As a result of the debilitating situation that the Syrian state reached during the Syrian Civil War, the government relies heavily on paramilitary groups to confront security challenges. Existing studies imply that all the paramilitary groups in Syria were formed in a largely top-down process. Focusing on the rise of al-Baqqer Brigade in Syria and relying on a series of in-depth interviews with members of the al-Baggara tribe who make up most of this militia, this paper challenges that assumption. The paper shows that the emergence of tribal militias is principally a grassroots phenomenon stemming from competition over local resources. It argues that the Syrian state has seized this opportunity and outsourced some of its security and counterinsurgency tasks to the group.