Al-Hajar al-Aswad

Al-Hajar al-Aswad (Arabic: اَلْحَجَرُ ٱلْأَسْوَدُ, romanizedal-Ḥajaru l-Aswad, lit.'The Black Stone') is a Syrian city just 4 km (2 mi) south of the centre of Damascus in the Darayya District of the Rif Dimashq Governorate.[2]

Al-Hajar al-Aswad
الحجر الأسود
City
Al-Hajar al-Aswad is located in Syria
Al-Hajar al-Aswad
Al-Hajar al-Aswad
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 33°27′50.5″N 36°18′16″E / 33.464028°N 36.30444°E / 33.464028; 36.30444Coordinates: 33°27′50.5″N 36°18′16″E / 33.464028°N 36.30444°E / 33.464028; 36.30444
Country Syria
GovernorateRif Dimashq
DistrictDarayya
Subdistrictal-Hajar al-Aswad
Population
 (2004 census)[1]
 • Total84,948
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Al-Hajar al-Aswad had a population of 84,948 in the 2004 census, making it the 13th largest city per geographical entity in Syria.[1]

HistoryEdit

During the Syrian Civil War, 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the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights who were at the forefront of the movement against Assad.[3] The Free Syrian Army had withdrawn to the southern suburb of Al-Hajar al-Aswad with the suburb being shelled by Government forces and an activist in the area said that there were still ongoing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.[4] 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.[5][6]

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.[7] In January 2014, reports indicated that opposition fighters fleeing the fallen towns are concentrated in the remaining strongholds, particularly Al-Hajar al-Aswad.[8]

The district became a hotspot for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant activity, whom controlled large areas of the district and used it for a staging ground for their assault on Yarmouk Camp in 2015.[9]

The entire location of Al Hajar al Aswad was captured from ISIL by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on 16 May 2018. Yarmouk Camp still remains under ISIL control.[10] The SAA has been attacking both locations as part of an offensive that started on 1 May 2018.[10][11]

In popular cultureEdit

In 2022, Al-Hajar al-Aswad served as a filming location for the Chinese action film Home Operation that dramatizes the 2015 evacuation of hundreds of Chinese citizens and other citizens from Yemen.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Rif Dimashq Governorate. (in Arabic)
  2. ^ map of suburbs of Damascus, google.maps
  3. ^ "Syria bolsters troops in battle for Aleppo". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  4. ^ Weaver, Matthew; Whitaker, Brian (26 July 2012). "Syria crisis: Aleppo battle looms - Thursday 26 July 2012". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ "Herald Sun". Retrieved 25 October 2014.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Lebanese Daily Star". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  7. ^ "UPDATE 1-Syria rebels say they seize army base on Damascus outskirts". Reuters. 19 November 2012.
  8. ^ Valerie Szybala (January 2014). "Assad Strikes Damascus" (PDF). Institute for the Study of War.
  9. ^ Haytham, Mustafa (8 April 2016). "Clashes break out between ISIS and al-Qaeda in Damascus". ARA News. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b Fierce clashes continued in Al Hajar Aswad Syrian Digital Media Twitter Account
  11. ^ "More than two weeks after losing al-Kadam neighborhood and in conjunction of losing in Yarmouk Camp, ISIS loses al-Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood completely for the regime forces and allies". SOHR. 15 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Displaced Syrians voice anger as bombed-out town doubles as film set". Financial Times. 5 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.

External linksEdit