While the ongoing protests in Syria's southern province of al-Suwayda' against the Syrian government and its policies are noteworthy, the tribal uprising in the eastern countryside of the eastern province of Dayr al-Zur against the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is arguably of greater significance, as it amounts to an actual armed revolt that has posed a serious challenge to the SDF's authority over the area- an authority that was only established because of the American-led campaign against the Islamic State. In turn the revolt raises very serious issues about U.S. policy in the region and the supposed ongoing American mission to ensure the "enduring defeat" of the Islamic State.
The revolt itself comes in the wake of the SDF's arrest of the head of the Dayr al-Zur Military Council that has worked under the SDF's authority, but the arrest itself cannot be considered the underlying cause of the revolt. Rather, the revolt reflects a notable degree of long-standing local opposition to SDF rule over the east Dayr al-Zur countryside, driven by a variety of grievances, such as the perception that the SDF is profiting from the area's natural resources (in particular oil) with little or no dividends for locals, complaints about arbitrary arrests by the SDF, and wider resentment of the SDF as an alien political regime dominated by Kurdish cadres linked to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) and at odds with local political preferences, whether for the Syrian government or the original uprising against the government. With regards to support for the original uprising/revolution/rebellion, the SDF in contrast is often seen as a force that does not represent it, or even as an enemy of it.
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