September 20, 2019

Syrian protestors demanding withdrawal of Iran-backed militias wounded by regime forces

Featuring Nicholas Heras

Source: Kurdistan 24

Journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg

Syrian government forces wounded multiple protesters outside the northeastern city of Deir al-Zor when they stormed a security checkpoint on Friday afternoon, demanding the withdrawal of regime troops and Iran-backed militias from their areas and instead for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition to take charge.

The demonstrators, made up largely of displaced villagers from areas under the control of Damascus, made their demands for multiple towns east of the Euphrates, including Khasham, Hatlah, Marrat, al-Husseiniyah, and al-Salhiya, where the incident took place.

The US-backed SDF control territory east of the Euphrates River while pro-regime and Iranian-backed forces dominate the western banks, including Deir al-Zor.

Thousands of displaced civilians have fled to SDF-held areas to escape the reach of regime forces, many because they fear being forced into military service or are wanted by government security forces.

Read the full story and more in Kurdistan 24.


  • Nicholas Heras

    Former Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Nicholas A. Heras is a former Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), working in the Middle East Security Program. His work focused on the analysis of complex...