Anti-Assad protests in eastern Syria following SDF-regime agreement

Anti-Assad protests break out in eastern Syria following SDF-regime agreement
2 min read
16 October, 2019
Protesters in several towns in eastern Syria took to the streets to express anger at an agreement allowing Assad regime troops to enter areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Protests broke out in several towns and villages in Deirezzor province [Twitter]

Protests broke out in several areas of eastern Syria on Wednesday against the entry of regime forces into their towns and villages, following an agreement between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Bashar al-Assad officials.

The agreement to allow regime troops into SDF-held areas came after Turkey launched "Operation Peace Spring" against Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria.

The protests took place in several areas of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa provinces, according to local media networks. Local activists had called on people to protest the entry of regime forces, Russian military police and allied Iran-backed militias into the area.

The local media network Deirezzor24 said that there was "tension and anger" in Deir ez-Zour province after the entry of regime forces and their militia allies into neighbouring Hassakeh province. Anti-regime protests out broke out in most of the villages west of Deirezzor city.

Local people fear that regime opponents will be arrested and that young men will be conscripted into the regime army.

Regime forces were seen entering two military bases north of Raqqa on Wednesday. Some regime supporters in Raqqa demonstrated in favour of the entry of regime forces, holding up regime flags and pictures of Bashar al-Assad.

The agreement between the SDF and the regime allows the entry of regime troops to northern areas of Raqqa province on the Turkish border.

In separate developments, coalition forces bombed a regime position in the village of Khusham, east of Deir ez-Zour city on Tuesday, and warplanes of unknown origin bombed a position belonging to Iranian militias backing the regime near the Syrian-Iraqi border in the far east of the province.