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A tribal leader that originally defected from Syria to joining Turkish-backed militants has sworn his allegiance again to the Syrian Army and government.

Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, the leader of the Baggara tribe in Deir Ezzor Governorate went to Damascus shortly after the liberation of Aleppoand pledged loyalty to President Assad.

The former member of the Syrian Parliament defected from Syria in 2012 and announced on television that he wants ‘to topple the regime’.

“I apologise to the Syrian people for the words I have said. I now declare that we want nothing but to topple the regime,” he said during a press conference in Istanbul in 2012.

However, by November 2016, his allegiance switch could be seen with a leak recording of him speaking out against the opposition and their backers.

The Baggara tribe has historically had bad relations with the Kurds, culminating in many battles between his tribe and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units through the duration of this war.

“I have no support, my relationship with Saudi is zero and subzero, they are claiming to be Islamists, and Qatar only supports Muslim Brotherhood people, and we are not Muslim Brotherhood and we are not… not Islamists, so we have no support,” he said.

In 2016, the tribal head started to switch his position. In November 2016, recordings were leaked of al-Bashir praising the Syrian government and cursing the opposition.

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