Arabinosyltransferases (AraTs) play a critical role in mycobacterial cell wall biosynthesis and are potential drug targets for the treatment of tuberculosis, especially multi-drug resistant forms of M. tuberculosis (MTB). Herein, we report the synthesis and acceptor/inhibitory activity of Araf α(1 → 5) Araf disaccharides possessing deoxygenation at the reducing sugar of the disaccharide. Deoxygenation at either the C-2 or C-3 position of Araf was achieved via a free radical procedure using xanthate derivatives of the hydroxyl group. The α(1 → 5)-linked disaccharides were produced by coupling n-octyl α-Araf 2-/3-deoxy, 2-fluoro glycosyl acceptors with an Araf thioglycosyl donor. The target disaccharides were tested in a cell free mycobacterial AraTs assay as well as an in vitro assay against MTB H37Ra and M. avium complex strains. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.