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    Raqqa

    Local Syrians Form Militia to Evict US-Backed Forces From Raqqa – Reports

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    US-backed Kurdish-dominated forces, who control much of northern Syria and large swathes of the oil-rich eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, are facing increasingly high levels of resistance from Arabs living in cities and villages they hold, especially in areas which aren’t predominantly Kurdish.

    Local Sunni Arab tribesmen have formed a militia to fight and oust the US-backed SDF from Raqqa, according to media reports and reports circulating on social media.

    The group, which has called itself the Popular Resistance of Raqqa (PRoR), currently has just a few dozen fighters in its ranks, but is covertly recruiting additional combatants.

    READ MORE: Turkey Urges US to Remove Leading Force From SDF Amid Afrin Operation

    Armed with only small arms and light weapons (SALW), they are currently only able to conduct hit-and-run attacks, as they simply don't have the manpower to take and hold territory.

    At the moment the group's forces are stationed in Raqqa city, though they may expand into other areas of the province, provided they can significantly increase their manpower.

    Sunni Arab tribesmen — primarily from the Al-Shaitat tribe — played a significant role in the Syrian Army's Russia-backed offensive against Daesh* (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State) in Deir ez-Zor, contributing thousands of fighters to anti-terrorist operations in the area.

    Much of the casualties from the US' attack on Syrian forces last month were reportedly from this tribe. A number of troops from the elite "ISIS Hunters" militia were also killed by the US military in last month's attack.

    ​Syrian media reported that a total of 50-60 pro-government combatants were killed in the attack, refuting reports of hundreds of soldiers being killed.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Tags:
    self-defense, Syrian crisis, Daesh, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), United States, Middle East, Raqqa, Syria
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