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Arabs need leadership role in Deir ez-Zor, says council chief

Eastern Deir ez-Zor continues to experience frequent attacks, presumably by the Islamic State, and locals mistrust the Syrian Democratic Forces' control over it.

ERBIL — “We read in articles that there are sleeper cells. These are not sleeper cells. They are active on a daily basis,” Ghassan al-Youssef told Al-Monitor about the Islamic State's presence in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor region.

Youssef, the civil council chief of the part of the governorate officially under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), noted in the Feb. 16 interview that recent attacks have been “against the SDF, against civilians and against officials.”

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