Tribes and the Rule of the “Islamic State”: The Case of the Syrian City pf Deir Ez-Zor
Tribes are of crucial importance in the societies of the Middle East. They are a socio-political unit that is powerful in exerting control over communities, land and resources. It is for that reason that authorities have, for centuries, been keen on gaining the loyalties of tribes and integrating them into their own power structures. This remains true for states in the Middle East, but also for non-state actors such as jihadist groups. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in cooperation with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut published an in-depth study on the transformation of Sunni tribes in Syria, their relationship to the central authority in Damascus and to the Islamic State. The research puts a particular focus on the geographic distribution, sheikhdom and tribal leadership in the Syrian city of Deir Ez-Zor.