The Politics of Tribalization in Syria

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International media outlets have covered the news of Syrian tribes since the beginning of the protest movement that erupted in the country in 2011. This started with the “Friday of Tribes,” when Syrian tribes participating in protests against the Syrian regime in the Syrian city of Dar‘a began chanting “faz‘a” (chanting for support), which meant that they were seeking solidarity from other tribes for defense against the regime's aggression. As the Syrian uprising turned into a civil war that involved many players, some media outlets focused on the scenes of tribal leaders pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or of others being summoned to Geneva, Switzerland, to hold talks with Western powers about the possibility of mobilizing against ISIS militants. One could only wonder exactly why tribal loyalties continued to play such a significant role in the everyday events of the Syrian civil war when many civil society advocates had argued that tribal affiliation in Syria had diminished.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-506
JournalInternational Journal of Middle East Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2021


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