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Syrian government reportedly building tribal force in Hasakah

Russia and Iran are seeking to build a tribal army within the Syrian Democratic Forces' areas in Hasakah to protect the regime’s survival near the sources of oil and agricultural wealth.
A Russian military police armored truck drives past a US military MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle near the village of Tannuriyah in the countryside east of Qamishli in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province on May 2, 2020.

ALEPPO, Syria — The Syrian government seeks to expand its influence and strengthen its military presence by relying on the Arab tribes in Hasakah province, which is under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). It seems the government’s alleged efforts are supported by its allies, Russia and Iran, which attach great importance to the strategic areas of northeastern Syria that are rich in oil resources.

Tribal sources in Hasakah province told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The two countries, Iran and Russia, are seeking to secure for the regime the necessary means to protect its presence in the face of the SDF and the United States and to prevent any attempt to restrict and expel it from the area. These efforts became clearer after tension erupted in Hasakah governorate between the Syrian regime and the SDF at the beginning of 2021, when the SDF imposed a siege on the regime in the security enclaves of the regime in Hasakah and Qamishli. Since then, the regime has turned to the Hasakah clans, and serious calls began to emerge about including more Arab tribesmen loyal to the regime in Hasakah in the ranks of the militias and arm them.”

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