Tensions Mount in Syria's Raqqa After Killing of Tribal Sheikh

Published November 4th, 2018 - 09:40 GMT
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) sprints through the debris in the old city center on the eastern frontline of Raqqa. (AFP /BULENT KILIC)
A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) sprints through the debris in the old city center on the eastern frontline of Raqqa. (AFP /BULENT KILIC)

Tensions were high in the city of Raqqa, northeastern Syria, on Saturday following the mysterious killing of Sheikh Bashir Faisal al-Huwaidi, one of the most important tribal leaders in the region.

He was assassinated by unknown assailants while he was insider his car near al-Nour Mosque, in eastern Raqqa.

“We have received a communication about the presence of a person killed in his car which was parked al-Nour Street and that this person had received two shots directly in his jaw and head causing his loss of life,” said a source from the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls the city after its liberation from ISIS terrorists.

ISIS later claimed responsibility for the assassination in a statement published on social media networks.

It said that Huwaidi was killed with a firearm equipped with a silencer.

However, sources close to his family doubted the ISIS claim.

“Sheikh Bashir did not leave Raqqa the entire period during which ISIS controlled the city. They could have killed him then. Maybe there is another party, other than ISIS, standing behind the assassination,” the sources explained.

Activists from the Raqqa province accused Kurdish intelligence of killing Huwaidi.

Abed al-Hassoun, one of the supervisors in the Raqqa Post website, said his murder bore SDF hallmarks.

Meanwhile, Turkish and US experts discussed in Washington means to bolster coordination in northern Syria and to de-escalate tension and attacks between Turkish Forces and US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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