The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On August 9, 2020, the leaders of the Al-‘Akidat tribe in the Deir Al-Zour area in eastern Syria announced the establishment of the “Al-‘Akidat Army,” to fight the American forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which work with them in the area around Deir Al-Zour, “until all the lands of Syria are liberated,” and “in coordination with the Syrian Arab Army.” In the announcement posted on the Facebook page belonging to supporters of the Syrian regime, the leaders stress their support for the regime and claim that the decision to establish the army was taken because of “the theft of the country’s resources” by the American and SDF forces, in an apparent allusion to an agreement signed recently between the SDF and the American company Delta Crescent Energy LLC, concerning oil production in the region, and also because, they say, these forces wiped out the leaders of several tribes in the area, most recently Mutshir Al-Hafl. However, the U.S. forces and the SDF deny the allegations.
The Lebanese Al Mayadeen website, which supports the Syrian regime, wrote that the announcement by the heads of the Al-‘Akidat tribe, who support the Syrian regime, is “a declaration of popular war against the American and SDF presence in the Deir Al-Zour area, and is supported indirectly by the Syrian regime.”
In recent months, the Syrian regime has been seen to invest significant efforts to encourage local supporters to take action against the U.S. and SDF forces in the east of the country.
The above photograph depicts the sheikhs tribal dignitaries, as one reads out the announcement. (Source: Facebook.com/Al-Moqawamma Al-Sha’abyiya fi Al-Mintaqah Al-Sharqiyya, August 9, 2020.)
The following are translated excerpts from the announcement:
“The situation in Syria in general, and the Deir Al-Zour Province in particular, is very difficult. The SDF gang, with American Zionist support, has crossed all the red lines, while using criminals and gangs, and has harmed things sacred to the homeland and to society, stolen the homeland’s resources, and killed national leaders, the most recent being the sheikh Mutshir Al-Hafl, may Allah have mercy upon him [who was killed] in cold blood in broad daylight.
“In light of all this, the sheikhs and the leaders of the Al-‘Akidat tribe convened to discuss these subjects and to do what is necessary to respond to [the actions of] the occupier, his tools and his terrorist gangs, and to liberate all the lands of Syria so that Syria will remain the leader of the Arab nation led by President Bashar Al-Assad who has never conceded and will not concede one particle of the land of Syria.
“In response to the desire of the members of Al-‘Akidat to take action and to organize the ranks to get rid of America and its tools, the sheikhs and leaders of the Al-‘Akidat tribe have decided on the following:
1. The establishment of a political council of the Al-‘Akidat tribe which will comprise sheikhs and dignitaries from the tribe. Its role will be to manage the affairs of the tribe and to coordinate with the relevant bodies in the country in order to achieve what was mentioned above.
2. The announcement of the establishment of the Al-‘Akidat Army which will include all parts of the tribe in Syria and will be the military resistance arm. The Sheikh Asad Bin Asu’ud Al-Hafl will be the commander of the army…[…]
4. The immediate implementation of the steps [necessary to establish] the Al-‘Akidat Army as an armed military body so as to liberate all the lands of Syria, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Army, to wipe out the terror in all its forms and to banish the criminal gangs…
5. The sheikhs and tribal dignitaries call on all members of the tribe who have connections to the occupier and its helpers to return to the embrace of the homeland… And if not – they will be a legitimate target for the resistance and it will be permissible to kill them.
6. A declaration of the start of the popular resistance against the occupier and its mercenaries, and their being considered a legitimate target of the resistance. An eye for an eye…”
The above image shows the announcement composed by the sheikhs and dignitaries of the Al-‘Akidat tribe. (Source: Facebook.com/Al-Moqawamma Al-Sha’abyiya fi Al-Mintaqah Al-Sharqiyya, August 9, 2020.)
 Facebook.com/Al-Moqawamma Al-Sha’abyiya fi Al-Mintaqah Al-Sharqiyya, August 9, 2020.