Ib'al was the name used by Ebla in the 24th century BC to indicate a confederation of tribes occupying the steppic region south of Ebla; the region included small villages and towns. Qatna could have been one of the urban centers in the region.
Ebla and Mari were engaged in a long war and Ib'al was drawn into; during the reign of the Eblaite king Isar-Damu, repeated campaigns over the course of four years were aimed at the confederation and ended with the Ib'al defeat. Following the war with Ebla, Ib'al became an Eblaite ally and acted as such during a campaign against Mari. Ib'al maintained a peaceful relation with Ebla until the latter collapse, and the Ebla archive mentions the names of seven of its sheikhs.
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- Baffi, Francesca; Peyronel, Luca (2014). "Tell Tuqan and the Matkh Basin in a Regional Perspective. Thoughts and Questions Raised by the International Conference". In Baffi, Francesca; Fiorentino, Roberto; Peyronel, Luca (eds.). Tell Tuqan Excavations and Regional Perspectives. Cultural Developments in Inner Syria from the Early Bronze Age to the Persian/Hellenistic Period. Proceedings of the International Conference May 15th-17th 2013 - Lecce. Congedo Editore. ISBN 978-8-867-66103-9.
- Castel, Corinne (2008). "Al-Rawda. A town in the Steppe (Central Syria, Early Bronze Age IV)". In Kühne, Hartmut; Czichon, Rainer Maria; Kreppner, Florian Janoscha (eds.). Proceedings of the 4th International Congress of the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, 29 March - 3 April 2004, Freie Universität Berlin. 2. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-05757-8.
- Morandi Bonacossi, Daniele (2009). Parr, Peter J. (ed.). "Tell Mishrifeh and its Region During The EBA IV and the EBA-MBA Transition. A First Assessment". PEF Annual. The Palestine Exploration Fund. IX: The Levant in Transition. ISBN 978-1-90435-099-6.
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