Claimed image of local protest against Kurdish administration in Deir ez-Zor Province, eastern Syria (Anadolu)

Residents of Deir ez-Zor Province in eastern Syria are pursuing a third week of protests against Kurdish administration, complaining of discrimination and oil sales to the Assad regime.

Residents, witnesses and tribal figures said demonstrations by inhabitants have spread across towns and villages, and are now the largest since US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured the territory from the Islamic State in 2017.

Talks between tribal figures and the Kurdish YPG militia last Friday made no advance to check the demonstrations.

Arab residents complain of lack of basic services and discrimination by local administrations run by Kurdish officials. Residents and tribal figures also cited forcible conscription of youth into the SDF and concerns over thousands of detainees

“Their repressive rule has turned many against them,” claimed tribal leader Abdul Latif al- Okaidat.

Residents are also angered by sale of oil to the Assad regime, which is facing a fuel crisis after supplies from Iran were cut off.

Groups of people have blocked road to disrupt convoys moving towards regime areas.

See also Syria Daily, April 30: Regime Areas Stalled by Petrol Shortages

The Kurdish-held territory has most of Syria’s oil and gas fields.

“No to the theft of our oil!” chanted demonstrators in the town of Greinej.

Abdullah Issa, a protester in al-Tayaneh, said, “We are deprived of everything while the Kurds are selling our oil to help the regime and enriching themselves.”

SDF commander in-chief Mazloum Kobani, referring implicitly to the protests, said the military force was the only “institution that had “steered away from any form of racism”.