In 2014 ISIS targeted the Shaytat tribe for mass murder, a part of its many acts of genocide and mass murder carried out by ISIS members, including foreign ISIS volunteers who had come to colonize Syria and Iraq.
According to a AFP report “Of the SDF’s around 30,000 fighters, some 5,000 are from local Sunni Arab tribes. The force also includes Christians and ethnic Turkmen as well as its core Kurdish fighters.” The Shaytat have played a role, particularly in offensives after Raqqa. This includes the final phases of Operation Roundup or Jazeera Storm launched in the fall of 2018.
Details of fighting in one Shaytat town:
The AFP report on the Shaytat tribe notes “But still he has heard nothing of his relatives, nor found their remains in any of the mass graves the Daesh group left in its wake. In December 2014, one such death pit was discovered, its belly containing the bodies of 230 Shaytat tribe members — but not Khalifa’s brother or relatives.”
Kyle Orton writes that ISIS had a: “divide-and-rule with the tribes in Deir Ezzor has left deep social scars that are now being handled with revenge-killings. The SDF/PKKauthorities seem unable to cope, as perhaps nobody could. Crimes like the Shaytat massacre have no precedent.”
Wladimir Van Wilgenburg notes “there are also Shaytat tribe members in Ahrar Sharqiya that fought Kurdish YPG in Afrin.” Because some tribe members joined the Syrian rebel groups and are now linked to Turkey.
Hassan Hassan tweets: “The Shaytat tribe is split many ways: they fight with the regime, with the rebels, with the SDF, with al-Qaeda, and with ISIS. Here is one who blew his VBIED against regime fighters near Albu Layl.”
Another commentator notes that other tribes had joined anti-ISIS fighting units “After Albu Risha and Al Jughayfa tribes in Iraq, it looks like US has found another tribal partner in Syria : Al Shaytat”
Now the tribe has helped get revenge.
Near the front line in eastern Syria, Amer Khalifa plays with a sword he found. To “avenge” his family, he has joined a Kurdish-led alliance fighting the Islamic State group.
The 22-year-old is one of numerous members of the Shaytat tribe who have joined the fight to flush out the jihadists from a shrinking enclave near the Iraqi border.