Local sources told Al Jazeera that fighters from Arab tribes in Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria launched attacks on checkpoints of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) north of Deir Ezzor, while other clashes erupted between tribal fighters and the Deir Ezzor Military Council on the one hand and the SDF on the other, in different areas of Deir Ezzor for the second day in a row after the SDF arrested the leader of the Deir Ezzor Council and other military leaders on Sunday.
The clashes included the city of Al-Shuhail, Balja Dhiban, the village of Abhariyeh, the towns of Al-Husayn and Al-Aziya, north of Deir Ezzor, and the village of Al-Saghira in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, where a SDF car was targeted, according to the same sources.
The sources said that the SDF forces bombarded with heavy weapons the town of Al-Ezba, in conjunction with the tribes sending reinforcements to the Al-Harijiya area, where clashes are taking place.
In a related context, local sources indicated that residents blocked the main road in the towns of Al-Harijiya and Al-Sabha in protest against the arrest of the leaders of the Deir Ezzor Military Council.
Local sources also reported to Al Jazeera that the Syrian Democratic Forces began advancing towards the areas controlled by its Deir Ezzor Military Council, after the SDF arrested the council's leaders and besieged others in the city of Hasaka following differences between the two parties.
The sources pointed out that clashes broke out between the so-called SDF forces and fighters affiliated with the Deir Ezzor Military Council in the village of Al-Rabidah and Al-Fadin Hill in Deir Ezzor countryside, resulting in casualties on both sides.
According to the same sources, the SDF demanded the dispersal of the protests by tribal supporters of the Deir Ezzor Military Council, and asked it to grant its fighters compulsory leave until they are invited to serve again.
Clashes erupted last night between the people and the Deir Ezzor Military Council on the one hand, and SDF elements in the Ma'mal area and the town of Abu Hamam in Deir Ezzor countryside, and two members of the latter were killed in an attack targeting a checkpoint in the town of Dranj, east of Deir Ezzor.
The clashes began after the SDF arrested the commander of the Deir Ezzor Military Council, Ahmed al-Khabil, nicknamed "Abu Khawla", yesterday evening.
Deir Ezzor Military Council launched attacks on SDF checkpoints in Deir Ezzor (Al-Jazeera)
Clan support and timeout
Arab tribes in the eastern and northern region of Syria rushed to issue statements of condemnation, their readiness to participate militarily in combat operations, and to send support to the Deir Ezzor Military Council in its fight against the SDF, which is led by Kurdish units.
Today, accounts on social networking sites circulated a video recording of the gathering of a large number of members of the "Al-Bakir" tribes in the village of Al-Harijiya in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, to demand the release of the commander of the Deir Ezzor Military Council and give the SDF 12 hours, through a video statement.
The Arab tribes in the Jindires area, north of Aleppo, also expressed their rejection of the actions of the Syrian Democratic Forces towards the Arab tribes in the eastern region.
In a video recording on social media, a number of displaced Arab tribesmen from the eastern region and residents of Ras al-Ain, north of Hasakah, which is under the control of the opposition's National Army, called on Turkey to allow them to cross into Deir Ezzor to fight against the SDF.
Local activists from the region called on the international coalition supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces to mediate between the military council and the SDF in order to stop the bloodshed.
On the other hand, the media center of the SDF announced the day before yesterday the launch of a security operation in Deir Ezzor - in cooperation with the international coalition - according to a statement published on its Facebook account, confirming the arrest of 5 people, without revealing their identities.
The same center confirmed – in another statement published today – that the commander of the Deir Ezzor Military Council is under house arrest, at the request of tribal sheikhs in the region, according to him.
Activists circulated a video clip yesterday evening of the brother of Ahmed Al-Khabil, commander of the Deir Ezzor Military Council, confirming the arrest of his brother Abu Khawla and placing him under house arrest after luring him to a meeting in the city of Hasakah, and asked his tribe members to besiege the headquarters of the SDF to release his brother or open the battlefronts openly with it.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces during search operations in Hasaka (Reuters)
Roots of tension
The tension between the two sides began after fears by the military council led by al-Khabil that the SDF, with US support, would replace it with the so-called military support group, which is also under the roof of the SDF.
As a result, the military council opposed the transfer of the SDF members of the Al-Sanadid group to the east of the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzor, and clashes erupted between members of the military council and the so-called military police of the SDF on July 25.
The military council includes members of the Aqeedat, Busraya and Arab Baggara clans east of the Euphrates in Deir Ezzor province, while the Shammar clan forms the backbone of the Al-Sanadid group, and both groups have worked over the past years under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The number of members of the military council is about 4,3 fighters, while the number of members of the clubs ranges between two thousand and <>,<> fighters.