Heavy clashes broke out in the town of Mashikh in southeast Deir Ezzor on May 24 when an old tribal conflict was reignited by the growing ISIS threat.
According to local sources, the clashes began when the al-Kbisah tribe held the rivaling al-BuFriu tribe responsible for a threat one of their men received from ISIS. Fighters from al-Kbisah carried out a series of attacks on the al-BuFriu-controlled area in Mashikh.
The clashes lasted for several hours, with both sides using light and heavy weapons. As a result, a man from al-Kbisah and nine from al-BuFriu were killed. Many others were reportedly injured in the clashes.
The Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC), the local faction of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dispatched a large force to Mashikh. The clashes were ceased. However, tension is still high in the region.
“Significant tension in the region at these moments, it was not mitigated by the deployment of DMC forces in the areas of clashes,” the Jisr Press said in a report.
Two years ago, al-Kbisah and al-BuFriu attacked each other over a disagreement on oil wells in their region. Since then, the two tribes have been involved in multiple smaller incidents in southeast Deir Ezzor.
Clashes in Mashikh revealed the weakness of local authorities in northeastern Syria. The rule of law is especially weak in the Arab-majority areas, where the Kurdish-led SDF has very little influence over local tribes on internal issues.