Al-Shaitat (الشعيطات transcription: aš-šuʿayṭāt), in
Arabic al-Shuʿaytāt, is an
Arab tribe located in Deir
ez-Zor Governorate in eastern Syria. It is numbered between
70,000–90,000 and is led by
Sheikh Rafaa Aakla al Raju. In the
Arab dialect the "u" is not pronounced and since the
often is not transcribed, the name is written Shaitat, Shaytat,
Sheitat, Sheitaat and the like. The last vowel is long, therefore
sometimes it is written with a double "a".
Conflict with the Islamic State
Locations of mass killings
Since July 2014, the Shaitat tribe has been in conflict with the
Islamic State. The tribe battled to retain control of their area
against encroachments by the Islamic State in 2014 but was defeated.
Later they were able to push out the Islamic State again but
eventually they lost the battle.
In August 2014, Islamic State fighters committed a massacre by
shooting, beheading, and crucifying some 700 members of the Shaitat
tribe over a period of three days. It became the bloodiest single
atrocity committed by the Islamic State in Syria. The
Abu Hamam area,
Mayadin and Hajin, where important parts of the tribe lived,
has been abandoned with many bodies that remain uncollected.
In mid December 2014, it was reported that a mass grave with some 230
Shaitat tribesmen in
Deir ez-Zor Governorate
Deir ez-Zor Governorate was found by their
relatives. This brought the number of Shaitat tribal members killed by
the Islamic State since summer 2014 to more than 900. Islamic State
propaganda in 2015 boasted about the return of some Shaitat civilians
but still focused on ongoing tribal opposition.
^ Toddler 'Pulled From Bomb Rubble In Syria', news.sky.com.
^ a b
Massacre And Media: ISIS And The Case Of The
Tribe, Alberto M. Fernández, MEMRI, June 23, 2015
Syria tribal revolt against Islamic State ignored, fueling
resentment". Washington Post. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 6 November
^ SYRIA DIRECT: NEWS UPDATE 8-19-2014, syriadirect.org
^ Mass grave of 230 tribespeople found in Syria’s Deir Ezzor