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‘Civilian Council’ to Administer Deir Ezzor, 70% Voted in Federal System of Northern Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Russian military vehicle is seen on the road heading to Deir Ezzor. Reuters photo

Qameshli, Deir Ezzor- The Syrian Democratic Forces said on Sunday it established a “civilian council” to administer the oil rich province of Deir Ezzor in east Syria where regime forces are racing to control the ISIS-captured area.

The SDF appointed 100 figures from the leading tribal sheikhs to meet and elect a council to run the province.

In its final communiqué, the council said on Sunday that its priority was the return of tens of thousands of displaced residents of the province who fled during the conflict and restoring basic utilities.

The council also urged the US-led coalition to provide aid to the war-torn province.

“We want to bolster ties among the people of the province,” the statement of the Deir Ezzor civil council said.

Last week, the executive committee of the Kurdish-controlled Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria encouraged Syrians to participate in the elections of bodies running local communities scheduled for Sept. 22.

Meanwhile, a Russian lieutenant-general was killed in Deir Ezzor on Sunday after ISIS shelled his convoy.

In a statement carried by a Russian news agency, the Defense Ministry said that Lieutenant-General Valeryi Asapov died at a command station manned by Syrian troops, assisting commanders in the liberation of the city.

“As a result of a sudden mortar shelling by ISIS militants, Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov was fatally wounded by an exploding shell,” the ministry said.

In a related development, the executive committee of the Kurdish-controlled Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria said on Sunday that in Friday’s election, around 70 percent of eligible voters picked 7,464 leaders for some 3,732 “communes” spread across three regions of the north, from Afrin in northern Aleppo to eastern Aleppo and the two cities of Hasaka and Qameshli in northeastern Syria.

The elections will be held on three stages, that begun last Friday as part of Syrian Kurdish groups’ plan to set up a federal system of government in the north of Syria. The process will be followed in November by the elections of local councils to end up in January 2018 with the election of an assembly that will act as a parliament.