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Damascus vies with Saudi-Kurd union for tribal support

Saudi Arabia is backing Kurdish efforts to win over Syrian tribes' loyalty from the regime.

LOpposing forces are competing for the support of tribal leaders in eastern Syria, with each side accusing the other of trying to further divide the country.

Mohammed al-Janduli, head of President Bashar al-Assad's military security branch in the northeastern city of Hasakah, called on Arab tribal chiefs to attend a June 20 conference in Aleppo. More than 50 members of tribes east of the Euphrates River were invited to the meeting and attendees expressed their support for Assad, according to the state-sponsored Syrian Arab News Agency. SANA didn't say how many leaders actually attended.

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