Deir Ezzor: Al-Ashara crossing ignites clashes between National Defense and Qaterji

Al-Ashara crossing in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor - January 10, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

Al-Ashara crossing in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor - January 10, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

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The city of al-Ashara in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor witnessed clashes on Friday, January 12, between militias affiliated with the Syrian regime, amidst reports of the death of a civilian and armed elements, as well as injuries to others.

Enab Baladi’s correspondent in Deir Ezzor stated that the clashes occurred between elements affiliated with the Qaterji company responsible for smuggling oil between areas under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the National Defense forces led by Firas al-Jaham, also known as “Firas the Iraqi”.

The clashes resulted in the death of a civilian and several serious injuries, including the child Ahmad al-Amash, who was transferred to Al-Hamad Hospital in al-Mayadeen and the Military Hospital in Deir Ezzor for treatment, according to the correspondent.

The reason for the clashes stems from disputes between the National Defense and Qaterji over the revenues from the Al-Ashara crossing, which are related to fuel smuggling and transporting goods and vegetables.

Alsharqia Post, which specialized in covering news from Deir Ezzor, reported the killing of two members of the Al-Jaber family, including a member affiliated with Qaterji named Imad al-Hamad al-Jaber, and a third unidentified casualty during the clashes between the two parties. The clashes later turned into a dispute between the Al-Jaber and Al-Najres families.

According to Ibrahim al-Hussein, the director of Alsharqia Post, the clashes resulted in the injury of three children and a girl, as well as damage to private property.

The Eye of Euphrates network, previously specialized in covering news from Deir Ezzor, stated that the province is witnessing tension between the National Defense forces supported by the Fourth Division and the Qaterji elements.

On January 11, clashes occurred in the city of al-Ashara between the Fourth Division and Qaterji without any reports of casualties due to the Division’s insistence on obtaining approval from its affiliated security office for the passage of Qaterji trucks, according to the network.

Al-Ashara crossing

On January 10, the Al-Ashara crossing resumed operation without an official announcement from the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) or its military arm represented by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The crossing connects the town of Darnaj, under the control of the SDF, with the city of al-Ashara from the regime-controlled side, and it is the fourth crossing after al-Janina, al-Hissan, and Muhimideh in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor.

At that time, Enab Baladi’s correspondent reported that the reopening took place without an official announcement, but the SDF supervised it.

 

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