Tribes at War: The Struggle for Syria

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Two years following the Syrian uprising, the civil war turned into a regional proxy war, principally between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but with important roles played by Qatar, Turkey and Iraq. This paper argues that tribal identity was (and is still) used by the Syrian regime, the opposition, the Kurds, the Islamists and international powers (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, USA, Russia, etc.) to mobilize and direct the armed activities of tribesmen in line with their interests in their battle over Syria. This, in turn, has resulted in the fragmentation of the tribes and their Sheikhs into competing clans that were mainly instrumentalised by outsiders during the Syrian conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActors and Dynamics in the Syrian Conflict's Middle Phase Between Contentious Politics, Militarization and Regime Resilience
EditorsJasmine K. Gani, Raymond Hinnebusch
ISBN (Print)9781032185026
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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