Bloody clashes took place today in northern Syria between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by the Kurds and Turkish-backed armed groups, forcing dozens of families to flee the area for their lives, according to a resident and the non-governmental Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH).

The fighting began shortly after the SDF announced that they recaptured a village in the province of Deir Ezzorin eastern Syria, following clashes with Arab tribal fighters in which at least 90 people were killed.

Members of pro-Turkish groups who say they are from those Arab tribes said they attacked a zone controlled by the SDF in a show of support for Deir Ezzor’s Arab fighters. “They tried to penetrate the villages” near the city of Manbij but “the SDF intervened,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Over the past three days, these groups have stepped up their bombing in support of Arab fighters clashing with the SDF in Deir Ezzor.

According to the OSDH, four pro-Turkish fighters were killed and 13 others were injured today in the clashes near Manbij, due to which dozens of families have fled the area.

“Most of the residents left the village,” a Syrian resident near the front line told AFP.

The Manbij Military Council, which is affiliated with the SDF, controls the city and its surroundings. Forces of Bashar al-Assad’s regime have also been deployed in this zone, near the border with Turkey, based on an agreement reached in 2019 with Kurdish fighters. Syrian, pro-Turkish groups control zones to the west of the city.

Earlier, the SDF announced the “conclusion” of the military operation in Deir Ezzor, where they expelled the Arab fighters from all the communities they had infiltrated to protest the arrest in late August of the head of the Deir Ezzor Military Council, a of a local, armed Arab unit that nevertheless cooperated with the SDF.