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SDF Avoid a Crisis With the al-Baggara Tribe

The Syrian Democratic Forces have been forced to act quickly after events escalated and members of the al-Baggara tribe declared a rebellion writes Al-Modon.
SDF Avoid a Crisis With the al-Baggara Tribe

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have avoided a major problem occurring in Deir ez-Zor, which was on the verge of exploding, and handed over its fighters who violated the tribal rule of “ijarah” (providing protection to people who ask for the tribes protection) and the “sanctity of the homes” of the al-Baggara tribe, according to Al-Modon’s correspondent, Mohamed al-Khalaf.

Patrols by the SDF had carried out an inspection and had collected weapons from the desert communities in northwestern Deir ez-Zor where the al-Baggara tribe is located. An SDF patrol clashed with a family in the al-Akleh area, which is an area of the tribal sheikhs, after a young man refused to hand over his weapons and argued with the fighters, before they entered the home of the tribal sheikh Hajem al-Bashir.

The SDF sent reinforcements and raided the home, arresting the young man by force, which caused an explosion of anger. The tribe put out a call for war, which caused a thousand SDF members to confiscate heavy and personal weapons from the tribe. The tribe was joined by about 2,000 men who headed with their weapons to Sheikh Hajem’s house and declared their rebellion, which did not end until the SDF handed over the members responsible for handcuffing Sheikh Hajem. The SDF apologized to the sheikh and the tribe and then released all their prisoners from the campaign, and returned their weapons.

Hajem al-Bashir is one of the most prominent notables of the Baggara tribe, after the tribe removed its previous sheikh, who was a relative of the current sheikh, Nawaf al-Bashir, after he reconciled and returned to working with the regime. Hajem was the most prominent face at the major tribal meeting held about a month ago in Ayn Eissa, and he himself delivered the closing statement to about 5,000 tribe members who attended the meeting.

The Baggara tribe is one of the major tribes of eastern Syria. A tribal source said that their numbers in northeastern Syria were more than 1 million, distributed between Deir ez-Zor, with about 500,000 people, Hasakeh, with about 300,000 people, and Aleppo and Raqqa with about 300,000. Its members are distributed across various parties to the conflict in Syria, with most of them tending towards the revolution and the opposition, whereby they represent the backbone of the factions of eastern Syria fighting north of Aleppo, such as Ahrar al-Sharqiyah, Jaysh al-Sharqiyah and Shuhada Badr. They are also heavily present in the SDF and a portion of them are in the Syrian regime forces, while Shi’ified members formed the Liwa al-Baqr—one of the most prominent armed militias under Iran’s authority in Syria.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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