Fighting erupted over the weekend in the village of Jizrat al-Boushams and the surrounding area, in the Deir Ezzor Province in eastern Syria, where US-backed rebels pushed into the area and fought with ISIS forces. ISIS ended up capturing and executing at least 19 people.
The executions weren’t entirely combatants, however, with indications that at least four of the slain, two women and two children, were just civilians caught up in the post-fighting round-up. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights mentioned only three rebels being caught in the process, though it was not totally certain who the slain were.
It’s not unusual for ISIS to carry out purges that include civilians when there is fighting in an area they control, and virtually all of Deir Ezzor is ISIS territory, and has been for some time. When they believe there are locals who support the other side, ISIS has tended toward major revenge attacks.
The US backs multiple rebel factions in the periphery of Deir Ezzor, including the Kurdish forces in the north ,and the SDF rebels, which were involved in today’s fighting, who are mostly active south of Deir Ezzor, along the Jordan border.