SDF publishes names of three of its fighters who died defending Diban

The SDF said that three of its fighters died defending Diban against Syrian regime armed groups. One civilian also died and twenty attackers were killed.

According to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the armed groups of the regime in Damascus, which entered Diban on Monday night, have been pushed out of the village in the east of Deir ez-Zor after fierce fighting. According to a statement by the SDF media center, the attackers barricaded themselves in residential buildings and a mosque. 20 gunmen were killed in the fighting and 31 injured were taken to a hospital in the Damascus-controlled city of al-Mayadin. Four SDF members lost their lives while repelling the gunmen's attack, which was accompanied by artillery fire from al-Mayadin, west of the Euphrates.

The SDF indicated that the gunmen were supported by government forces and were using heavy machine guns, artillery and mortar shells. The grenades hit residential buildings and the market, killing one civilian and injuring other people. In addition, public buildings were again looted and vandalized.

“Our forces immediately took the necessary measures to ensure security and stability in the region and facilitated the movement of civilians to safe areas in neighbouring villages to prevent armed mercenaries from implicating them in their terrorist attack,” the SDF said.

The identities of three fallen SDF fighters have been made public. Nour Shalash al-Faraj (codename Ciwan Hesekê, born in 1999 in Hesekê), Ridwan Talal Khalil (codename Mihemed, born in 2005 in Hol) and Ali Muhammad Issa (codename Egîd, born in 2000 in al-Ghurairi) died on 25 September defending Diban.

The small town of Diban, also known as Ziban, south of Deir ez-Zor, was already scenario of a large-scale security operation by the SDF against ISIS cells and other armed groups at the end of August. The latest attacks indicate that the regime is making a renewed attempt to wreak havoc in the region.

The SDF carried out an “Operation Security Reinforcement” in Deir ez-Zor from 27 August 27 to 8 September. Nine civilians and 25 SDF fighters were killed in armed clashes. In addition, 23 members of the armed groups were neutralized and a further 21 people were arrested. Among them were four mercenaries from the Syrian regime militia Difa al-Watani (also National Defense Forces, or NDF for short) and two ISIS members.