Two killed in anti-regime protests near Syria’s Deir az-Zour
The Euphrates Post Facebook page reported that regime forces opened fire on protesters at a crossing in the village of Salihiya north of Deir az-Zour on Friday, injuring 14 people. Activists uploaded video to YouTube showed the incident.
The Facebook page of the Deirezzor 24 News Network meanwhile said two of the young men injured by regime fire were captured by regime troops and later beaten to death.
Hundreds of people took part in a protest on Friday near Deir az-Zour calling for the withdrawal of regime troops and Iranian-sponsored militias allied with the regime from villages east of the Euphrates.
They carried flags associated with the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed, Kurdish-led militia coalition which has fought against the Islamic State militant group and now controls most of north-eastern Syria.
The protesters managed to gain control of regime checkpoints east of the Euphrates. One video showed protesters arguing with regime troops at the Salihiya checkpoint. A protester was heard telling a regime officer, “Are you Syrian? The regime is killing our people in Idlib.”
The bodies of the two protesters killed by regime force were later returned to their families in exchange for regime soldiers captured by the protesters at checkpoints.
Last week, the Deirezzor 24 Facebook page reported that the regime and its ally Russia had reached an agreement with the SDF whereby the regime would hand over five villages, including Salihiya, to the SDF.
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