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Iran Press TV

Locals protest against US-backed SDF militants in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 09 June 2020 5:30 PM

Dozens of people in Syria's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr have staged separate rallies to denounce the presence of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and arbitrary practices of the US-backed militants, including abduction and killing, against locals there.

Syria's official news agency SANA, citing sources requesting not to be named, reported that residents of the towns of Diban and al-Hawaij in the southeastern countryside of the province demonstrated against poor living conditions in their regions, and demanded an immediate end to the militants' actions in addition to their withdrawal.

A similar protest was also held in the town of al-Safira Tahtani, where participants blocked main roads, set several tires on fire and threw stones.

On June 5, Syrians staged a protest in the neighboring province of Hasakah over the presence of Kurdish-led SDF militants.

The Arabic service of Russia's Sputnik news agency reported that the demonstrators were residents of "al-Bajdali, al-Hariri and al-Hana al-Sharqiyah villages" in the al-Shaddadi district of the province.

Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in the areas controlled by the SDF in Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr provinces amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the US-sponsored militants.

Locals argue that the SDF's constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.

Residents accuse the US-backed militants of stealing crude oil and failing to spend money on service sectors.

Local councils affiliated with the SDF have also been accused of financial corruption. They are said to be embezzling funds provided by donors, neglecting services and not meeting the people's primary needs.

US military vehicles cross into Syria

Separately, a convoy of about 40 US military vehicles departed northern Iraq and headed into Syria on Tuesday.

SANA reported that the US vehicles rumbled through al-Waleed border crossing, and moved toward Kharab al-Jeer Airport near the small northeastern Syrian city of al-Malikiyah in Hasakah province.

Since late October 2019, the United States has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump's earlier order to withdraw all troops there.

The Pentagon alleges that the move aims to "protect" the fields and facilities from possible attacks by Daesh, ignoring the fact that Trump had earlier suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

Syria, which has not authorized the presence of the US military in its territory, says Washington is "plundering" the country's oil.

The presence of US forces in eastern Syria has particularly irked the civilians, and local residents have on several occasions stopped American military convoys entering the region.

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