After a relative lull in Syria’s military battles in the past seven months, the “cell war” within the country has accelerated for months, witnessing a great upsurge and a race between Assad and ISIS cells, both within the SDF and the Syrian opposition.
Areas under the SDF, has been witnessing for weeks the increasing security incidents associated with the liquidation of fighters deep in the areas controlled by them, to be repeated from time to time,
Cases of loss of elements of the “SDF”, and then find their bodies away hours or days, and some of the assassinations adopted by “ISIS” officially, and some have never recognized, or perhaps deferred recognition, for the security requirements of the cells executed.
cells are not only concerned with the killings of individuals, but also involve those with security, administrative or civil links with the SDF. These cells may play the role of a “fifth column” of concern and rumor, in agreement with some pro-civilian supporters, Or whose interests were damaged after being expelled from the area.
Information related to this area indicates that some of the killings carried out by cells of ISIS were facilitated and co-ordinated by relatives of the SDF-affiliated elements of the Deir Ez-Zour or Raqqa-controlled villages.
In this regard, the role of the fifth column is also played by the cells of the Assad regime, which began to operate recently, which according to some reports indicate that there are moves by it, to incite demonstrations against the “SDF” during the coming period, and raise slogans calling for the return of the Assad regime To the area.
ISIS, for the first time, revealed the role of its cells through leaflets distributed within SDF-controlled areas. Those working alongside the SDF, whether by carrying arms with them or even by civil and administrative action,
The security chaos, killings, robbery and looting witnessed by the SDF in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor as a result of activating the work of the cells and the exploitation of some of the unstable security situation have led many residents to take steps to protect their areas. Most recently, The Eastern counrtyside of deir ezzor , such as Ta’anah and Shihil, formed local committees to limit the carrying of arms and confront ISIS cells.
Cell war, not only in the SDF areas, but also in areas under the control of the opposition in northern Syria, noting that the cells of the regime have the greatest strength in this context, compared to the work of ISIS cells.
Thus, the Syrian north witnessed an increase in killings, bombings and kidnappings, and many residents believe that the main reason for this is that the authorities responsible for security in the region are failing to trace the cells of the regime and punish those who are arrested and convicted.
Some interpreted this laxity, the tyranny of kinship and tribalism, over the work of those responsible for security in the region by releasing a large number of those found guilty of interfering with the regime, forming cells or joining their ranks because of the intervention of their relatives and leaders. If their demands are not carried out, and their release by force.
The large role of corruption in the SDF or the opposition, and the absence of accountability, have also led to the release of large numbers of convicted persons who have been treated by the regime or their affiliation with the ISIS.