorist groups hold the west bank.
Deir ez-Zor’s sizable Arab community, meanwhile, has been holding large anti-YPG/PKK rallies since April 25.
On May 9, local residents staged a protest against the YPG/PKK’s continued presence in the region, accusing it of looting the area’s resources.
Six protesters were reportedly killed when YPG/PKK terrorists opened fire on the demonstration.
Shortly afterward, the Uqaydat tribe, which enjoys considerable influence in the region, called on the YPG/PKK to withdraw from Deir ez-Zor.
Last year, the YPG/PKK captured the eastern part of Deir Ez-Zor — again on the pretext of fighting Daesh — with the help of a U.S.-led military coalition.
As Daesh’s influence in eastern Syria has waned, the YPG/PKK has prevented displaced Syrians from returning to their homes, drawing accusations that the terrorist group is attempting to change the region’s demography.
In its 30-year terrorist campaign, the PKK — recognized as a terror group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey — has killed some 40,000 people, including numerous civilians.
Turkey, for its part, has vowed to launch an anti-terror campaign — specifically targeting the YPG/PKK — east of the Euphrates River.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas