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Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, believes that Assad may have already dug his own grave by making war on Syria’s powerful tribes in the eastern part of the country. “The regime abducted and detained the chief of the tribal confederacy, Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, and assaulted Deir al-Zour with tanks,” says Badran. “The tribes are incensed and ready to mobilize against Assad. Unlike the besieged civilians in Hama or Homs, these tribes straddle the border with Iraq where they have extensions that number even more than they do in Syria. This means that should they decide to pick up arms against the regime, they will have strategic depth in Iraq. A tribal insurrection in eastern Syria poses a critical challenge to Assad and his troops – many of whom have already defected in Deir al-Zour and Albu Kamal.” 

(Lee Smith – Weekly Standard)

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