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Syria is subdivided in a hierarchical manner into:

For each governorate, the first city in the table is the governorate capital (and capital city of its district at the same time). The following towns are the regional capitals (administrative centers) of the districts. The next towns are other significant towns. The last item is the rural area outside of the listed towns in each governorate. The population figures are given according to the 2004 official census. The table is sortable. Click on the arrows next to the column headings to sort alphabetically, based on population, District, or control status.

Latakia governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Latakia 383,786 Latakia District Latakia Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Latakia had been a site of protest activity since March 2011. The Syrian government claimed 12 were killed there in clashes in late March,[1] leading to the deployment of the military to restrict movement into and out of the city. Hundreds of Syrians were reportedly arrested, and by late July, activists in Latakia were telling foreign media they feared a more violent crackdown was coming. Protests continued despite the increased security presence and arrests. Several civilians were allegedly killed in confrontations with security officers during this early period of the siege.[2] On 13 August 2011, the Syrian Army and Syrian Navy launched an operation where more than 20 tanks and APCs rolled into the Alawi stronghold.[3]
Al-Haffah 4,298 Al-Haffah District Latakia Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Al-Haffah is a Sunni Muslim town that lies in the foothills of the coastal mountains that form the heartland of Assad's Alawi sect. It is strategically located close to the port city of Latakia, as well as, the Turkish border which has been used by the rebels to smuggle people and supplies.[4] On 12 June 2012, the military recaptured al-Haffah,[5] and the remaining 200 FSA fighters under heavy bombardment by government forces withdrew from the town. FSA said that the fact that Al-Haffah is surrounded by Alawi villages did not help them.[6][7] The rebels were reported to have retreated to Turkey.[citation needed]
Jableh 53,989 Jableh District Latakia Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Qardaha 8,671 Qardaha District Latakia Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On early October 2012, Mohammad Assad, cousin of President Bashar Assad and leader of the local Shabiha, was wounded after a gunfight in the town with member of the rival Alawite Khayyir clan, sparked by a discussion about the earlier detention at Damascus airport of Abdel-Aziz Khayyer, a Qardaha native and member of the latter clan.[9] On early August 2013 in a surprise offensive, rebel fighters comprising ten mainly Islamist brigades, including al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant advanced south to the outskirts of the village of Aramo, 20 km. (12 miles) from Qardaha. One of the attackers stated "The objective is to reach Qardaha and hurt them like they are hurting us."[10]
Kesab 1,754 Latakia District Latakia Governorate yFlag of Syria.svg Kesab, which has a border post, is 3 kilometers away from the Turkish border and is mainly populated by Armenians[11] with an Alawite minority. On October 13, 2012, rebels were attacking towards the town. Since November 2012, Turkmen rebels tried to take control of the town and its border post, however they were prevented from doing so by the local alawite militias formed there.[12] Local Alawite militias continue to exercise control over the area.[13] In late December, the town was reportedly shelled by unspecified forces, but no residents were killed or injured.[14]
Salma 2,131 Al-Haffah District Latakia Governorate yFlag of Jabhat al-Nusra.jpgFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg As of late July 2012, FSA controls the town, whose population has left (part to Latakia city and part to Turkey). FSA had declared that they were able to hold on to Salma thanks to its mountainous nature and the fact that it is surrounded by Sunni villages.[7] As of early August 2013, the town is reported by The Guardian to be the Latakia governorate headquarters of both al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[15]
Outside of listed towns in Latakia G. Latakia Governorate pFlag of Syria.svg 95%
Flag of Jihad.svgFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg 5%

Situation in the Latakia Governorate in August 2013     Syrian Army control     Opposition control

Since June 2012, FSA controls a small part in the north east. In late July 2012, France 24 reported that the army has been burning forests to avoid FSA hiding in them.[8] By October 2012, the FSA slowly captured most of the Jebel Akrad and Jebel Turkman mountain ranges in the north. Rebels have taken control of six Alawite villages in the region, in some cases intimidating the locals to leave by way of kidnappings, theft, and looting of homes. There are fears even among elements of the opposition that if the conflict continues to spread, rebel forces may perpetrate larger sectarian revenge killings.[16] The region of the province now controlled by rebels was home to a sizeable Kurdish minority prior to the war. Most Kurds have fled from the 60 villages in the region they once inhabited due to the fighting, but many are too poor to afford to flee to neighbouring Turkey. Those who are internally displaced have resettled in refugee camps close to the border, such as one near Khirbet al-Joz, where a farmer has been converting part of his land with the help of a Qatari company into a camp that will able to house 10,000 refugees once completed.[17] According to Human Rights Watch, rebel forces also broke into and looted churches in the Christian villages of Ghassaniyeh and Jdeideh after taking control of them, though it was not clear if sectarianism was the motive. Several locals had been kidnapped by rebels, who also looted homes. Much of the population of the villages had fled.[18] See also: 2013 Latakia offensive.

Idlib governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Idlib 98,791 Idlib District Idlib Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Please see older references here

As of 7 June 2012, the edges of the city and the surrounding areas belong to the rebels.[19]
On 20 January 2013 a coordinated attack on Idlib city was begun by the FSA. They overan several checkpoints on the Western edges of Idlib, one attack at Rodoko checkpoint led to the killing of 15 Syrian Army soldiers (the rest fled on foot) and allowed rebels to capture 3 tanks and the checkpoints weapons cache.[20]
Furthermore rebels could start to siege the central prison of Idlib, which holds more than 600 inmates.[21]
See also: 2011–2012 Idlib Governorate clashes, February 2012 Idlib Operation, Battle of Idlib and Idlib Governorate clashes (June 2012–present).

Arihah 39,501 Arihah District Idlib Governorate rFlag of Syria.svg Please see older references here

The city was retaken by the army in 11 August 2012.[22]
By late July 2013, rebels controlled parts of Ariha, while government forces maned three checkpoints inside the town.[23]
On 24 August, rebels captured Ariha. However, after 10 days of bombardment, government forces recaptured the town on 3 September.[24][25]

Harem 21,934 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg Harem is situated exactly on the border of Turkey. Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8][26] In October, the FSA gained control of the town.[27] Army troops remain surrounded in the town’s citadel. On December 25, the FSA gained complete control over the town after government forces that were surrounded in the town's ancient citadel surrendered after a 70 day siege.[28] In December 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced its entire control over Harem.[29]
Jisr al-Shughur 39,917 Jisr ash-Shugur District Idlib Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 4 June 2011, the Syrian military launched an operation in Jisr ash-Shugur in a crackdown against pro-democracy protesters. The operation lasted until 12 June 2011.[30] However, FSA takes control of what will become a key rebel center in December 2011–January 2012.[31] ln June 2012, the FSA was still in control.[8] In October 2012, the Syrian government was reported by Al Jazeera to be in control of the town.[32]
Maarrat al-Nu'man 58,008 Maarat al-Numaan District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Please see older references here

On 9 October 2012, FSA captured Maarat al-Numaan, which lies on the Syria's M5 highway, the main supply route used by the Syrian Army to send supplies and reinforcement from Hama and Damascus to Aleppo.

The base is protected by two large outposts, the Zahlanee, which is just 600 to 700 m from the various rebel groups that are now this village’s only inhabitants, and the Hamidiyah, which has also come under greater attack from rebels. The two rebel launch points were Maarat al-Numaan and Marshamsheh; In addition to its imposing position near a strategic spot along the south-north Damascus-Aleppo highway, Wadi Daif is also an important barracks with an armored regiment and a fuel depot believed to hold millions of liters in underground silos. There are at least four other smaller checkpoints protecting it, as well as the Zahlanee and Hamidiyah. The rebels are spread out along a 5-km southern front in Maarat al-Numaan, working to take out the Hamidiyah checkpoint. Each position is 100 m from the other. There are seven men per post (on six-hour shifts) and each post contains a machine gun, a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, a sniper rifle and four Kalashnikovs. The nearest regime location is only 400 m away in some places, 700 in others.[33]
On 13 April 2013, the Syrian army launched an offensive to resupply Wadi Deif, inflicting losses on the rebels. They ambushed the rebels near the village of Baboulein.[34]
SOHR claimed that if the governement is able to hold this gain, they could reopen the whole road to Aleppo and it would have major strategical implication. Rebels attempted a counter attack on 15 April, but their front was weakened due to infighting and deployement of fighters elsewhere.[35]

Abu al-Thuhur 10,694 Idlib District Idlib Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg Abu al-Thuhur is the site of military airfield.[36] The rebels are relying on cutting off the various supply routes to the loyalists inside Idlib province. Toward that end, the Abu al-Thuhur military airport has been under siege since September 2012. Supplies for the troops are airdropped by helicopters that fly in from air bases in Hama. The rebels have also upped their attacks on the airport.[33] They claimed that as a result of their employment of anti-aircraft weaponry, they have rendered flights from the base inoperable.[37][38]'
al-Alani 3,279 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg In June 2012, FSA was in control.[8] In September 2012, the government was reported in control of the town[39]
Armanaz 10,296 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Rebels drove out government forces on 20 June 2012 after weeks of clashes.[40]
Azmarin 3,720 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg ln June 2012, FSA was reported to have control of this town located on the border with Turkey.[8] At a later date, FSA lost control of the town. On 14 October, rebels recaptured it after a three day siege. Remaining government soldiers fled during the night, some across the Turkish border and into Turkish custody. Dr. Ghnnam worked as a urologist in Azmarin before taking command of rebel forces in the town.[26]
Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Jihad.svg Please see older references here

On July 19, 2012, the FSA with 200 fighters seized the border crossing and defaced images of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[41][42][43][44]
On 22 July 2012, Turkish armed forces further restricted border crossings of their own nationals.[45] Crisply dressed rebels check passports of new arrivals, enter names into computers and extend a welcome hand to "Free Syria."[46] In mid-August 2012, FSA fighters attacked tanks and helicopters from the government near the Turkish border, foiling an attempt to take over the Bab al-Hawa border gateway.[47]
By early December 2013, fighters from the Islamic Front ousted FSA-aligned fighters from the border crossing.[48]

Binnish 21,848 Idlib District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg Please see older references here

On 4 April 2012, the Syrian Army was still shelling Binnish with citizens fleeing the city.[49] In June, the government has control.[8] In November, the town was under rebel control.[50]
In March 2013, it was reported that rebels in Binnish have negotiated a limited ceasefire with regime forces in nearby Idlib, in which the regime abstains from shelling the town in exchange for opposition assurances that they will not attack a village of minorities nearby[51] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[52]

Al-Dana 14,208 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg Since July 2012, it is under FSA control.[53] However, al-Jazeera reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant controlled entirely the town since early July 2013.[52][54]
Darkush 5,295 Jisr al-Shughur District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg on 28 March 2012, it was reported that two British journalists of Algerian descent, Nassim Terreri and Walid Bledi, were killed by the pro-government militia Shabiha in this town located on the border with Turkey. The freelance journalists were filming a documentary about refugees fleeing the violence.[55] ln June 2012, FSA was reported to have control of Darkush.[8] At a later date, FSA lost control of the town. On 11 October, rebels recaptured it.[26]
Al-Fu'ah 10,264 Idlib District Idlib Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On January 4, 2013, the Shia town was reported to be loyal to the government.[56]
Hish Maarat al-Numaan District Idlib Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg The task of cutting off the crucial M5 highway that ferries military supplies from Hama and Damascus north to Idlib and Aleppo has largely fallen to the rebels of Hish, a town about 17 km from the important Wadi Daif military base. The rebels blew up an overpass on the stretch of asphalt that passes below them, using an improvised explosive device planted under cover of darkness. The destroyed overpass cut off part of the highway. Now they were hoping to destroy the rest of it. Four snipers hid behind a makeshift wall of white stones piled atop one another, a little over waist-high, their scopes trained on the road below. Several other men, rifles at the ready, stood behind a thin cinderblock wall, a structure unlikely to offer any protection should the tanks stationed several hundred meters away near a loyalist outpost on a hill overlooking the highway turn their turrets in the rebels’ direction. At the other end of Hish, several groups were digging a trench leading to their end of the highway.[33]
Al-Janudiyah 7,774 Jisr ash-Shugur District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 5 February 2013, it was reported that rebels north of Jisr al-Shughur, in recent days, have seized the Christian village of Al-Janudiyah which dominates the Orontes valley.[57]
Kafr Nabl 15,455 Maarat al-Numaan District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg FSA takes control in December 2011–January 2012.[58] After that, the government recaptured the town. On 11 August 2012, the FSA took it back after a 4 day fight and started reorganizing the town by working on reestablishing electricity, water, telephone and opening the bakeries.[59][60]
Khan Shaykhun 34,371 Maarat al-Numaan District Idlib Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg FSA takes control in December 2011–January 2012. Fell in government hands on 6 July 2012. The rebels withdrew when a larger force arrived, backed by attack helicopters that the rebels had no way of countering. Once inside the city, the troops set homes on fire and arrested dozens of people.[61] On 17 December 2012, government positions in Khan Shaykhun were reportedly under attack by rebel forces.[62]
Maarrat Misrin 17,519 Idlib District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg On 12 December 2011, opposition activists claimed the Syrian Army "indiscriminately" killed eleven people in the town. The incident began when soldiers allegedly shot dead two civilians in Maarrat Misrin prompting residents to block the main road leading to the town. The army then fired randomly, resulting in eleven deaths. The next day, two more residents were shot by Syrian security forces during a funeral procession for those killed the previous day.[12] According to a Syrian military source cited by Syrian Documents, on 7 September 2012, the Syrian Army ambushed a rebel unit in Maarrat Misrin. A total of 42 were killed.[63] In December 2012 the FSA took control of the city.[64] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[52]
Qah 2,262 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg ln June 2012, the regime was reported to have control.[8] On 16 October 2012, it was reported that Qah was the site for the first camp built inside Syria for those displaced by the fighting. This was the consequence of Syria's neighbours not willing to absorb more refugees. Since the town is near the frontier with Turkey, the Syrian war planes do not dare bombarding it. This provides a de facto safe-zone.[65]
Salqin 23,700 Harem District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Since June 2012, FSA has control.[8] ln early October 2012, the town was reported under army control.[26][66] However on 28 October, FSA announced it had taken control of Salqin. During the clashes, some 50 loyalist soldiers were killed or captured. The taking of Salqin means that loyalist forces now only control Jisr ash-Shigour, Idlib city and Khan Shaykun in the Idlib province.[67]
Saraqib 32,495 Idlib District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Please see older references here

On 24 March, eleven days after the Syrian Army took back Idlib,[68] the Syrian Army shelled the city briefly while leading a ground assault at the same time. A column of tanks entered the city to attack the defenses of the rebels, while infantry backed by snipers led the second wave to pursue the remaining fighters.[69]
The Free Syrian Army fighters fought back the first day and damaged a tank. After the first day, the rebels were forced to withdraw from the city after the army took full control of it.[70]
In July 2012, it was reported that the FSA had regained control of the city.[71]
On 24 October, there were fierce shelling targeting the city from Hamsho check point. On 2 November 2012, Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have withdrawn from their last base near Saraqeb, further weakening his ability to fight rebels in the city of Aleppo.[72]

Sarmin 14,530 Idlib District Idlib Governorate nFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg FSA had gained control over Sarmin. By April 3, the Syrian Army had retaken Sarmin as part of the April 2012 Idlib Governorate Operation which was initiated by the Syrian government in order to make gains against the rebels, prior to the implementation of the U.N. brokered ceasefire, planned for 10 April.[73][74] Sarmin’s mosque was severely damaged.[75][76] By November 2012, Sarmin was back under FSA control.[77]
Taftanaz 8,540 Idlib District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Please see older references here

On 29 August 2012, rebels claim to have attacked a "military air base in Taftanaz" damaging several Government helicopters. Their claims could not be independently verified.[78]
On 3 November 2012, France 24 reported that FSA has attacked the military air base of Taftanaz.[citation needed]
In November, the town was under rebel control.[50]
On 2 January 2013, the strategic Taftanaz military airbase (which rebels have repeatedley tried to capture but failed) was attacked by rebels launching what they called "the battle to liberate Taftanaz Military airoport" involving three rebel brigades.[79][80]

Yakubiyah 476 Jisr al-Shughur District Idlib Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 5 February 2013, it was reported that rebels north of Jisr al-Shughur, in recent days, have seized the Christian village of Yaqubiyah which dominates the Orontes valley. Most of Al-Yaqubia's residents have fled, and the houses are shut and boarded up but some doors and shutters have been kicked in and rebels occupy several homes along the main street.[57]
Outside of listed towns in Idlib G. Idlib Governorate tFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svgFlag of Jihad.svg 80%
Flag of Syria.svg 20%
Please see older references here

On October 18, 2012, Al Jazeera reported that rebels were giving classes to children in caves in Jabal al-Zawiya after the regime destroyed schools[81]
By November 2012, the FSA had taken control of 65% of the Governorate.[82]
According to Human Rights Watch, when rebels took control of the northern village of Zarzur on 11 December 2012, they vandalised and deliberately set fire to a Shi'a hussainia. According to residents, government forces had used the building as a barracks, but had abandoned it due to local complaints before the town was taken by rebels. The town's Shi'a minority has since largely fled the village.[18]
See also: 2011–2012 Idlib Governorate clashes, Summer 2011 Jabal al-Zawiya operation, October 2011 Jabal al-Zawiya clashes, December 2011 Jabal al-Zawiya massacres, December 2011 Syrian–Turkish border clash and April 2012 Idlib Governorate Operation.

Aleppo governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Aleppo 2,132,100 Mount Simeon District Aleppo Governorate uFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svgFlag of Jihad.svgFlag of Syria.svgFlag of Rojava.svg
Battle of Aleppo map.svg
See: Battle of Aleppo (2012–13).
Afrin 36,562 Afrin District Aleppo Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg

The situation in Afrin district

As of 11 July 2012, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) controls the town with checkpoints.[citation needed] The PYD do not support either side.[83] On 5 June 2013, Kurdish forces attacked rebel-held Kurdish villages in the Afrin area. The rebels, who were entrenched in the villages for the previous two weeks after taking them over, were the same ones who attacked the Kurdish villages on 25 May. After two days of fighting, by 7 June, YPG forces captured the villages of Basila and Bashmera and secured the roads linking the villages of Jelbiri, Mirimin and Tel Rif'at, where they set up security checkpoints. As the rebels were retreating from Basila they burnt down Kurdish houses and property. The fighting and the destruction of their homes caused a mass migration of Kurds out of the village. It was also reported[by whom?] that rebel forces were trying to besiege Afrin city itself.[citation needed] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Atarib 10,657 Atarib District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg At the center sit the charred shells of the police station and city hall, which government troops occupied in February 2012. For months, local rebels attacked their positions and tried to cut their supply lines. By the time the army left in June 2012, the city was destroyed and deserted. Every building downtown is damaged and is without electricity and water. Town leaders have formed military and civil councils and opened a prison.[84] Only about 4,000 residents remain as of August 2012.[85] By November 2013, the town was controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[86]
Ayn al-Arab 44,821 Ayn Al-Arab District Aleppo Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg On 20 July 2012, After Syrian military forces retreated from Ayn al-Arab (also called Kobani by kurds), a predominantly Kurdish city located near the Turkish border, residents stormed the local security headquarters. The local Kurdish authorities raised the Kurdish national flag at municipal buildings. The Kurdish Popular Defense Committees took over the city without resorting to violence.[87] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Azaz 31,623 A'zaz District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg Azaz is a passage point to Turkey. On 19 July 2012, FSA chased out army from the city of Azaz and have taken complete control over it.[88] FSA also took over the associated border crossing of Bab al-Salam.[89] Samir Haj Omar, an economist who now heads the local 30-member political council, said Turkish officials have been more willing to deal with him and other rebel leaders now that they are de facto governors. In early August 2012, the first new shipments of rice, flour and gasoline arrived in rebel-controlled northern Syria, according to local officials here. Earlier in the conflict, supplies were ferried across the Turkish border by horse, or on foot, by smugglers traversing muddy trails while dodging Turkish and Syrian border guards.[46] On 29 October 2012, France 24 reported that there was a refugee camp between Azaz and the Turkish border.[citation needed] On 18 September 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized control of the town, posting snipers on rooftops, erecting checkpoints and imposing a curfew on the local population.[90]
Al-Bab 63,069 Al Bab District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg Until April 2012, Al-Bab had been relatively unscathed by the conflict in Syria. On April 20, regime forces opened fire on protesters in the city, sparking the growth of the rebel movement in Al-Bab. Between mid-May and mid-July, some 15 rebel groups formed within the city. At least two of these groups, the Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq Battalion and the Al-Bab Martyrs Battalion, claimed to be part of Ahrar al-Shamal. The fight for Al-Bab included a series of raids and assaults on government offices over the course of two months, finally culminating on July 18 when rebels seized the final regime stronghold within the city limits. Rebel forces pushed the regime from this garrison on the south edge of town on July 29, With the seizure of al-Bab, the armed opposition in northern Aleppo gained considerable momentum.[39][91][92] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[52]
Dayr Hafir 18,948 Dayr Hafir District Aleppo Governorate rFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg ln June 2012, the government was reported[by whom?] in control of this town that is close to a military airport (Kweiris).[8]
Jarabulus 11,570 Jarabulus District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg On 20 July 2012, rebels took it over along with its border post with Turkey.[citation needed] However, since early July 2013, the town is controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[52][93]
Manbij 99,497 Manbij District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Jihad.svg On 20 July 2012, France 24 reported that rebels took it over.[citation needed] ln December, there was an election to appoint a local council[94] Since April 2013, the town is controlled by Ahrar ash-Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[52]
Al-Safira 63,708 As-Safira District Aleppo Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Al-Safira is next to important weapon factories and the government's largest chemical weapons stockpiles. In mid-December, Rebels have been reported to be attacking towards it. on December 23, 2012, Assad forces were launching rockets on the town as they were battling FSA.[95] on February 8, 2013, it was reported[by whom?] that government forces were stationed at defense establishments and have set up checkpoints on the route to Khanasser, but rebel battalions control the streets of the city.[96] See also: Battle of Safira. On October 13, 2013, it was reported by Xinhua that the town is besieged by the government forces.[97] As of December 4 the situation remains dynamic with sporadic clashes between regime troops and rebels in and around the city.[98]
Anadan 11,918 Mount Simeon District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg At dusk on 29 July 2012, FSA commander in the area, Lieutenant Rifaat Khali, mobilized 150 fighters to seize control of the Anadan checkpoint, a strategic location linking the city of Aleppo 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the south with the Turkish border to the north, which the FSA used as a source for supplies. On 30 July, after ten hours of fighting, FSA seized control of Anadan checkpoint[99] and retrieved ammunition left behind by the defeated government forces. During the fighting, eight tanks were also captured, seven of which were still operational; the operational ones were intended for use in the battle of Aleppo.[100] At least some of the captured tanks were deployed northwards to Azaz, where they were used to support an attack on a loyalist-held airbase.[101] Anadan has been the site of heavy shelling by the Syrian military.[102] On 24 October 2012, the formation of a local administration council composed from prominent engineers, doctors, human right activists, was announced.[103]
Darat Izza 13,525 Mount Simeon District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg On June 23, 2012, 25 Shabiha militias were killed by Syrian rebels in the city. They were part of a larger group kidnapped by a rebel group. The fate of the others kidnapped was unknown.[104] Many of the corpses of the shabiha militia killed were in military uniform.[105][106][107] A secondary school has turned into a police station, a courthouse and a temporary town hall run by the rebels. It is part of a nascent rebel administration that is taking shape in areas of the country where Assad's authority has disappeared as his security forces try to secure control of Syria's main cities: Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and others. A defector from the Assad administration, Abdul Hadi heads a "revolutionary" security force made up of some 40 officers, all of them former policemen in the government. At times, Abdul Hadi's role seems more akin to that of a local mayor than a police officer. Among his self-assigned responsibilities, he monitors local bread supplies, urging bakeries to adjust production according to need. Recent rebel attacks on a government-owned wheat silo and army gasoline depots have given them access to new supplies.[108] On 21 November, rebels attacked the nearby Sheikh Suleiman base (which was under siege for over two months), but were repelled from the area by an army counterattack, in which 25 rebels were killed.[109] on 10 December, the base was taken by opposition forces. A little over 100 regime troops that were left inside the base retreated to the scientific building wearing gas masks.[110] The town is under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since September 2013.[111]
Deir Jamal 4,287 A'zaz District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg By the end of July 2012, rebel forces controlled Deir Jamal[39]
Jindires 13,661 Afrin District Aleppo Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg In late July 2012, YPG forces took control over the town.[112] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Khan Tuman 2,781 Mount Simeon District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg There is a huge collection of warehouses (about 58 of them) that extends over 5 kilometers in Khan Tuman.[citation needed] on December 15, 2012, Free Syrian Army declared their full control of the fuel, ammunition, and grain warehouses in Khan Tuman 11 km southwest of central Aleppo after clashes with the government forces.[citation needed] On 15 March, rebels seized control of an ammunition factory complex and munitions depots. The complex had been used to supply the Syrian army with munitions to regularly shell rebel positions in the surrounding area.[113]
Mare' 16,904 A'zaz District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg The Ibn Walid brigade of FSA was formed in the town in August 2012.[114]
Al-Muslimiyah 5,916 Mount Simeon District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Since late November 2012, the Syrian Army Military Infantry College (north east of the city of Aleppo) has been under siege by rebels from the Tawhid Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The siege of the College is a continuation of the push from Atarib and base 46.[115] In early December, FSA entered the College and took control progressively of all buildings[116] On 15 December 2012, the rebels reportedly captured the infantry academy, army base and recruiting center at al-Muslimiyah,[12][117] after weeks of fighting. The Hanano Barracks has a three-kilometer square campus.[117] A top rebel commander from the Tawhid Brigade, Yusef al-Jadr ("Abu Furat"), was killed during the clashes while the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated a large number of rebels and soldiers were also slain in the battle.[118] The rebel brigade claimed it captured 100 prisoners.[12]
Nubl 21,039 A'zaz District Aleppo Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Located on a main road between Aleppo and Turkey, Nubl and neighbouring al-Zahraa form a small Shia-dominated pocket in a mostly Sunni area in the Aleppo Governorate. Though their relations with the surrounding villages were normally friendly before the war, al-Zahraa and Nubl have been under siege by rebel forces since July 2012, with opposition members claiming that the towns hosted pro-government militia who had attacked opposition supporters.[119][120] The villages were still under siege as of 10 December 2012, being regularly supplied by government helicopters. Sniper fire from both government and opposition forces had rendered the highway impassable, and traffic was diverted around them.[121]
Sarrin 6,104 Ayn Al-Arab District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg In May 2013, YPG took control of this area near Tomb of Suleyman Shah.[citation needed] In September 2013, arab rebels seized sarrin [122] See also 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Tell Rifaat 20,514 A'zaz District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg In the early summer of 2012, Syrian government authorities withdrew from Tel Rifaat and were replaced by a council made up of local scholars, judges and former Syrian Army officers.[123] On 8 August 2012, Tell Rifaat was bombed by the Syrian Air Force, resulting in the deaths of six people, all members of the Blaw family.[124] Opposition activists based in Aleppo claimed that Syrian Army forces were attempting to cut off the FSA's transport route between Tell Rifaat and Aleppo.[125] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[52]
Tell Shughayb 5,110 Mount Simeon District Aleppo Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 1 March 2013, the Syrian army regained control of the strategic Tell Shughayb town allowing them to approach the Aleppo airport.[126][127]
Tishrin Dam between Ayn al-Arab and Manbij Districts Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 26 November 2012, opposition forces captured this dam on the Euphrates following several days of combat with government forces. The dam's capture cuts off a major government supply line to and from al-Raqqa while unifying stretches of rebel territory on either side of the Euphrates.[128] The dam's capture also cuts of one of the last government supply lines to Aleppo, further encircling soldiers fighting in the city.[129]
Urum al-Kubrah 5,391 Atarib District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Since June, has control. On 22 September 2012, FSA seized Urum al-Kubrah from "pro-government militias", opening the way to lay siege to Base 46.[130]
Urum al-Sughrah 637 Atarib District Aleppo Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Since June 2012, FSA has control.[8] In October 2012, the military base of regiment 46 (west of town) was under siege by rebels who shelled it on a regular basis with mortar and rockets.[citation needed] On 18 November 2012, the base which is considered as one of the most important in north Syria, fell under rebel control, after a 55 day siege[131] On December 14, 2012, the Administrative Affairs College (which is 17 km west of central Aleppo and 8 km east of the recently captured 46th regiment base) fell under rebel control[132]
Al-Zahraa 13,780 A'zaz District Aleppo Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Located on a main road between Aleppo and Turkey, Al-Zahraa and neighbouring Nubl form a small Shia-dominated pocket in a mostly Sunni area in the Aleppo Governorate. Though their relations with the surrounding villages were normally friendly before the war, al-Zahraa and Nubl have been under siege by rebel forces since July 2012, with opposition members claiming that the towns hosted pro-government militias who had attacked opposition supporters.[119][120] The villages were still under siege as of 10 December 2012, being regularly supplied by government helicopters. Sniper fire from both government and opposition forces had rendered the highway impassable, and traffic was diverted around them.[121]
Outside of listed towns in Aleppo G. Aleppo Governorate uFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svgFlag of Jihad.svgAround 55 townsFlag of Rojava.svgAround 50 townsFlag of Syria.svgAround 30 towns In March 2012, fighting erupted for the first time in northern Aleppo governorate. Fighting even spilled over the border into Turkey in May, and by the end of that month, the rebels could report effective control over most of the northern Aleppo countryside.[8] Assad's security forces lost control of almost all of countryside north of Aleppo in late July, fleeing an offensive by rebel groups from across the rural north. Since then, local village committees that steered the uprising have shifted gears, transforming themselves into interim village governments. Rebel checkpoints dot the winding single-lane roads between the region's farming villages and towns. The countryside stretching from Aleppo to the Turkish border about 30 miles away has been cleared of government forces.[46] Across the scattered farm towns, locals have formed councils to remove rubble, restore utilities and funnel supplies to fighters in Aleppo. They organize security patrols to guard against thieves and government spies. Some are running prisons and rudimentary courts.[84] On 1 January 2013, it was reported that a large majority of the governorate was under rebel control.[133] See also: Aleppo offensive (October 2013).

ar-Raqqah governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Ar-Raqqah 220,488 Ar-Raqqah District Ar-Raqqah Governorate yFlag of Islamic State of Iraq.svg On 28 January 2011, in one of the first events of the uprising, an evening demonstration was held in Ar-Raqqah to protest the killing of two soldiers of Kurdish descent.[134] After taking over the north part of Ar-Raqqah Governorate in September 2012, the FSA has made Ar-Raqqah a target the influx of internally displaced refugees has more than doubled Ar-Raqqah’s population.[53] On March 4, 2013, rebel forces overrun government loyalists in the city and declared it under their control after seizing the central square and pulling down a statue of Hafez al-Assad. They also captured the Governor's Palace and arrested the provincial governor as well. By early November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[135][136]
Tell Abyad 14,825 Tal Abyad District Ar-Raqqah Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg The Free Syrian Army took control over the city on September 19, 2012.[137][138]
Al-Thawrah 69,425 Al-Thawrah District Ar-Raqqah Governorate yFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On November 26, 2012, a main route from Raqqah to Aleppo passing through Al-Thawrah along the Euphrates was reported to be dotted with both regime and rebel checkpoints[139] On 30 December 2012, it was reported[by whom?] that opposition forces were fighting in the city.[citation needed] On February 11, 2013, it was reported[by whom?] that opposition forces took over the city.[140] In November, fierce fighting took place between government troops and rebels in the town.[141]
Baath Dam Al-Thawrah District Ar-Raqqah Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 4 February opposition forces captured this minor dam on Euphrates river, week before capturing Tabqa Dam[142][143]
Tabqa Dam Ar-Raqqah Governorate yFlag of Jabhat al-Nusra.jpg On February 11, 2013, opposition forces captured the nation's largest dam, which is on the Euphrates and near the city of Al-Thawrah.[143] In November, the dam was used as a base by the al-Nusra Front.[144]
Outside of listed towns in Ar-Raqqah G. Ar-Raqqah Governorate sFlag of Jihad.svgFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg95%
Flag of Rojava.svg5%
On 1 January 2013, it was reported[by whom?] that a majority of Ar-Raqqah Governorate was in rebel control.[133] On March 4, 2013, FSA forces captured the provincial capital of Ar-Raqqah. The only SAA forces left in Ar-Raqqah Governorate are currently[when?] holed up in the Tabqa (Thawra) military airbase and the FSA forces are currently shelling the airport as well as the army bases of Brigade 17 near the city of Ar-Raqqah and of Brigade 93 near the town of Ayn Isa.See also: Syrian Kurdistan campaign (2012–present).

al-Hasakah governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Al-Hasakah 188,160 Al-Hasakah District Al-Hasakah Governorate qFlag of Rojava.svgFlag of Syria.svg On 26 January 2011, in one of the first events of the uprising,[145] Hasan Ali Akleh from Al-Hasakah poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire, in the same way Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi had in Tunis on 17 December 2010. According to eyewitnesses, the action was "a protest against the Syrian government".[146][147] In 2012, Al-Hasakah which has a large Kurdish population, began witnessing protests of several thousand people against the Syrian government, which responded with tanks and fired upon the protesters.[148] In 2013, PYD controls Kurdish districts and government controls Arab districts. There were also clashes in the city between an Arab insurgent group and the YPG.
Al-Malikiyah 26,311 Al-Malikiyah District Al-Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg YPG forces on 21 July reportedly captured Al-Malikiyah, which is located just 10 kilometers from the Turkish border.[149] Although another report stated that fighting was ongoing in the city.[150] On 22 July 2012, it was reported that Kurdish forces were still fighting for Al-Malikiyah where one young Kurdish activist was killed after government security forces opened fire on protesters.[151] In November 2012 Kurdish militia evicted all remaining regime forces from the city See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Qamishli 184,231 Qamishli District Al-Hasakah Governorate qFlag of Rojava.svg 80% Flag of Syria.svg 20% In July 2012, rebels control the suburbs of the city. On 21 July, the rebels were intending to capture the largest of the Kurdish cities.[150] On 22 July, clashes erupted between YPG and government forces in which one Kurdish fighter was killed and two were wounded along with one government official.[151] In early August 2012, it was reported that the Assad administration is intact and functioning but the police and army remain in their barracks. Kurds in Qamishli have demonstrated against the Government and are actually allowed to do so on one street, though some have been shot at by the army in the past. There is a border post near the city.[152] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Qamishli Border Crossing Qamishli District Al-Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Syria.svg By late November 2013, the border crossing between Qamishli and the Turkish city of Nusaybin was controlled by the Syrian government.[153]
Amuda 26,821 Al Qamishli District Al Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg In late July 2012, Kurdish forces started campaign in Syrian Kurdistan and then proceeded with take-over of Amuda.[154] See also 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Al-Darbasiyah 8,551 Al-Hasakah District Al-Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg On 22 July 2012, YPG forces took control over the town which is on the Turkish border, after the security and political units withdrew from it, following an ultimatum issued by the Kurds.[151] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
al-Ma'bada 16,000 Al-Malikiyah District Al-Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg On 24 July 2012, PYD announced that Syrian security forces withdrew from al-Ma'bada, located between Al-Malikiyah and Turkish borders. YPG forces afterwards took control of all government institutions.[155] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Al-Qahtaniya 16,946 Al-Qamishli District Al-Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg The majority of the population is Kurdish. In late July 2012, YPG forces took control over the town.[112] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Ash-Shaddadeh 15,806 Al-Hasakah District Al-Hasakah Governorate Flag of Jabhat al-Nusra.jpg In February 2013, al-Nusra Front fighters attacked Shaddadeh and captured the city 3 days later. Over 100 SAA soldiers and 40 al-Nusra fighters were killed, as well as dozens of petroleum workers, according to SOHR claims.[156]
Simalka Border Crossing Al-Malikiyah District Al-Hasakah Governorate vFlag of Rojava.svg Border crossing between towns of Simalka on Syrian side and Fish Khabur on Iraqi side was build by Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government in order to connect Iraqi Kurdistan with Syrian Kurdish regions. Border crossing is actually only a temporary military bridge over river Tigris hoisted by Peshmerga to facilitate transfer of goods and refugees which was opened on February 1, 2013. Since 1991 it was used only by boats and after 2003 it was not used in order to promote Rabia land border crossing.[157]
Outside of listed towns in Al-Hasakah G. Al-Hasakah Governorate qFlag of Rojava.svgFlag of Jihad.svgFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svgFlag of Syria.svg On January 8, 2013, FSA took control of Tishreen oil field Opposition sources reported that all other oil fields in the governorate were under government control[158] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.

Tartus governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Tartus 115,769 Tartus District Tartus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Syrian army kept control of this Alawi stronghold and naval base.[8]
Baniyas 41,632 Baniyas District Tartus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 10 April 2011, protests were held in Baniyas in which violent clashes erupted between the security forces and protesters. Between three and six were reportedly shot dead, while one police officer was reportedly killed by unknown gunmen.[159] On 14 April, snipers killed a Syrian Army soldier in Baniyas.[160] On 7 May 2011, Syrian Army tanks rolled into Baniyas from three directions. They advanced into Sunni districts, which had been under the control of demonstrators since loyalist forces, known as Shabeeha, fired at opposition members on 10 April. Heavy gunfire was reported as the operation started.[161] The next day, some 30 tanks were seen patrolling the city, with some of them positioned in the city center. Syrian Navy boats were also reportedly holding positions near the city's coastline. Special forces units allegedly entered the northern part of the city, from where heavy gunfire was heard.[162] On 14 May 2011, the military started to pull out of the city, after their operation ended.[163] During May 2013 there was reported clashes in the city,and reports of sectarian massacre against the Sunni inhabitants of the city and the villages nearby. Hundreds of panicked Sunni families fled Ras al-Nabaa in the south of Banias after the night of violence, said Rami Abdelrahman, head of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But after that, the army was turning people back at the checkpoints outside the town, telling them to go back to Banias, and that nothing was wrong.[164]
Duraykish 13,244 Dreikiche District Tartus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Safita 20,301 Safita District Tartus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Al-Shaykh Badr 9,486 Ash-Shaykh Badr District Tartus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Outside of listed towns in Tartus G. Tartus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg The government has maintained control of this governorate that has an Alawi majority.[8]

Hama governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Hama 312,994 Hama District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 28 January 2012, 4 neighborhoods of Hama city were under opposition control.[165] Inside Hama city, FSA under the leadership of Captain Mohammed Khalid al-Battal’s al-Majed Brigade has been able to coordinate disruptive raids across the city targeting military checkpoints and security forces’ outposts, but their ability to inflict casualties on loyalist troops pales in comparison to their rural counterparts.[8] On 25 April 2013, there were fights in the Tariq Halab neighbourhood[166] See also: Siege of Hama (2011), 27 May 2012 Hama Governorate clashes and 2012 Hama offensive
Masyaf 22,508 Masyaf District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Mhardeh 17,578 Mhardeh District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg In June 2012, FSA was in control of this Christian town.[8] In September 2012, the government was reported in control of the town[39] On 17 December 2012, government positions in Mhardeh were reportedly under attack by rebel forces.[62]
Salamiyah 66,724 Salamiyah District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Al-Suqaylabiyah 13,920 Al-Suqaylabiyah District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On October 14, 2012, there was fierce artillery and rocket shelling from Al-Nahel checkpoint in this Christian town, targeting the town of Kirnaz[citation needed]
Hayalin 3,913 Al-Suqaylabiyah District Hama Governorate yFlag of Syria.svg Government forces shelled the village on 13 May 2012.[167] Rebels claimed to have captured Hayalin On 17 December along with a string of other towns during an offensive against the Hama Governorate. According to the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), security forces reportedly surrounded checkpoints outside the village, leading to doubts as to whether or not rebels had full control over Hayalin, unlike the other places they captured in the operation.[168] See also: 2013 Hama offensive.
Kafr Nabudah 13,513 Al-Suqaylabiyah District Hama Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 19 December 2012, within two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that government troops had already been cleared from the small town of Kafr Nabudah. Qassem Saadeddine, a member of the rebel military command confirmed this.[169] On 29 December, 6 people were killed by the airforce bombardment on the town, two of them were children and two women; the number is likely to rise due to the large number of seriously injured.[citation needed]
Kirnaz 14,075 Mhardeh District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On January 28, 2013, FSA was reported to be in control of this predominantly Sunni Muslim[170] town, while the army was shelling it and preparing to attack it.[171] On 7 February 2013, SOHR reported that the army had regained control over the town.[172]
Al-Lataminah 16,267 Mhardeh District Hama Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 19 December 2012, Qassem Saadeddine, a member of the rebel military command, said that towns taken by rebels included Al-Lataminah.[169]
Ma'an 1,561 Hama District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On December 27, 2012, the army took control of three Alawite villages in the central province of Hama, among them Ma'an, large swathes of which were overrun by rebels[173]
Morek 14,307 Hama District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On Jan 1, 2013, opposition sources said that Morek, which is a strategic town on the highway that runs from Damascus north to Aleppo, was under control by the government troops.[174] Hama Governorate is home to dozens of Alawite and Christian villages among Sunni towns, and activists said it may be necessary to lay siege to many minority areas to seize Morek. Rebels want to capture Morek to cut off army supply lines into northern Idlib[175]
Qalaat al-Madiq 12,925 Al-Suqaylabiyah District Hama Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Rebels ousted local government authorities in September 2011, and the military’s repeated attempts to install new police officers have proven unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the Suqour al-Ghab Battalion has taken on some responsibilities of local government, such as distributing precious cooking gas and rebuilding schools.[19]
Qastun 6,187 Al-Suqaylabiyah District Hama Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 29 january 2013, it was reported that FSA was in control of the town.[176]
Taybat al-Imam 24,105 Hama District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg See also: 2013 Hama offensive.
Tremseh 6,926 Mhardeh District Hama Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg The Tremseh residents are mostly Sunni Muslims.[177] A Syrian Army convoy was ambushed by rebels near Hama, which led to a counter-attack from the Syrian Army, and reports suggested government troops were trying to take back the town from rebel forces.[178][179] On 12 July 2012, Tremseh was surrounded by government tanks and artillery, after which, the Syrian military launched a full-scale attack against FSA inside the town. Tanks entered Tremseh after forces had shelled the town continuously from 5 a.m. until noon. Syrian army forces, whose numbers were bolstered by "Shabeha", accompanied the tanks into Tremseh.[180] See also: Battle of Tremseh.
Outside of listed towns in Hama G. Hama Governorate rFlag of Syria.svg 95%
Flag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg 5%

Frontlines during and following the 2012 Hama offensive     Syrian Government control     Opposition control

By June 2012, FSA controlled swathes of land in Northern Hama governorate. FSA and local people, administered justice and the distribution of supplies to residents.[181] On 16 December 2012, the Syrian armed opposition launched the 2012 Hama offensive with the intent of taking control of Hama Governorate. Within two days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that government troops had already been cleared from the towns of Halfaya, Hasraya, and Sheikh Hadid.[182] Rebels had advanced 40 kilometres (25 mi) south from Maarrat al-Nu'man and Jisr ash-Shugour, encountering little resistance.[183] On 19 December, brigades of FSA claimed in videos that they had captured Kafr Zita and all area north of Hama city. It seemed that rebels had overrun the loyalist army lines north of Hama city within 48 hours[184] On 20 December, rebel commander Kassem Saaddedin said via Skype that rebels had captured six towns north of Hama. He claimed FSA controlled Kafr Zita, Halfaya, and Hasraya.[185] In April 2013, Syrian rebels launched a military operation in the eastern part of the province of Hama, in an attempt to open up a new front, after rebel attacks in the governorate had stalled. The rebels managed to capture 10 villages during their offensive. However, the Army soon captures Halfaya and 20–23 other villages, including most of the ones previously captured by the rebels.See also: 2013 Hama offensive.

Deir ez-Zor governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Deir ez-Zor 211,857 Deir ez-Zor District Deir ez-Zor Governorate tFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg 50/50%

Situation in Deir ez-Zor in August 2013     Syrian Government control     Opposition control

Deir ez-Zor is an impoverished Sunni Muslim city on the banks of the Euphrates that anchors a vast, arid region bordering Iraq. In August 2012, Rebels said they control at least half of Deir ez-Zor city. A Western diplomat monitoring the Syrian military said that rebel forces in Deir ez-Zor were fragmented but that Assad's forces lacked the numbers and supply lines to defeat them. Most government departments have shut and public workers are unpaid in what activists call collective punishment of a tightly knit population siding increasingly with rebels after alliances between the Damascus elite and tribal chiefs unraveled. An estimated one-third of Deir ez-Zor city's inhabitants have fled to the bordering governorates of Al-Hasakah and Ar-Raqqah.[186] Iraqi sunni tribes smuggled weapons because their offshot tribe joined armed opposition on the other side of border. On October 15, 2012, there were heavy shelling by artillery and missiles on the city from the Airport. On 24 November 2012, rebels were surrounding the airport.[187] On 11 January 2013, it was reported that the government controlled the neighborhoods of Al Qussour and joura (north west) and was shelling the neighborhoods of Alwrdi, Al-Jabaile, and Ar rushdia (south east).[188] Again, in April 2013, it was reported that the government was shelling the neighborhood of Al-Jabaile.[189] From January to April 2013, there were clashes between the FSA and Assad forces around the political police building in in Hawiqa neighborhood.[190][191][192] On 13 August, Clashes took place in Sinaa neighbourhood. SOHR said "the rebels have advanced in various districts, but without taking anything completely; and control of the city remains divided between rebels and the government".[193] As of 20 August 2013, the western Hawiqa neighborhood, including the local Baath Party headquarters, had fallen to the rebels. Government forces retaliated by bombarding the rebels from their positions in the joura and Ghazi Ayyash districts. The FSA-affiliated Ahfad al-Rasul Brigade, recently supplied by Qatar with anti-aircraft missiles, played an important role in taking Hawiqa.[194] On the same day, the army hit rebel forces in Hawiqa district on Tuesday with tanks and multiple rocket launchers, and also battled them in territory separating Hawiqa from the district of joura, opposition sources in the city said. The regime is trying to regain Hawiqa because it cannot afford the rebels to be so close to its most important stronghold of Joura and the army camp there, said Abu al-Tayyeb al-Deiri of the opposition Deir al-Zor Media Centre. Deiri said that airforce intelligence and military intelligence, two important security compounds in the city, were also located in the nearby Ghazi Ayyash district, and were now within the range of rebel rocket-propelled grenades.[195] See also: 2011–2012 Deir ez-Zor clashes.
Abu Kamal 42,510 Abu Kamal District Deir ez-Zor Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg In late July 2012, FSA takes it over along with its associated border post with Iraq. In early September 2012, France 24 reported that the Hamdan military airport was under attack by FSA.[citation needed] On 16 November 2012, FSA took over the Hamdan military airport, which was once used to transport farm produce, but was converted to a base for helicopters and military tanks. The capture of Hamdan means Assad's forces now only hold one air base in the province - the main military airport in Deir ez-Zor city.[196] See also: 2011–2012 Deir ez-Zor clashes.
Mayadin 44,028 Mayadin District Deir ez-Zor Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg In late August 2012, after fights in the city, FSA took it over. The only part still in regime hands is an artillery position on a hill overlooking the city, which is being shelled from a distance.[197] On 22 November, rebels captured the Mayadin military base. This gave the rebels control of a large amount of territory east of the base, to the Iraqi border.[198]
Outside of listed towns in Deir ez-Zor G. Deir ez-Zor Governorate tFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svglarge majority As Assad has concentrated his forces on wresting back control of Aleppo, rebels have slowly gained ground in the eastern tribal heartland where the big prize is the country's 200,000 barrel-a-day oil output.[186] In August 2012, units of the FSA targeted the remaining isolated outposts of Assad’s forces in north-east Syria, where the FSA control all the main roads. There were said to be only 3 Army outposts left in Deir ez-Zor province countryside and they were under attack. On November 30, 2012, Syrian troops withdrew from Omar oil field, one of the last regime positions east of Deir Ezzor city near the Iraqi border. This meant that the rebels control the country's major fields. This happened after Syrian troops lost the Conoco gas reserve on November 27. The insurgents took control of an oil field for the first time on November 4 when they overran Al-Ward, the most important in the province. After also losing control of Al-Jofra field also in November, the army controlled not more than five fields, all located to the west of Deir Ezzor city.[199] Residents in Deir ez-Zor used crude oil for heating and agriculture for lack of fuel[200] On 1 January 2013, it was reported that two thirds of Deir ez-Zor Governorate was under rebel control.[133]

Homs governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Homs - Abbasiya 33,363 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 19 November 2012, there was shelling of opposition positions in Homs coming from this pro-government neighborhood (by opposition sources own admission).[citation needed]
Homs - Baba Amr 34,175 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 28 February 2012, reinforcements from an elite Syrian military unit, directed by the brother of the Syrian president, took positions in Homs. They managed to completely seal off the city, notably by destroying a tunnel.[201] On the morning of 29 February, the Syrian Army launched a ground assault with infantry on the rebel-held district.[202] On 1 March 2012, the Syrian Army took full control of the quarter of Baba Amr according to a Syrian official. Rebel leaders reported that they pulled out of the quarter and that some fighters stayed to cover the retreat.[203] On 3 July 2012, clashes raged in and around the neighborhood of Baba Amr.[204] On 10 March 2013, rebel fighters launched an assault on the district, around a year after its capture by government troops, in an effort to relieve pressure on besieged rebel-held districts in the city centre.[205][206] However, the military re-secured the district and repelled the rebels two weeks later.[207]
Homs – Deir Baalbah 44,795 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg In October 2012, FSA took over part of the neighborhood that has been under army control for many months.[citation needed] On 28 October 2012, the neighborhood was under attack by the army.[citation needed] On 4 November 2012, army tanks entered the neighborhood from the north and clashed with the rebels.[citation needed] On 22 December 2012, Deir Baalbah was shelled from the pro-government neighborhood of Abbasiya.[208] At the end of 2012, government forces stormed the district, capturing it by 30 December. Activists reported that up to 200 civilians were killed in the assault.[209]
Homs - Ghouta 12,634 Homs District Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On August 21, 2012, the rebel-held district came under sustained Army shelling.[citation needed]
Homs - Jobar 4,242 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 20 january 2013, it was reported that the army was fighting to enter Jobar (from four directions) where Free Syrian Army soldiers were present.[210]
Homs - Joret al-Shayyah 16,816 Homs District Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On 3 July 2012, the military made an attempt to storm Joret al-Shayyah.[211][212][213] On 5 October 2012, Syrian warplanes and artillery pounded Joret al-Shayyah, subjecting it to its worst bombardment in months. Government forces were mainly firing rockets and heavy mortars with an average of 5 rockets falling a minute. Activists say most government forces near Homs are stationed outside the town - a common pattern in rebel strongholds.[214]
Homs - Karm al- Shami 35,732 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg
Homs - Karm al-Zeitoun 49,132 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg The Syrian Army captured the district of Karm al-Zeitoun by 9 March 2012, before activists reported that the government forces massacred 47 women and children.[215]
Homs - Khaldiyeh 32,337 Homs District Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria.svg ln early July 2012, the rebel-held neighborhood came under sustained Army shelling.[212][216] ln early October 2012, Syrian warplanes and artillery pounded Khaldiyeh, in an attempt to overtake it. Attacking government forces were mainly firing rockets and heavy mortars with an average of 5 rockets falling a minute.[214][217] On 9 December 2012, it was reported that Khaldiyeh was still under rebel control[218] On 18 December 2012, the army attacked the rebels in Khaldiyeh and killed and injured many armed rebels and destroyed their military equipment.[219]
Homs - Old City 18,907 Homs District Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg The Old City is the most condensed area of Homs, and it includes the neighborhoods of Bab Tadmur, Bab al-Dreib, and Bab Hud and the area around the citadel. ln July and August 2012, the rebel-held Old City was under siege and came under sustained Army shelling.[212][216] On 5 October 2012, Syrian warplanes and artillery pounded Old Homs, subjecting it to its worst bombardment in months. Government forces were mainly firing rockets and heavy mortars with an average of 5 rockets falling a minute.[214] On 9 December 2012, it was reported that the Old City was still under rebel control[218] On 27 December 2012, government forces were trying to invade the districts from the side of Bab Draib.[220]
Homs - Qusour 21,534 Homs District Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On 5 October 2012, Syrian warplanes and artillery pounded Qusour, in an attempt to overtake it. Government forces were mainly firing rockets and heavy mortars with an average of 5 rockets falling a minute.[214]
Homs – al-Waer Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 15 November 2012, opposition sources announced that the suburb was controlled by security forces. A military academy near the suburb routinely shells rebel positions in Homs.
Homs (except neighborhoods listed separately) 353,184 Homs District Homs Governorate pFlag of Syria.svg80%

Districts listed here indicate fighting or shelling during February 2012

January 2012 saw intense fighting in the opposition stronghold of Homs, as the opposition claimed to be in control of 2/3 of the city. However, starting in 3 February 2012, the Syrian army launched a major offensive to take rebel-held neighborhoods in the city. By the end of March, and after weeks of artillery bombardments and heavy street fighting, the Syrian army retakes control of half a dozen districts, leaving them in control of 70 percent of the city.[215] By March 2013, the military was in control of 80 percent of the city.[221] See also: Siege of Homs and 2012 Homs offensive.

Al-Mukharram 6,202 Al-Mukharram District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Al-Mukharram and the localities of its district have a significant Alawite population.[222] The government has maintained control.[8]
Palmyra 51,323 Palmyra District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8] The base of brigade 550 is just outside of the city (north)[223]
Al-Qusayr 29,818 Al-Qusayr District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Al-Qusayr, which lies along the Lebanese border, is a critical node in rebel supply lines that links the predominantly Sunni areas of Lebanon’s northern Bekaa valley. Rebels had been fighting loyalist troops in the border town long before the survivors of the Farouq Brigades arrived, but in the second half of March, fighting in al-Qusayr picked up. Rebels and loyalist troops had reached an uneasy stalemate in the city by the time the ceasefire went into effect in mid-April, since neither side had been able to expel the other from the town, but by the end of May, the pace of fighting had picked up again and gun battles raged two out of every three days in al-Qusayr[8] On 10 July 2012, Al-Qusayr was completely under rebel control with the city being under siege from the surrounding countryside.[224][225] However, later, it was confirmed that government troops still held the town's main road.[226] On June 5 it was confirmed that government troops were if full control of Al-Qusayr

[227] See also: Battle of Al-Qusayr and Al-Qusayr offensive.

Al-Rastan 39,834 Ar-Rastan District Homs Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Al-Rastan is on the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo. The area near Al-Rastan was scene of the first serious armed confrontations between army defectors and loyalist forces through 2011.[228] Assad’s forces regained control of the city several times, but it has kept slipping back into rebel hands.[228] Its strategic location along the road which links the capital Damascus to the north of the country[229] and the terrain had helped deserters from disparate units mount raids against Syrian army buses and roadblocks manned by Military Intelligence and pro-Assad militia.[228] (see also: Siege of Rastan and Talbiseh, Battle of Rastan, 2011 and Battle of Rastan, 2012). The rebels in Al-Rastan were strong enough to fend off a military offensive in mid-May 2012. After twelve hours of indirect fire to soften rebel positions, elite security forces assaulted Al-Rastan in armored vehicles. The rebels destroyed three armored vehicles, including a main battle tank, and killed over twenty government troops. The rebels had their own losses, including a long-standing leader within Khalid bin Walid and its affiliated units, Lieutenant Ahmad Ayoub. The Army called off the assault and retreated to the perimeter to shell the city with rockets through the following day. Ten days later security forces attempted another combined arms assault on the rebel stronghold, failed again, and took similar heavy losses.[8] The two main rebel forces in the Homs area, the Khaled Ibn Walid Brigade and Farouq, both work out of Rastan[230] ln January 2013, the Engineering Battalion launched fierce artillery and rockets on the city.[231]
Talkalakh 18,412 Talkalakh District Homs Governorate yFlag of Syria.svg On 15 May 2011, the Syrian military entered the town which is on the border with Lebanon, in a crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.[232] There followed reports that the military was massacring members of the Syrian opposition. The reports were mostly from civilians fleeing over the Kabir River into Lebanon to escape the violence.[233][234][235] By 19 May, the military finished its operation and withdrew from Talkalakh.[236] Since June 2012, FSA has controlled some neighbourhoods of the city, however the government has retained control of loyalist and mixed neighbourhoods.[237] In late October 2012, Talkalakh was under siege by the army. On December 10, 2012, Assad forces were fiercely bombarding the town targeting the Market districts, Mt. Ghalyoon, and the eastern district.[238] On 12 February 2013, a CNN report from inside Talkalakh revealed that the town itself was under rebel control, though government forces were only a matter of yards away, surrounding the town. Nevertheless, there was no fighting in or around the town thanks to a tenuous ceasefire between the warring sides brokered by a local sheikh and an Alawite member of parliament. Though isolated clashes have occurred, killing three rebels, and though government forces have been accused of harassing civilians since its implementation, the ceasefire has largely held. The town has returned to a degree of normal function, and some shops have started to re-open. Even the governor of Homs Province has been able to meet with rebels in the town, and has called the ceasefire an "experiment". Both sides reject sectarianism, stressing the need to keep foreign jihadist fighters out of the country. Nevertheless, rebels in the town stated that they remained committed to overthrowing Assad.[239] On 23 June, the Syrian Army captured the town. Following the assault, 39 local leaders of the Free Syrian Army surrendered and handed over their weapons. The Syrian opposition denied the town had fallen and claimed there was still fighting ongoing however reporters on the ground said there was no sign of it.[240]
Abil 2,873 Homs District Homs Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 20 January 2013, it was reported that FSA overran the Um al-Sakhar air defense base, (that is located near the rebel held town of Abil and two km north of the village of al-Buwaydah) and took weapons and ammunition from it.[241][242] On 18 April, the Syrian Army took control over the town of Abel[243][244]
Al-Buwaydah al-Sharqiyah 3,196 Al-Qusayr District Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria.svg The village was the site of the al-Buwaida al-Sharqiya massacre in May 2012, during the Syrian Civil War. Opposition activists claimed 13 factory workers were killed by the government's security forces, while Syrian government sources blamed rebel forces for the killings[245][246]

On 8 June 2013, the town was recaptured by the Syrian Army during the Al-Qusayr offensive.[247]

Houla 50,000 Homs District Homs Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg The settlement is essentially a Sunni town surrounded by Alawite villages.[248] As of 21 June 2012, government forces have been driven from the town center and are now relegated to positions on the town's periphery.[249][250] See also: Houla massacre.
Talbiseh 30,796 Homs Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Talbiseh witnessed large demonstrations protesting against the government of Bashar al-Assad in April 2011.[251] Since the beginning of the insurrection, the city has become a stronghold for the opposition and the anti-government Free Syrian Army (FSA).[252] As such, Talbiseh has been targeted by the Syrian Army and security forces throughout the uprising. Between 29 May and early June 2011 Syrian troops backed by tanks entered and besieged the city with the stated aim of rooting out "terrorist groups." Opposition activists claimed troops were raiding houses and arresting suspected dissidents. Five residents and four soldiers were reportedly killed in the first day of the operation.[253] On 8 June 2012, three civilians and nine Syrian troops were killed in fighting in the Talbiseh area.[254] Heavy fighting between the Syrian Army and the FSA continued until at least 11 June. According to United Nations observers, the FSA took a number of government soldiers captive.[255] The Syrian Army attempted to retake Talbiseh on 21 July, sparking heavy clashes in the city and subsequent artillery bombardment.[256] On 25 September 2012, France 24 reported that Talbiseh was under siege from all directions by the army.[citation needed] See also: Talbiseh bakery massacre.
Outside of listed towns in Homs G. Homs Governorate rFlag of Syria.svglarge majority Since June 2012, FSA has control of parts of rural Homs.[8]

Damascus (city) governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Damascus - Barzeh 47,339 Damascus District Damascus Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, was reported to be contested as of 7 December 2012.[257] See also: Damascus offensive (2013).
Damascus - Kafr Sousa Damascus District Damascus Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg
Damascus - Al-Qabun Damascus District Damascus Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg
Damascus - Tadamon 86,793 Damascus District Damascus Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg ln late November 2012, the west side of this neighborhood of Damascus was controlled by the Syrian Army whereas the east side was controlled by FSA after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[257] See also: Damascus offensive (2013).
Damascus (except neighborhoods listed separately) 1,280,781 Damascus District Damascus Governorate pFlag of Syria.svg90%

Situation in the city during the battle of Damascus. Pink indicates a conflict area.

By mid-July 2012, fighting in Damascus intensified, with a major rebel push to take the city.[258] On 19 July 2012, the Syrian Army stormed the rebel held Qaboun neighborhood with a large number of tanks.[259] On 20 July, the Syrian Army continued its counterattack, storming the neighborhood of Jobar in Damascus, searching for rebels.[260] The rebels confirmed they had been forced to withdraw from Al-Midan after the army assault.[261][262] Rebel fighters stormed and burned the Sa'iqa military camp, which was being used as a training facility, in the Basateen al-Mezzeh neighborhood in central Damascus.[263] The conflict reached a decisive phase in late July. Government forces managed to break the rebel offensive on Damascus by pushing out most of the opposition fighters. In November 2012, there was renewed fighting in some of the neighborhoods (Qaboun, Jobar, Qadam) after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq. The Mezzeh Military airport and its nearby military bases are home to the 4th Armored Division. These bases protect central Damascus from the rebel forces in Darayya and Muadamiyat al-Sham. The nearby Mazzeh 86 neighborhood is an Alawite slum and the point of origin for many pro-government militias.[257] The mountains that loom over western Damascus bristle with Assad’s strength. Four large military complexes in Qassioun, Mezzeh, al-Dreij, and Qatana sprawl across most of the territory between Damascus and the Lebanese border. The Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Republican Guard, and the 4th Armored Division’s headquarters are virtually impregnable fortresses that the opposition would have extreme difficulty overcoming without heavy artillery or an air force.[51] On 16 June a rebel attack was launched on Mezze military airport. This compound hold the headquarters of the Republic Guards, special forces, Military Intelligence and has been used as a personal airport for members of the Assad family. A booby trapped car bomb exploded at a roadblock near the compound killing and wounding 20 members of the security forces according to SOHR. However the base itself was spared.[264] See also: Yarmouk camp fighting (December 2012), Damascus offensive (2013) and 3rd Rif Dimashq.

Rif Damashq governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Darayya 78,763 Darayya District Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg From the start of the conflict, the city outside Damascus had been a hotspot for protesters against the government. When hundreds were arrested, locals took up arms. In June 2012, the police and state intelligence withdrew from the town. Soon after, 3,000 FSA fighters made Darayya their stronghold. They held a strategic position, situated on the edge of the military airport at Mezze, which was being used for air-strikes against rebel-held areas. Opposition forces conducted mortar and rocket strikes against the base from Darayya. In mid-August, the rebels claimed to have killed 30 soldiers when they attacked a military checkpoint outside the town.[265][266] On 20 August 2012, Darayya was shelled. After that, hundreds of soldiers, backed by helicopters and armored vehicles entered Darayya, facing little resistance. The last rebel group withdrew in the face of the military advance and opposition activists were fearing that young men suspected of being rebels could be executed.[267][268] On 25 August, the bodies of 200 people were reportedly discovered in the town. Most of the dead appeared to be the result of executions.[269][270] 40-50 of the corpses had been discovered near a mosque.[271] 80 of the dead had been identified as civilians, while 120 remained unidentified.[272] On 18 November 2012, Darayya was under rebel control and surrounded by army troops On 7 December 2012, there was fighting in Daraya.[273] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–present).
Douma 110,893 Douma District Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg A battle began on 21 January 2012, after FSA fighters changed their tactics from attack and retreat guerrilla warfare in the suburbs of Damascus to all-out assault on army and loyalist units. Earlier in January, the FSA had gained control over large portions of Douma. On 31 January 2012, the Syrian Army retakes Douma. Hundreds of troops controlled the mostly deserted streets and arrested hundreds of people.[274] Complete control was achieved on 30 June when Syrian army troops entered all parts of Douma.[275] On 18 October, after heavy fighting, the FSA retook control of the city.[276] On 30 October, there were continuing fights in Douma.[277] It was reported to be under rebel control as of 7 December 2012.[257] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–February 2013).
An-Nabk 32,548 Al-Nabk District Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria.svg Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[8]
Qatana 33,996 Qatana District Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg ln December 2012, it was reported[by whom?] that 28 government checkpoints control this multi-ethnic regime stronghold.[278] On 15 October, there was shelling emanating from Turba checkpoint and the Baath School area.[citation needed]
Qudsaya 33,571 Qudsaya District Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria.svgFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Qudsaya is called “The Lion’s Den” because of the presence of a large number of Alawite government supporters.[257] On 24 August 2012, government forces stormed the town amid heavy gunfire.[citation needed] in March 2013, it was reported that the majority Sunni suburb of Qudsaya has just two Alawite areas, but Republican guard troops were busy clearing out Sunni enclaves there throughout the summer and fall of 2012.[51] On November 9, 2013, military sources announced an agreement had been reached in Qudsaya. The agreement establishes a ceasefire and a joint security committee from the army and the opposition militants, under the Syrian flag, which will be raised in the town square. Also as part of the agreement, the two roads leading to Qudsaya will be reopened – the old Safsaf Avenue and the road that links the city to its main suburb.[279]
Al-Qutayfah 26,671 Al-Qutayfah District Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg on December 5, 2012, government forces stationed in Al-Qutayfah launched rocket shelling on neighboring areas.[citation needed]
Al-Tall 44,597 Al-Tall District Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria.svg In July 2012, the city became an important rebel base around Damascus.[266] When the Battle of Damascus started, the rebels stormed two government buildings and reportedly detained 40 soldiers while seizing a quantity of weapons. The city was also one of the places where the rebel retreated after their defeat in Damascus. At the end of July, rebels were gathering and massing in Al-Tall to ready themselves for another attack on Damascus.[280] In the beginning of August, the Syrian Army started shelling the rebel positions more intensively.[281] The city became completely besieged by the Army after the capture of 3 Syrian journalists by the rebels near the city.[282] The Syrian Army took control of the city and cleared it of rebel presence the 17 August, while the Syrian National Council described the area a "sinister zone".[283] The three captured journalists were found by the Syrian Army.[284] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012).
Yabrud 25,891 Yabrud District Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Jabhat al-Nusra.jpg As of 24 December 2012, the town has been in FSA control for over 6 months.[285] On December 2013, the town was controlled by the Al Nusra Front.[286]

Al-Zabadani 26,285 Zabadani District Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg

Military deployments in the vicinity of Zabadani between 11 and 13 February 2012

The city of Zabadani is vitally important to Syria's government and to Iran because, at least as late as June 2011, the city served as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps's logistical hub for supplying Hizballah.[287] On January 18, 2012 Zabadani became the first city to fall under the control of the FSA following a bloody battle that lasted 11 days.[288][289][290] and the adjoining town of Madaya mid-January.[291] Syrian Army retakes control of Madaya and Zabadani in mid-February.[292] In May, much of Zabadani was once again reportedly out of government control, with army checkpoints on the roads leading into and out of the city and security forces guarding government buildings in the town, but not venturing outside to such places as the central square. Around 450 FSA fighters were in the orchards outside of Zabadani, but they did not have a presence in the town itself. Instead, opposition activists were reporting from within the city via walkie-talkies and organizing protests.[293][294][295] By late July, the town had become a base of operations for Hezbollah the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who had entered Syria to fight for the Assad government.[296] However, in August local fighters in Zabadani retook 70% of the town with only a few isolated army checkpoints remaining[297]
Arbin 44,934 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On July 2, FSA had taken control of a number of suburbs north of the capital Damascus, including Arbin. FSA fighters openly patrolled the streets of the suburbs, and clashes occurred less than 10 KM from the center of Damascus city itself.[298] In November 2012, there was sustained fighting in the town after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq. It was reported to be under rebel control as of 7 December 2012.[257]
Assal al-Ward 5,812 Yabrud District Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg Since June 2012, FSA has control of this town located along the Syrian–Lebanese borders.[8]
Babbila 50,880 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria.svg ln late November 2012, this suburb has seen fighting between FSA and government troops after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq[257]
Beit Sawa 6,249 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Beit Sawa and the nearby Hammurah fields, experienced intermittent shelling by Syrian Army for three days between June 30 to July 2, 2012.[299] ln late November 2012, Beit Sawa was under FSA control after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[257]
Deir Atiyah 10,984 An-Nabk District Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg
Al-Hajar al-Aswad 84,948 Darayya District Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On 26 July 2012, fighting was reported in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad suburb of the capital, a place described as home to thousands of poor refugees from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights who were at the forefront of the movement against Assad.[300] The FSA had withdrawn to the southern suburb of Al-Hajar al-Aswad with the suburb being shelled by Government forces and an activist in the area said that there were still ongoing clashes in the south of the city.[301] On 27 July 2012, the army took it back. On 30 October 2012, clashes broke out in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad between rebels and the army, spreading into the adjacent Yarmuk Palestinian camp.[302][303] On 19 November, rebels seized the headquarters of an army battalion and air defense base on the edge of the suburb, making it the nearest military base to Central Damascus to fall under rebel control.[304] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–present).
Harasta 68,708 Douma District Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On 21 October 2012, it was reported that Harasta was under heavy shelling.[305] On 25 October, the Syrian army fired heavy tank and rocket barrages, after rebels overran two army checkpoints on the edge of the town.[306] The town is home to the 104th and 105th Republican Guard regiments and has a high population of Alawites in the suburbs. It was reported to be under regime control as of 7 December 2012.[257] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–present).
Jaramana 114,363 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Jaramana is a diverse town with a Christian and Druze majority. There have been reports of Popular Committees and pro-government Shabiha working closely with government forces there.[257]
Kafr Batna 22,535 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 29 January 2012, Syrian Army tanks entered this suburb of Damascus to force out FSA. Although it has not been verified, opposition activists reported that five FSA soldiers and 14 civilians, including at least one minor, were killed during the raid.[307] on 4 February 2013, it was reported that the suburb was taken over by the rebels as part of a large push into the capital[308]
Muadamiyat al-Sham 52,738 Darayya District Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg After a two-day operation at the end of July 2012, which killed 120 people in this suburb,[309] the Syrian Army started a new operation on 20 August. The rebels repelled the first attack but the Syrian Army quickly managed to overrun the rebels.[310][311] The death toll of the operation was estimated at 86 dead, half of them executed by the Syrian Army for being suspected rebels.[312][313] A car bomb exploded in the town on 31 October, injuring an unknown number of people. By this point, the town was being contested between rebels and government forces.[314] On November 30, 2012, there was continued shelling in the suburb from 4th division headquarters and Mezzeh Military Airport.[citation needed] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive.
Al-Sabinah 62,509 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria.svg On late November 2012, this suburb has seen fighting between FSA and government troops after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq[257] The town was retaken by the SAA, National Defense Force and Hezbullah fighters on 7 November 2013, cutting off the main rebel supply lines into southern Damascus.[315] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012).
Sahnaya 13,993 Darayya District Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Since late November 2012, this suburb was under government control[257] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–present).
Saidnaya 5,194 Al-Tall District Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg
Saqba 25,696 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 27 August 2012, rebels attacked government positions in Saqba, overrunning several Army checkpoints. Following the attacks, airstrikes killed an unspecified number of people in Saqba.[316][317] ln late November 2012, Saqba was under FSA control after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[257] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012).
Sayyidah Zaynab 136,427 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Home to a Shi'a holy shrine, it is populated heavily by Shi'a Muslims and was reported to be a pro-government stronghold as of 7 December 2012.[257] on 4 February 2013, it was reported that Sayyidah Zaynab was contested between rebels and hezbollah/iraqis[318]
Yalda 28,384 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate nFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg ln late November 2012, this suburb was under FSA control after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[257]
Zamalka 44,661 Markaz Rif Dimashq Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On July 2, FSA had taken control of a number of suburbs north of the capital Damascus, including Zamalka. FSA fighters openly patrolled the streets of the suburbs, and clashes occurred less than 10 KM from the center of Damascus city itself.[298] In November 2012, there was sustained fighting in the town after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq. It was reported to be under rebel control as of 7 December 2012.[257] However, as of September 2013, the government still had a presence in the town.[319]
Outside of listed towns in Rif Dimashq G. Rif Dimashq Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg

Situation in Rif Dimashq in November 2013      Syrian Government control     Opposition control     Contested

Since June 2012, FSA controls rural areas between the Damascus-Homs highway and the Lebanese frontier (north of Zabadani)[8] On July 2, FSA had taken control of a number of suburbs north of the capital Damascus. FSA fighters openly patrolled the streets of the suburbs, and clashes occurred less than 10 KM from the center of Damascus city itself.[298] On 25 November, rebels seized control of the Marj As Sultan Military airbase in Eastern Ghouta after a battle in which two Syrian Army helicopters were shot down[320] On 29 November, rebels stated that they had blocked access to Damascus International Airport.[321] The Ministry of Information said that access to the airport was safe and clear of rebel activity. Emirates and EgyptAir suspended their flights to Damascus.[321] Along the road from Damascus to the airport, there are 7 main bridges; On 2 May, government forces captured the town of Qaysa which lies to the east of Damascus in a steady push north from the city's airport.[322] See also: 2011 Rif Dimashq blockades, Battle of Jdaidet al-Fadl, Rif Dimashq offensive and Rif Dimashq offensive (March 2013–present).

Quneitra governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Quneitra 153 Quneitra District Quneitra Governorate yFlag of Syria.svg On June 6 rebels attacked Quneitra and captured the border crossing with Israel. Several hours later the government re-captured the crossing.[323]
Bariqa 371 Quneitra District Quneitra Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg This village in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan Heights was reported to be under rebel control by 13 November.[324]
Beer Ajam 353 Quneitra District Quneitra Governorate rFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg This village in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan Heights, populated mostly by Syrian Circassians, was reported to be under rebel control by 13 November[324] On 30 December, SOHR reported clashes between rebels and government troops in Beer Ajam that left one rebel dead.[325] See also: 2012 Golan Heights clashes .

Daraa governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
Daraa 97,969 Daraa District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg

Situation in Daraa in October 2013     Syrian Army control     Opposition control

On 25 April 2011, the Syrian military launched a large operation in Daraa in a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.[326] The operation lasted until 5 May 2011. On 16 February 2012, the army reportedly attacked Daraa, shelling the city heavily. This was apparently because, "Daraa has been regaining its role in the uprising. Demonstrations have resumed and FSA has been providing security for protests in some parts of the city." The attack was part of a security force push "to regain control of areas they lost in recent weeks", indicating FSA in Daraa had taken control of parts of the city. Security forces attacked at least three districts, but FSA fighters fought back, firing at army roadblocks and buildings housing security police and militiamen.[327] On 14 March 2012, FSA controlled at least one main district in the city of Daraa (Al-Balad district) which made the Syrian army attack it by firing anti-aircraft guns into buildings of the FSA-controlled district.[328] See also: 2011–2012 Daraa Governorate clashes and 2013 Daraa offensive.
Izra 19,158 Izra' District Daraa Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Izra is base to 5th division’s 12th Armored Brigade and 175th Artillery Regiment;[51] on 16 Dec 2012, rebels and troops clashed in the town.[329] On 22 January 2013, it was reported that the army entered the town and started an arrest campaign.[330]
Al-Sanamayn 26,268 Al-Sanamayn District Daraa Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg Al-Sanamayn is base to the 9th division’s 15th Brigade[51]
Bosra 19,683 Daraa District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On October 14, 2012, there were intense gunfire from regime forces stationed at checkpoints on the main road running through the town.[citation needed] On 13 November 2012, fierce fighting has been reported in the east side of the town.[citation needed] On 15 january 2013, it was reported that the citadel was used by the army on a daily basis to shell the town.[331]
Busra al-Harir 13,315 Izra' District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg From the town and the nearby Laja area, the FSA have attacked military supply lines.[332] On 11 December, the Syrian Army's Izra'-based 12th Armoured Brigade stormed the town in an attempt to rout out FSA fighters.[332] According to opposition activists, two people were killed and dozens were injured after Busra al-Harir was shelled by Syrian Army tanks in April 2012.[333] on May 9, 2013, there was shelling with rocket launchers from the 12th brigade, and 175th regiment nearby, in conjunction with clashes between the Free Syrian Army and Regime Forces.[334]
Da'el 29,408 Daraa District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg In March 2011, this predominantly Sunni Muslim town was among the first towns in the area of Daraa where residents participated in demonstrations against the government.[335] On 29 March 2013 the town was reportedly captured by anti-government rebels. Da'el is strategically located on one of two main north-south highways that connect Damascus to Daraa. The rebels initially enagaged in clashes with Syrian Army troops manning checkpoints outside the town, leaving 12 government soldiers and 16 rebels, according to the activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).[336]
Al-Hirak 20,760 Izra' District Daraa Governorate yFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 6 March 2012, the Syrian Army bombed the city which served as a base for the FSA and clashed with them in intense fighting. Residential areas and the Abu Bakr al-Saddiq Mosque were reportedly hit by Syrian Army shells.[337] During the battle, the FSA ambushed a Syrian Army armored carrier, killing five soldiers. A 15-year old boy was also killed after being allegedly shot by a government sniper.[338] "Mosque al-Herak" is named on the Global Heritage Fund listing of damages to Syrian cultural heritage.[339] On August 22, 2012, France 24 reported that the Syrian army began a campaign against Al-Hirak which lead to a fierce battle.[citation needed] On August 24, 2012, the FSA withdrew from the town.[citation needed] On 12 and 13 November 2012, the town was reported having a rebel presence and shelled by the army.[citation needed] On May 3, 2013, it was reported that the base of the 52 mechanized brigade of the 9th Division was shelling the area of Khirbet Ghazala and Al-Hirak[340]
Inkhil 31,258 al-Sanamayn District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On 2013-08-30 Inkhil and surrounding areas reported controlled by rebels.[341]
Jamla 1,916 Daraa District Daraa Governorate nFlag of Syria (1932–1958, 1961–1963).svg On 6 March 2013, rebels kidnapped 21 United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Rebels were reportedly in control of the village itself, but intense clashes were occurring around it.[342] The rebels accused the peacekeepers of cooperating with the Syrian authorities in trying to "push the rebels out of Jamla" and demanded that the Syrian Army withdraw from the vicinity of Jamla in return for their release.[343]
Jasim 31,683 Izra' District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg Jasim was one of the first cities to participate in large-scale protests against the government on 18 March 2011.[335] Further mass protests were reported on 22 April 2011.[344] On 1 April 2012, four Syrian Army soldiers were killed in clashes with rebel FSA gunmen in Jasim.[345] On 12 and 13 November 2012, fierce gunfire has been reported in the town. On 24 February 2013 a video posted online showed people in front of the Cultural Center in the East of Jasim, near Abu Tammam Square, celebrating the victory of FSA and liberation of Jasim.[346]
Kafr Shams 12,435 Al-Sanamayn District Daraa Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On May 12, 2013, Assad forces have stormed the town and launched a raid and arrest campaign searching homes.[347]
Nawa 47,066 Izra' District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg On 21 August 2012, YouTube video seemed to show government tanks in streets.[348] On 30 October 2012, fierce gunfire has been reported in the town On January 16, 2013, Assad forces stormed the city with tanks coupled with indiscriminate shelling and open fire throughout the streets.[349] In the same speech where he commented on the loss of territory in Deraa province, Syrian MP Walid al-Zouhi stated that “we are only protected from the west by Base 61,” referring to the 61st Mechanized Brigade headquarters located near Nawa.[350][351] On 17 July, rebels captured most of Nawa city.[352] In early August 2013 the town was under the control of the Army.[353]
Al-Shaykh Maskin 24,057 Izra' District Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg on 16 Dec 2012, rebels and troops clashed in this predominantly Sunni Muslim[354] town.[329] on December 26, 2012, there was a huge explosion in the radar’s battalion in Brigade 82, followed by violent clashes within the brigade
Outside of listed towns in Daraa G. Daraa Governorate rFlag of Syria (2011 combined).svg Since June 2012, FSA controls two areas, west and east of Daraa city (about 1/4 of governorate).[8] by December, the FSA takes control of several border checkpoints stationed at the borders with Jordan[355] On March 23 the FSA seized full control of the largest base in Daraa, Base 38. On March 25, 2013, Jordanian official told AFP that "The Free Syrian Army closed the two crossings of Daraa and Nasib from their side after they took control of them," The development comes after the rebels seized a 25-kilometer strip of land stretching from the Jordanian border to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.[356] On 3 April, rebels captured the air defense base of the 49th battalion of the Syrian Army in the town of Alma in the northern outskirts of Daraa.[357] On May 3, 2013, it was reported that the rebels were surrounding brigade 34 of the 9th Division[340][350] See also: 2011–2012 Daraa Governorate clashes and 20 April 2012 Daraa Governorate attacks and 2013 Daraa offensive.

as-Suwayda governorate[edit | edit source]

Name Population District Governorate Held by History during the Syrian uprising
As-Suwayda 73,641 As-Suwayda District As-Suwayda Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg On 28 October 2012, security forces launched a campaign of mass arrests in this Druze city.[67]
Salkhad 9,155 Salkhad District As-Suwayda Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg The government has maintained control of this town located in the central Jabal el Druze highlands.[8]
Shahba 13,660 Shahba District As-Suwayda Governorate nFlag of Syria.svg The government has maintained control of this town located in the Jabal el Druze.[8]
Outside of listed towns in As-Suwayda G. As-Suwayda Governorate pFlag of Syria.svg95% Since June 2012, FSA controls a small part near the frontier with Daraa Governorate.[8]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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