After months of random persecutions, murder, and torment, villagers across the Deir Ezzor Governorate have revolted against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) monopoly over their civil liberties and begun to cooperate with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in their war against the latter. This is the first time since the advent of this armed conflict that villagers living east of the provincial capital have reached out to the SAA for assistance against ISIS.
Anger and resentment among the civilians in the village of Al-‘Abid sprung when ISIS recently kidnapped over 20 civilians and marched them to an undisclosed location, leaving villagers furious over the random persecutions conducted by the latter. As a result of this unprovoked persecution of civilians in Al-‘Abid, the villagers took up arms and began to clash with ISIS militants inside the village, prompting their neighbors to do the exact same thing.
Civilians in the Abukamal and Al-Mayadeen Districts have begun their armed revolt against the ISIS militants abusing their authority inside the province of Deir Ezzor. ISIS continues to provoke members of the Al-Shaytat Tribe to pick-up arms against them, due to their persistent persecutions of these tribal members.
To coincide with the rise of villagers around Deir Ezzor, a newly formed popular resistance group – formed by the National Defense Force (NDF) – has begun to gain notoriety in the eastern part of the province. The group known as “Mouqawama Al-Sha’abiyyeh” (Popular Resistance) is now operating in the Deir Ezzor Governorate, recruiting members from different villages to take up arms against ISIS and to retake their villages and neighborhoods under their rule.