03/22/2020 Syria (International Christian Concern) – Multiple reports surface of rising tension in Syria’s NE corridor as it relates to community interactions with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This paramilitary group has come under scrutiny by locals in Deir ez-Zor for their tight restrictions on community life and oversight of daily activities, as well as corruption. Protests have erupted in some areas, with some expressing concerns that the security situation in this corridor is, at best, unstable and highly volatile.
The NE corridor of Syria is traditionally home to large clusters of the country’s Assyrian and Armenian Christian communities, many of whose ancestors escaped the Ottoman genocide of the early 1900s. The full impact of the Syrian conflict was felt among these communities, including the danger posed by ISIS.
However, the area had achieved some resemblance of stability compared to other parts of Syria. This was widely disrupted by the Turkish invasion in October 2019. This led to significant security concerns for this region, especially that ISIS may take advantage of the situation. The current situation shows yet another angle to Syria’s complex environment: any system of government that comes into existence must maintain the support of the local population, including for broader security reasons.