Fighters loyal to the Syrian government have clashed with Kurdish-led forces in a mainly Arab district of eastern Syria, leaving 25 people dead in two days, a war monitor said Tuesday.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are backed by Washington, said they had "driven out the regime gunmen who had infiltrated the Dheiban area" of Deir Ezzor province in the gun battles which erupted on Monday.
Earlier this month, the same area saw 10 days of fighting between the SDF and armed Arab tribesmen in which 90 people were killed.
Britain-based monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the latest clashes erupted when pro-government fighters crossed the Euphrates river, which separates pro-government forces in southwestern Deir Ezzor from the SDF in the northeast.
It said 21 of the dead were Damascus loyalists and three were SDF fighters. A woman was also killed.
The SDF said the loyalist fighters had crossed the Euphrates "under cover of an indiscriminate bombardment" of its positions.
The SDF riposted by bombarding the right bank of the river which is controlled by government troops with support from Iran-backed militias, the Observatory said.
The SDF was Washington's main Syrian ally in its fightback against ISIS, which culminated in the extremists’ defeat in their last Syrian foothold on the left bank of the Euphrates in 2019.
War erupted in Syria after President Bashar al-Assad's government crushed peaceful protests in 2011.
The conflict has killed more than half a million people and driven half the country's pre-war population from their homes.