The US-led coalition and its proxy, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are forming a new tribal force in northeastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on August 28.
According to the London-based monitoring group, the new force, which will be called “Liwa al-Faz’ah” [the Rescue Brigade], will be tasked with guarding northeastern Syria’s border with Iraq from ISIS. Recently, the terrorist group’s cells have been fairly active in the border area.
Liwa al-Faz’ah will reportedly recruit between 1,800 and 2,000 fighters from the Arab tribes of al-Haskah, Deir Ezzor and Raqqa.
The SDF will be responsible for the training of the Arab tribal force, while the US-led coalition will provide support, likely salaries and armament.
Several US-backed Arab factions are currently active in northeastern Syria. Most of them are considered a part of the SDF. Only few of these factions operate independently from the Kurdish-majority group.
While the new force is supposedly being formed to counter ISIS, other goals may be in the mind of the US-led coalition and the SDF. The force will de-escalate tensions between the SDF and Arabs in northeastern Syria. It will also expand the coalition’s influence in the region.
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