Euphrates Post learned from its sources within Daesh-controlled areas in the countryside of Deir Ezzour that major defections took place within the organization during the past few days that developed into unprecedented clashes.
According to the sources, Daesh fighters in the remaining parts of Daesh-controlled areas in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzour and in the areas adjacent to the Syrian-Iraqi border were divided into two groups. The first group consists mostly of Syrian fighters along with Iraqi fighters supporting the “Caliph” Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This group believes that although Al-Baghdadi has not been seen for a long time, they are still loyal to the pledge of allegiance they made to him as they consider it to be a “symbol of loyalty” to the caliph. The second group is composed mostly of other Arab, Asian and foreign nationalities who have demanded to pledge allegiance to a second emir who is in the field with the fighters in the remaining areas parts of the organization-controlled areas which has been besieged for months.
According to the information provided by our sources, dozens of people were killed and injured as a result of sporadic clashes that took place in the past period. The organization stressed that this dispute should be kept secret and to prevent the leaking of its details to external parties.
These developments urged the supporters of Al-Baghdadi to issue a Fatwa describing the opponents of the caliph as “Kharijites”, which requires fighting them and capturing their women. This ruling was announced from the pulpit in the Friday sermons in the mosques of Al-Shaafah and Al-Sousa towns.
After the execution of eight foreign fighters who are opponents to the Caliph by his security officials because of this dispute, things escalated significantly last Sunday afternoon, as the followers of Al-Baghdadi tried to storm a house in Al-Shaafah where foreigner fighters were hiding believing that they had declared rebellion against the Caliph.
According to the sources, the foreign fighters responded to this operation by going into a tunnel dug earlier blowing up the house to kill the Iraqi and Syrian fighters who carried out the raid, and then they fled towards an area near Al-Khamsha village where they are still fortifying. This required the intervention of Shari’a official to stop the fighting, declaring at the same time that they transferred the matter to their commanders.
In a related issue, Daesh members and commanders met on Sunday in Al-Shaafah town to resolve the dispute between the supporters of Al-Baghdadi and his opponents, without reaching any result.
It is worth noting that Daesh is still controlling a number of areas in Deir Ezzour eastern countryside, the most prominent of which are Hajin, Al-Shaafah, Al-Sousa, Al-Baghuz near the Iraqi border, the salt wells, Tal Shayer, Al-Dashisha in Al-Hasakah southern countryside on the Iraqi border, as well as areas of the Badiya of Deir Ezzour (Al-Shamia), M’ezileh village, and the surroundings of Al-Kam oil field.