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Cities and towns during the Syrian Civil War

For all towns (size 7 or larger) and strategic places like airfields, border-crossings, ports, dams, military bases and oil fields. For all villages (Size 6 or smaller) and detailed places like hills, factories, neighborhoods and checkpoints.

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 last item is the rural area outside the listed towns in each Governorate. Each section details a brief summary of that city or town's history during the Syrian Civil War. 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.

Table of contents

Aleppo Governorate: Aleppo . Afrin . Atarib . Ayn al-Arab (Kobanî) . Azaz . Al-Bab . Dayr Hafir . Jarabulus . Manbij . Al-Safira . Anadan . Aqiba . Darat Izza . Kafr Safra . Khan Tuman . Khanasir . Al-Muslimiyah . Sarrin . Tell Aran . Tell Rifaat . Tell Shughayb . Urum al-Kubrah . Urum al-Sughrah . Others .

Damascus & Rif Dimashq Governorates: Barzeh . Jobar . Kafr Sousa . Qaboun . Tadamon . Yarmouk camp . Other neighborhoods . Darayya . Douma . An-Nabk . Qatana . Qudsaya . Al-Qutayfah . Al-Tall . Yabrud . Al-Zabadani . Arbin . Assal al-Ward . Babbila . Beit Sahem . Beit Sawa . Deir Atiyah . Al-Hajar al-Aswad . Harasta . Jaramana . Kafr Batna . Muadamiyat al-Sham . Al-Sabinah . Sahnaya . Saidnaya . Saqba . Sayyidah Zaynab . Yalda . Zamalka . Others .

Daraa Governorate: Daraa . Izra . Al-Sanamayn . Adwan . Da'el . Jasim . Khabab . Muthabin . Nawa . Al-Shaykh Saad . Others .

Deir ez-Zor Governorate: Deir ez-Zor . Abu Kamal . Mayadin . Others .

Hama Governorate: Hama . Masyaf . Mahardah . Salamiyah . Al-Suqaylabiyah . Kafr Nabudah . Ma'an . Qastun . Tremseh . Others .

Al-Hasakah Governorate: Al-Hasakah . Al-Malikiyah . Qamishli . Qamishli border crossing . Ras al-Ayn . Al-Qahtaniya . Simalka border crossing . Others .

Homs Governorate: Abbasiya . Baba Amr . Deir Baalbah . Ghouta . Jobar . Joret al-Shayyah . Karm al-Shami . Karm al-Zeitoun . Khaldiyeh . Old City . Qusour . Al-Waer . Other neighborhoods . Al-Mukharram . Palmyra . Al-Qusayr . Al-Rastan . Taldou . Talkalakh . Abil . Al-Buwaydah al-Sharqiyah . Al-Husn . Others .

Idlib Governorate: Idlib . Arihah . Harem . Jisr al-Shughur . Maarrat al-Nu'man . Azmarin . Bab al-Hawa border crossing . Binnish . Al-Dana . Darkush . Kafr Nabl . Khan Shaykhun . Maarrat Misrin . Saraqib . Sarmin . Taftanaz . Others .

Latakia Governorate: Latakia . Al-Haffah . Harasta . Jableh . Qardaha . Kesab . Others .

Quneitra Governorate: Quneitra .

Raqqa Governorate: Raqqa . Tell Abyad . Al-Thawrah . Others .

As-Suwayda Governorate: As-Suwayda . Salkhad . Shahba . Others .

Tartus Governorate: Tartus . Baniyas . Duraykish . Safita . Al-Shaykh Badr . Others .

See also References

Aleppo GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by
Aleppo 1,800,000 Mount Simeon District u  See Aleppo (Syrian Civil War).
Afrin 36,562 Afrin District y   See Afrin (Syrian Civil War).
Atarib 10,657 Atarib District y  See Atarib (Syrian Civil War).
Ayn al-Arab (Kobanî) 44,821 Ayn Al-Arab District y   See Kobanî (Syrian Civil War).
Azaz 66,138 A'zaz District y   Azaz is a passage point to Turkey. On 19 July 2012, the FSA chased out the Syrian Army from the city of Azaz and took complete control of it.[1] FSA also took over the associated border crossing of Bab al-Salame.[2] 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 there. 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.[3] On 29 October 2012, France 24 reported that there was a refugee camp between Azaz and the Turkish border.[citation needed] On 28 February 2013, it was reported that the FSA checkpoint in Azaz was where the Free Syrian Soldiers hand in their weapons to go into the Refugee camp and onto Turkey. It is also the first or second checkpoint into Turkey and Syria.[4] 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.[5] On 28 February 2014, FSA and Jabhat al-Akrad took control of the town and the surrounding villages.[6][7] As of January 2015; Northern Storm Brigade controls the town.[8] al-Nusra Front has a minor presence.[8]
Al-Bab 63,069 Al Bab District y   See Al-Bab (Syrian Civil War).
Dayr Hafir 18,948 Dayr Hafir District r  See Dayr Hafir (Syrian Civil War).
Jarabulus 11,570 Jarabulus District y   See Jarabulus (Syrian Civil War).
Manbij 99,497 Manbij District y  See Manbij (Syrian Civil War).
Al-Safira 95,832 As-Safira District n  See Battle of Safira.
Anadan 11,918 Mount Simeon District y  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[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] Anadan has been the site of heavy shelling by the Syrian army military.[12] On 24 October 2012, the formation of a local administration council composed from prominent engineers, doctors, human right activists, was announced.[13]
Darat Izza 13,525 Mount Simeon District y  On 23 June 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.[14] Many of the corpses of the shabiha militia killed were in military uniform.[15][16][17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] The town was under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since September 2013.,[21] but then withdrew following a wide-scale offensive led by the Army of Mujahedeen and the Islamic Front.[22]
Khan Tuman 2,781 Mount Simeon District y  There is a huge collection of warehouses (about 58 of them) that extends over 5 kilometers in Khan Tuman.[citation needed] on 15 December 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.[23] On 18 August, Sohr said that Syrian troops take control over the hill of Khan Toman.[24]
Khanasir 2,397 Al-Safira District y  On late August 2013, Ahrar al-Sham seized the town.[25] On 1 October, Syrian Army forces launched an offensive outside the town (which is situated along a key road needed to transport essential supplies), met by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Al Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and other militias troops.[26] By 10 October, Syrian government troops had seized the town.[27] On 25 February 2016, government forces regain over control the town of Khanassir after ISIS take him during their attack on the town a few days ago.[28]
Al-Muslimiyah 5,916 Mount Simeon District y  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.[29] In early December, FSA entered the College and took control progressively of all buildings[30] On 15 December 2012, the rebels reportedly captured the infantry academy, army base and recruiting center at al-Muslimiyah,[31][32] after weeks of fighting. The Hanano Barracks has a three-kilometer square campus.[32] 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.[33] The rebel brigade claimed it captured 100 prisoners.[31] During the SAA offensive in October 2014 which captured the Handarat area and placed rebel-held Aleppo under a de facto siege, Syrian Army units captured the village along with surrounding areas.[34]
Sarrin 6,104 Ayn Al-Arab District y  In May 2013, the YPG took control of this area near the Tomb of Suleyman Shah.[citation needed] In September 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Nusra Front militants seized control of Sarrin.[35] See also 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign. In July 2015, YPG forces took over the area.[36]
Tell Aran 17,767 Al-Safira District y  On 1 August 2013, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Al Nusra Front fighters took control of the town after defeating Kurdish forces.[37] Shortly afterwards, local Kurdish sources claimed that Kurdish civilians were killed by the jihadist groups.[38] On 11 November 2013, Tell Aran was seized by Syrian Army troops[39]
Tell Rifaat 20,514 A'zaz District y  In the early summer of 2012, Syrian government authorities withdrew from Tell Rifaat and were replaced by a council made up of local scholars, judges, and former Syrian Army officers.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[43] In January 2014, resistance fighters, mainly members of the Islamic Front, defeated ISIS militants in the town. Liwa al-Fatah of the Islamic Front came into control of the town.[8] On 15 February 2016, the town was taken by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces.[44] On 12 March 2018, came under control of the Syrian army.[45][46]
Tell Shughayb 5,110 Mount Simeon District n  On 1 March 2013, the Syrian army regained control of the strategic Tell Shughayb town allowing them to approach the Aleppo airport.[47][48]
Urum al-Kubrah 5,391 Atarib District y  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.[49] By January 2014, the town was controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[50]
Urum al-Sughrah 637 Atarib District y  Since June 2012, FSA has control.[51] 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[52] On 14 December 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[53]
Outside listed towns in Aleppo G. u 46.6%[54] 29.54%[54]  23.86%[54]
The military situation in and around the Aleppo as of 18 March 2018      Syrian Army control     SDF control     Opposition control
In March 2012, fighting erupted for the first time in the 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.[51] 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.[3] 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.[55] On 1 January 2013, it was reported that a large majority of the Governorate was under rebel control.[56] At 30 June 2017, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fully withdrew from all of their remaining positions in the Aleppo province to government forces.[57]

Damascus and Rif Damashq GovernoratesEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Damascus - Barzeh 47,339 Damascus District n  Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, was reported to be contested as of 7 December 2012.[58] A truce in Barzeh was signed in January 2014. Government footage showed bulldozers clearing rubble and the local governor speaking to residents; footage from the rebels showed their fighters were still present, neither shooting nor being rounded up. The deal was voluntary; rebels were tired and wanted their destroyed town cleaned up.[59] On 14 April, Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, was reported to be under army control.[60] See also: Damascus offensive (2013).In February 2017, the Government demmanded that the rebels leave Barzeh as well as the neighbouring Tishreen neighbourhood. After an intense three month period of fighting, the rebels finally gave up and agreed to be transferred to Idlib. "See also: Qaboun offensive (2017)."
Damascus - Jobar Damascus District  
Damascus - Kafr Sousa Damascus District n 
Damascus - Qaboun Damascus District r 
Damascus - Tadamon 86,793 Damascus District r  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.[58] In February 2014, it was reported that the neighborhood was under siege by the army.[61] See also: Damascus offensive (2013) and Southern Damascus offensive (April 2018)
Damascus - Yarmouk Camp 18.000 Damascus District y  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conquest Yarmouk in April 2015. See also Yarmouk camp fighting (2015) and Southern Damascus offensive (April 2018)
Damascus 1,280,781 Damascus District p  By mid-July 2012, fighting in Damascus intensified, with a major rebel push to take the city.[62] On 19 July 2012, the Syrian Army stormed the rebel held Qaboun neighborhood with a large number of tanks.[63] On 20 July, the Syrian Army continued its counterattack, storming the neighborhood of Jobar in Damascus, searching for rebels.[64] The rebels confirmed they had been forced to withdraw from Al-Midan after the army assault.[65][66] 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.[67] 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.[58]See also: Rif Dimashq Governorate campaign
Darayya 78,763 Darayya District r  See Darayya during Syrian Civil War.
Douma 110,893 Douma District y  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.[68] Complete control was achieved on 30 June when Syrian army troops entered all parts of Douma.[69] On 18 October, after heavy fighting, the FSA retook control of the city.[70] On 30 October, there were continuing fights in Douma.[71] It was reported to be under rebel control as of 7 December 2012.[58] On 30 December, the Syrian troops killed 30 "terrorists" from the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front and other jihadist groups during a series of "qualitative" operations in two areas of the rebel-held Douma suburb, east of the capital Damascus.[72] On 1 February, the Observatory said that regime-versus-rebel clashes were heavy in the Damascus suburb of Douma.[73] On 12 April 2018, the Syrian army took full control of the city Douma.[74][75] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–February 2013) and Rif Dimashq offensive (February–April 2018).
An-Nabk 32,548 Al-Nabk District y  See Battle of Qalamoun (Army push into An-Nabek).
Qatana 33,996 Qatana District n  See Qatana (Syrian Civil War).
Qudsaya 33,571 Qudsaya District r  Qudsaya is called "The Lion’s Den" because of the presence of a large number of Alawite government supporters.[58] 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.[76] On 9 November 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.[77]
Al-Qutayfah 26,671 Al-Qutayfah District n  On 5 December 2012, government forces stationed in Al-Qutayfah launched rocket shelling on neighboring areas.[citation needed]
Al-Tall 44,597 Al-Tall District r  In July 2012, the city became an important rebel base around Damascus.[78] 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.[79] In the beginning of August, the Syrian Army started shelling the rebel positions more intensively.[80] The city became completely besieged by the Army after the capture of 3 Syrian journalists by the rebels near the city.[81] The Syrian Army took control of the city and cleared it of rebel presence 17 August, while the Syrian National Council described the area a "sinister zone".[82] The three captured journalists were found by the Syrian Army.[83] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012).
Yabrud 25,891 Yabrud District y  See Yabroud (Syrian Civil War).

Al-Zabadani 26,285 Zabadani District r  See Al-Zabadani (Syrian Civil War).
Arbin 44,934 Markaz Rif Dimashq y  On 2 July, 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.[84] 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.[58]
Assal al-Ward 5,812 Yabrud District y  Since June 2012,the Syrian Army has control of this town located along the Syrian–Lebanese borders.[51] On 15 April 2014, the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters, retook village Aasal al-Ward.[85] In October 2014, al-Nusra Front launched a heavy attack on al-Jebbah and Assal al-Ward.[86]
Babbila 50,880 Markaz Rif Dimashq r  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[58] In February 2014, Syria's army and rebels agreed a truce in Babbila. Regime troops raised the Syrian flag over the municipality of the southern suburb, which had been used as a rebel rear base until several months ago when the army laid siege to it. Armed rebels were still present in the area, as the terms of the agreement also included an amnesty, a security source said.[87]
Beit Sahem 15,667 Markaz Rif Dimashq r  ln January 2014, the local opposition committee in the suburb proposed to the government a cease-fire with local autonomy, according to a resident of a neighboring town familiar with the talks. People there were shot as they tried to leave under an abortive deal in December, but they are hungry, and ready to try again.[59] At the end of April 2018, rebel forces hend over their territory south of Damascus to Syrian army and evacuated.[88]See also Southern Damascus offensive (April 2018)
Beit Sawa 6,249 Markaz Rif Dimashq n  Beit Sawa and the nearby Hammurah fields, experienced intermittent shelling by Syrian Army for three days between 30 June to 2 July 2012.[89] ln late November 2012, Beit Sawa was under FSA control after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[58]
Al-Hajar al-Aswad 84,948 Darayya District r  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.[90] 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.[91] 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.[92][93] 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.[94] ln January 2014, reports indicated that opposition fighters fleeing the fallen towns are concentrated in the remaining strongholds, particularly Al-Hajar al-Aswad.[95] On 15 May 2018, the Syrian Army and allies captured al-Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood completely.[96] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012). Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–February 2013) and Southern Damascus offensive (April 2018).
Harasta 68,708 Douma District r  Before the war, Harasta was home to the 104th and 105th Republican Guard regiments and has a high population of Alawites in the suburbs,[58] although it was a site of several anti-government protests in 2011. Harasta was reported under rebel control by early 2012.[97] In March 2012[98] and again on 21 October 2012 it was reported that Harasta was under heavy government shelling.[99] On 25 October, the Syrian army fired heavy tank and rocket barrages, after rebels overran two army checkpoints on the edge of the town.[100] On 26 October 2012, it was shelled with heavy artillery, killing at least 10.[101] On 30 October, government airstrikes targeted Harasta.[102] It reported to be under regime control on 25 November 2012.[58] In August 2013 it was reported under rebel control with government advances on key points in the town.[103] Government control but rebel advances were reported in January 2014.[104] Territory in Harasta changed hands repeatedly during the Rif Dimashq offensive (September 2015). It has been the site of fighting in the Battle of Harasta (2017-18) .
Kafr Batna 22,535 Markaz Rif Dimashq   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.[105] 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[106] On 17 March 2018, the Syrian army managed to advance and completely control the whole town of Kafrbatna.[107]
Muadamiyat al-Sham 52,738 Darayya District r  After a two-day operation at the end of July 2012, which killed 120 people in this suburb,[108] 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.[109][110] The death toll of the operation was estimated at 86 dead, half of them executed by the Syrian Army for being suspected rebels.[111][112] 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.[113] On 30 November 2012, there was continued shelling in the suburb from 4th division headquarters and Mezzeh Military Airport.[citation needed] Rebels surrendered to the Syrian Arab Army on 1 September 2016[114] See also: Siege of Darayya and Muadamiyat.
Al-Sabinah 62,509 Markaz Rif Dimashq r  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[58] 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.[115] On 12 March 2013, artillery shelling targeted Hujaira Balad from brigade 158 that is situated on Jabal Suhya south of Al-Sabinah.[116] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012).
Sahnaya 13,993 Darayya District n  Since late November 2012, this suburb was under government control[58] See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012) and Rif Dimashq offensive (November 2012–present).
Saqba 25,696 Markaz Rif Dimashq n  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.[117][118] ln late November 2012, Saqba was under FSA control after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[58] On 17 March 2018, the Syrian army managed to advance and completely control the whole town of Kafrbatna and the city of Saqba.[107]See also: Rif Dimashq offensive (August–October 2012).
Yalda 28,384 Markaz Rif Dimashq r  ln late November 2012, this suburb was under FSA control after a regain in strength of the rebels in Rif Dimashq.[58] At the end of April 2018, rebel forces hend over their territory south of Damascus to Syrian army and evacuated.[88][119]See also Southern Damascus offensive (April 2018)
Zamalka 44,661 Markaz Rif Dimashq r  On 2 July, 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.[84] 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.[58] However, as of September 2013, the government still had a presence in the town.[120]
Outside listed towns in Rif Dimashq G. r 
Frontlines in the Qalamoun Mountains in April 2014     Syrian Government control      Opposition control      Hezbollah Presence      Contested
Since June 2012, FSA controls rural areas between the Damascus-Homs highway and the Lebanese frontier (north of Zabadani)[51] On 2 July, 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.[84] 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[121] On 29 November, rebels stated that they had blocked access to Damascus International Airport.[122] 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.[122] 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.[123] For almost forty years, the majority of Syria’s medium- and short-range ballistic missile force has been garrisoned at the Al Qutayfah Tactical SSM Storage and Training Facility ,located 25.4 kilometers northeast of Damascus, which is the home of both the Syrian Army’s 155th Missile Brigade, equipped with Russian-made SCUD ballistic missiles, and the 156th Missile Brigade, which controls the Syrian Army’s entire complement of Russian-made FROG short-range ballistic missiles. There is a SCUD missile storage and support facility 14 miles south of Damascus at the Hirjillah Army Barracks which is home of the 76th Armored Brigade of the Syrian Army’s 1st Armored Division.[124] See also: 2011 Rif Dimashq blockades, Battle of Jdaidet al-Fadl, Battle of Qalamoun, Al-Otaiba ambush, Rif Dimashq Governorate campaign and Yarmouk camp fighting (2015).

Daraa GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Daraa 97,969 Daraa District r  On 25 April 2011, the Syrian military launched a large operation in Daraa in a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.[125] The operation lasted until 5 May 2011. On 16 February 2012, the Syrian 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 that the 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 Syrian Army roadblocks and buildings housing security police and militiamen.[126] On 14 March 2012, the 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.[127] See also: 2011–2012 Daraa Governorate clashes and 2013 Daraa offensive. A tent where around 100 supporters of President Assad had assembled to discuss an election campaign was shelled on 22 May 2014 killing at least 21 people and wounding dozens more.[128] On 12 July 2018, the battle for the city Daraa has ended as after several days of intense clashes between the Syrian Army and rebel forces, the last have agreed to terms of reconciliation.[129][130]See also:2018 Southern Syria offensive.
Izra 19,158 Izra' District n  Izra is base to 5th division’s 12th Armored Brigade and 175th Artillery Regiment;[76] On 16 December 2012, rebels and troops clashed in the town.[131] On 22 January 2013, it was reported that the army entered the town and started an arrest campaign.[132]
Al-Sanamayn 26,268 Al-Sanamayn District n  See Al-Sanamayn (Syrian Civil War).
Tafas 32,236 Daraa District y 
Muzayrib 12,640 Daraa District y 
Al-Yadudah 8,967 Daraa District y 
Adwan 2,487 Izra District t  By early September 2013, the town was in control of the Syrian Army.[133] Rebels took control of the town during their spring offensive in 2014. On 27 July 2018, the Syrian army recaptured the village of Adwan from ISIL.[134]
Da'el 29,408 Daraa District n  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.[135] 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 engaged in clashes with Syrian Army troops manning checkpoints outside the town, leaving 12 government soldiers and 16 rebels dead, according to the activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).[136]
Jasim 31,683 Izra' District y  Jasim was one of the first cities to participate in large-scale protests against the government on 18 March 2011.[135] Further mass protests were reported on 22 April 2011.[137] On 1 April 2012, four Syrian Army soldiers were killed in clashes with rebel FSA gunmen in Jasim.[138] On 12 and 13 November 2012, fierce gunfire has been reported[by whom?] in the town.[citation needed] On 15 January 2014, rebels were in control of Jasim.[139] On 17 July 2018, the Syrian army captured the town.[140]
Khabab 3,379 Al-Sanamayn District n  By May 2013, this predominantly Catholic town was reportedly under the control of the Syrian Army.[141]
Muthabin 2,351 Al-Sanamayn District n  By May 2013, the town was reportedly in control of the Syrian Army.[141]
Nawa 47,066 Izra' District n  In the same speech where he commented on the loss of territory in Daraa 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.[142] On 17 July, rebels captured most of Nawa city.[143] In early August 2013 the town was under the control of the Army.[144] On 16 October 2013, a powerful blast ripped through a pickup truck that went past Tell_al-Jumou' (south-west of Nawa), where a battalion of troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad was positioned.[145] On 9 November 2014, Islamic battalions and the al-Nusra Front took over the city of Nawa, after violent clashes against regime forces.[146] At end of July 2018, the Syrian army regain control of the city Nawa after the rebels surrender all of their territory in the Daraa province to government.[147]
Al-Shaykh Saad 3,373 Izra District n  By early September 2013, the town was under the control of the Syrian Army.[133]
Tubna 1,272 Al-Sanamayn District n  By May 2013, this predominantly Catholic town was reportedly in control of the Syrian Army.[141]
Outside listed towns in Daraa G. r [129][148]

Since June 2012, FSA controls two areas, west and east of Daraa city (about ¼ of Governorate).[51] by December 2012, the FSA took control of several border checkpoints stationed at the borders with Jordan[149] On 23 March, the FSA seized full control of the largest base in Daraa, Base 38. On 25 March 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 Golan Heights.[150] On 3 April 2013, 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.[151] On 3 May 2013, it was reported that the rebels were surrounding brigade 34 of the 9th Division[152][142] At July 2018, Syrian Army controls of Daraa city[129] and the whole of Daraa Governorate.[148]See also: Daraa Governorate campaign, 2018 Southern Syria offensive.

Deir ez-Zor GovernorateEdit

Hama GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Hama 312,994 Hama District n  On 28 January 2012, 4 neighborhoods of Hama city were under opposition control.[156] 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.[51] On 25 April 2013, there were fights in the Tariq Halab neighbourhood[157] See also: Siege of Hama (2011), 27 May 2012 Hama Governorate clashes and 2012 Hama offensive
Masyaf 22,508 Masyaf District n  Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[51]
Mahardah 17,578 Mahardah District n  In September 2012, the government was reported in control of the town[158] On 17 December 2012, government positions in Mahardah were reportedly under attack by rebel forces.[159] In the summer 2014, Al Nusra briefly besieged the city during the 2014 Hama offensive before being beaten back.
Salamiyah 66,724 Salamiyah District n  See Salamiyah (Syrian Civil War).
Al-Suqaylabiyah 13,920 Al-Suqaylabiyah District n  On 14 October 2012, there was fierce artillery and rocket shelling from Al-Nahel checkpoint in this Christian town, targeting the town of Kirnaz[citation needed]
Suran 29,100 Hama District n  On 31 August, Jund al-Aqsa and allies captured this town on the road between Aleppo and Damascus.[160] Later, the army recaptures this town.[161][162]
Kafr Nabudah 13,513 Al-Suqaylabiyah District n  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.[163] On 8 May 2019, the Syrian army captured the town of Kafr Naboudeh in northwest Hama.[164]
Ma'an 1,561 Hama District y  On 27 December 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[165] On 7 October 2014, SOHR reported clashes in the vicinity of Ma'an.[166] During the 2016 Hama offensive rebels retake control. Army recaptures Ma'an.[167]
Qastun 6,187 Al-Suqaylabiyah District y  On 29 January 2013, it was reported that FSA was in control of the town.[168] However, The Tiger Forces of the Syrian Arab Army launched an assault of their own in the Jisr Al-Shughour District, taking control of the several villages including Qastoun, after fierce clashes with the Syrian Al-Qaeda group "Jabhat Al-Nusra" on the afternoon of Monday 27 April 2015. currently fighting is still ongoing this morning, with both sides in a deadlock for control of this town.[169]
Tremseh 6,926 Mahardah District n  The Tremseh residents are mostly Sunni Muslims.[170] 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.[171][172] 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.[173] See also: Battle of Tremseh.
Outside listed towns in Hama G. r 99%  approximately 1%
Frontlines in the Hama Governorate during the 2013 Hama offensive.     Syrian Government control      Opposition control      Contested
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.[174] 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 Hasraya, and Sheikh Hadid.[175] Rebels had advanced 40 kilometres (25 mi) south from Maarrat al-Nu'man and Jisr ash-Shugour, encountering little resistance.[176] 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[177] 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, and Hasraya.[178] 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 captured 20–23 villages, including most of the ones previously captured by the rebels. On 7 September 2013, it was reported that there were many checkpoints manned by Assad’s forces in northwestern Hama province. ISIS also controls some parts of Hama countryside.[179] See also: 2013 Hama offensive. During the middle of 2014, rebels launched an attack toward Hama City and Hama military airport. During this offensive, they seized several villages, but the Syrian military quickly launched a counter attack, reversing all rebels gains and taking new villages. As of October 2014, in Northern Hama, rebels are in control of only a few villages near the Idlib Governorate. On 5 October 2017, the Syrian army recaptured the all area which was under control Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Hama province.[180]

al-Hasakah GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History of the Syrian Civil War
Al-Hasakah 188,160 Al-Hasakah District q  See Al-Hasakah (Syrian Civil War).
Qamishli 184,231 Qamishli District q  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.[181] 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.[182] In early August 2012, it was reported that the government 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.[183] As of 18 December 2013, the governmetn controls some parts of Qamishli, including the airport, the security quarter housing the intelligence services, and the southern areas. Syrian security services move unfettered around the city and the surrounding Arab villages. In many ways, the PYD is neutral in the civil war, because they see it as a war between two evils. Even so, the YPG has sporadically skirmished with Syrian army units for control of checkpoints.[184] Syrian government retains wide control in city of Qamishli.[185] In February 2014, a Human Rights Watch official explained that the Assad forces and the government is basically present in three places in Qamishli: One is in the center so they call it kind of ‘security square.’ That also includes some Arab neighborhoods. The second is on the Turkish border at the border crossing. The third is at the airport.[186] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.
Ras al-Ayn 29,347 Ra's al-'Ayn District v   See Ras al-Ayn (Syrian Civil War).
Al-Malikiyah 26,311 Al-Malikiyah District v   See Al-Malikiyah (Syrian Civil War).
Qamishli Border Crossing Qamishli District v  By late November 2013, the border crossing between Qamishli and the Turkish city of Nusaybin was controlled by the Syrian government.[187]
Simalka Border Crossing Al-Malikiyah District v  Border crossing between towns of Simalka on Syrian side and Fish Khabur on Iraqi side was built 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 1 February 2013. Since 1991 it was used only by boats and after 2003 it was not used in order to promote Rabia land border crossing.[188]
Outside listed towns in Al-Hasakah G. q 90% 5%
Territories held by Kurdish forces, ISIL jihadists, by the Syrian Army or contested in the Al-Hasakah Province, as of 23 March 2016

On 8 January 2013, FSA took control of Tishreen oil field. Opposition sources reported that all other oil fields in the Governorate were under Syrian government control.[189] See also: 2012 Syrian Kurdistan campaign.

Homs GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Homs - Abbasiya 33,363 Homs District n 
Homs - Baba Amr 34,175 Homs District n  On 28 February 2012, reinforcements from 4th Armoured Division (Syria), directed by the Maher al-Assad, brother of the Syrian president, took positions in Homs. They managed to completely seal off the city, notably by destroying a tunnel.[190] On the morning of 29 February, the Syrian Army launched a ground assault with infantry on the rebel-held district.[191] 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.[192] On 3 July 2012, clashes raged in and around the neighborhood of Baba Amr.[193] 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.[194][195] However, the military re-secured the district and repelled the rebels two weeks later.[196]
HomsDeir Baalbah 44,795 Homs District n  In October 2012, FSA took over part of the neighborhood that has been under army control for many months. On 22 December 2012, Deir Baalbah was recaptured by Government forces, and now stands like a ghost town. The government is encouraging former inhabitants to return.[197] Activists reported that up to 200 civilians were killed in the assault.[198]
Homs - Ghouta 12,634 Homs District r  On 21 August 2012, the rebel-held district came under sustained Army shelling.
Homs - Jobar 4,242 Homs District n  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.[199]
Homs - Joret al-Shayyah 16,816 Homs District r  On 3 July 2012, the military made an attempt to storm Joret al-Shayyah.[200][201][202] 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.[203] On 7 May 2014, under the terms of the agreement between the Syrian government and rebels the government forces take over all rebels districts in Homs city and Al Waer district in western Homs city.[204] However, rebels still hold the suburb.[205]
Homs - Karm al- Shami 35,732 Homs District n 
Homs - Karm al-Zeitoun 49,132 Homs District n  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.[206]
Homs - Khaldiyeh 32,337 Homs District r  ln early July 2012, the rebel-held neighborhood came under sustained Army shelling.[201] In 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.[203] On 9 December 2012, it was reported that Khaldiyeh was still under rebel control[207]
Homs - Old City 18,907 Homs District r  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.[201][208] 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.[203] On 9 December 2012, it was reported that the Old City was still under rebel control[207] On 7 May 2014, under the terms of the agreement between the Syrian government and rebels the government forces take over all rebels districts in Homs city and Al Waer district in western Homs city.[204] However, rebels still hold the suburb.[205]
Homs - Qusour 21,534 Homs District r  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.[203] On 7 May, under the terms of the agreement between the Syrian government and rebels the government forces take over all rebels districts in Homs city and Al Waer district in western Homs city.[204] However, rebels still hold the suburb.[205]
Homs – al-Waer Homs District r  On March 2017 rebels fighters agreed with Syrian officials a withdraw from al-Waer to al-Bab in Idlib Governorate.[209]
Homs 353,184 Homs District p 
Situation in Homs as of May 2014

January 2012 saw intense fighting in the opposition stronghold of Homs, as the opposition claimed to be in control of ⅔ of the city. However, starting on 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.[206] By March 2013, the military was in control of 80 percent of the city.[210] On 7 May, under the terms of the agreement between the Syrian government and rebels the government forces take over all rebels districts in Homs city and Al Waer district in western Homs city.[204][211] See also: Siege of Homs and 2012 Homs offensive.

Al-Mukharram 6,202 Al-Mukharram District n  Al-Mukharram and the localities of its district have a significant Alawite population.[212] The government has maintained control.[51]
Palmyra 51,323 Palmyra District n  See Palmyra (Syrian Civil War).
Al-Qusayr 29,818 Al-Qusayr District n  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[51] On 10 July 2012, Al-Qusayr was completely under rebel control with the city being under siege from the surrounding countryside.[213][214] However, later, it was confirmed that government troops still held the town's main road.[215] On 5 June it was confirmed that government troops were if full control of Al-Qusayr

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

Al-Rastan 39,834 Ar-Rastan District n  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.[217] Assad’s forces regained control of the city several times, but it has kept slipping back into rebel hands.[217] Its strategic location along the road which links the capital Damascus to the north of the country[218] 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.[217] (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.[51] The two main rebel forces in the Homs area, the Khaled Ibn Walid Brigade and Farouq, both work out of Rastan[219]
Taldou 15,727 Taldou District n  See Taldou (Syrian Civil War).
Talkalakh 18,412 Talkalakh District y  On 15 May 2011, the Syrian military entered the town which is on the border with Lebanon, in a crackdown against pro-democracy protesters.[220] 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.[221][222][223] By 19 May, the military finished its operation and withdrew from Talkalakh.[224] Since June 2012, FSA has controlled some neighbourhoods of the city, however the government has retained control of loyalist and mixed neighbourhoods.[225] In late October 2012, Talkalakh was under siege by the army.[citation needed] 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.[226] 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.[227]
Abil 2,873 Homs District n  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.[228] On 18 April, the Syrian Army took control over the town of Abel[229]
Al-Buwaydah al-Sharqiyah 3,196 Al-Qusayr District r  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[230][231]

On 8 June 2013, the town was recaptured by the Syrian Army during the Al-Qusayr offensive.[232]

Al-Husn 8,980 Talkalakh District r  On 22 January 2014, heavy clashes raged in al-Hosn[233] On 20 March 2014, the Syrian troops recaptured the town of Al-Hosn close to the border.[234]
Outside listed towns in Homs G. r [235] Since June 2012, FSA has control of parts of rural Homs.[51] At the beginning of 2015 the Syrian troops controls most of Homs province.[236] At May 2018, the Syrian Army and allies regain full control of the rebel-held northern Homs pocket, including Rastan, Talbiseh, and Houla[235] See also: Northern Homs offensive (April–May 2018).

Idlib GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Idlib 98,791 Idlib District y  Additional armored and artillery units arrived outside Idlib by 11 March and began deploying into the city by 12 March. On 12 February 2012, the entire city of Idlib was under opposition control, but was preparing for an attack by the government.[237] In mid-March 2012, rebels in Idlib offered stiff resistance but could not defeat the military’s tanks and the city fell in a matter of days.[51] As of 7 June 2012, the edges of the city and the surrounding areas belong to the rebels.[238]

On 20 January 2013 a coordinated attack on Idlib city was begun by the FSA. They overran 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.[239]
Furthermore rebels could start to siege the central prison of Idlib, which holds more than 600 inmates.[240] On 28 March 2015 the rebel coalition Jaish Al-Fatah captured Idlib City. See also: 2011–2012 Idlib Governorate clashes, February 2012 Idlib Operation, Battle of Idlib and Idlib Governorate clashes (June 2012–April 2013), 2014 Idlib offensive, al-Nusra Front–SRF/Hazzm Movement conflict, Idlib Governorate clashes (January–March 2017), Idlib Governorate clashes (July 2017).

Ariha 39,501 Arihah District y  See Ariha (Syrian Civil War).
Harem 21,934 Harem District y  Harem is situated exactly on the border of Turkey. Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[51][241] In October, the FSA gained control of the town.[242] Army troops remain surrounded in the town’s citadel. On 25 December, 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.[243] In December 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant announced its entire control over Harem.[244] By January 2014, clashes were on going in the town as part of the Syrian opposition–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant conflict.
Jisr al-Shughur 39,917 Jisr ash-Shugur District n  See Jisr al-Shughur (Syrian Civil War).
Maarrat al-Nu'man 58,008 Maarat al-Numaan District y  See Maarrat al-Nu'man (Syrian Civil War).
Azmarin 3,720 Harem District y  ln June 2012, FSA was reported to have control of this town located on the border with Turkey.[51] 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.[241]
Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing Harem District y  It is a frequent place of crossing for Syrians trying to reach the refugee camp in nearby Reyhanlı.[245] Drivers complained in December 2011 that they had been stalled at the crossing for days after customs officials stopped allowing vehicles with Turkish registrations to enter Syria.[246] The crossing is a major route for smuggling, particularly oil and gas, and has seen a dramatic rise in weapons smuggling.[247] On 19 July 2012, the FSA with 200 fighters seized the border crossing and defaced images of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[248][249][250][251]

On 22 July 2012, Turkish armed forces further restricted border crossings of their own nationals.[252] Crisply dressed rebels check passports of new arrivals, enter names into computers and extend a welcome hand to "Free Syria."[3] 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.[253]
By early December 2013, fighters from the Islamic Front ousted FSA-aligned fighters from the border crossing.[254]

Binnish 21,848 Idlib District y  Binnish has been a major protest hub. On 13 October 2011, clashes were reported in the city.[255] FSA takes control in December 2011–January 2012. The Syrian Army then later assaulted Idlib city in March 2012 in a major operation. As early as 23 March, it was reported Binnish was one of their next targets.[256] Binnish is on a hill, so it is harder to assault. The Syrian Army had agreed to Kofi Annan's peace plan and to withdraw troops by 10 April. By 3 April, CNN reported the Syrian Army was assaulting Binnish with tanks and helicopters.[257] On 4 April 2012, the Syrian Army was still shelling Binnish with citizens fleeing the city.[258] In June, the government has control.[51] In November, the town was under rebel control.[259]

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[76] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[43] In January 2014, army begin operation against rebel positions in Binnish.[260]

Al-Dana 14,208 Harem District y  Since July 2012, it is under FSA control.[261] However, al-Jazeera reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant controlled entirely the town since early July 2013.[262][263] ISIS rebels withdrew from Al-Dana.[264]
See also:Syrian opposition–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant conflict.
Darkush 5,295 Jisr al-Shughur District y  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.[265] ln June 2012, FSA was reported to have control of Darkush.[51] At a later date, FSA lost control of the town. On 11 October, rebels recaptured it.[241]
Kafr Nabl 15,455 Maarat al-Numaan District y  FSA takes control in December 2011–January 2012.[266] 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.[267][268] On 30 December,

ISIS takes on Kafranbel.[269] In January 2014, the ISIS withdrew from the town following mass protests and clashes that were part of the Syrian opposition–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant conflict.

Khan Shaykhun 34,371 Maarat al-Numaan District n  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.[270] On 17 December 2012, government positions in Khan Shaykhun were reportedly under attack by rebel forces. In May 2014, it was reported that the rebels had captured most of the city with the exception of two regime-held bases (Al-Khazanat & Sallam_Checkpoints).[159] From the end of October 2014 the city is the main stronghold of Jabhat al-Nusra.[271][272] On 20 August 2019, the rebel and Islamic factions including jihadi groups like a Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have withdrawn from Khan Shaykhun in the southern countryside of Idlib completely.[273]See also: Northwestern Syria offensive (April 2019–present).
Maarrat Misrin 17,519 Idlib District y  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.[274] 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.[275] In December 2012 the FSA took control of the city.[276] By November 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was in full control of the town.[43] In early January 2014, fighting raged between ISIS and non-ISIS rebels in the Syrian opposition–Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant conflict.
Saraqib 32,495 Idlib District y  FSA takes control in December 2011–January 2012.[277] Saraqib was considered an important strategic point because of its size, being the second largest city of the Governorate, and its geographic position at the junction of two highways going to Aleppo: one going south towards Hama, Homs and Damascus, and one going west towards Latakia. It was also used as a base to launch attacks on military convoys.[278] On 24 March, eleven days after the Syrian Army took back Idlib,[279] 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.[280]

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.[281]
In July 2012, it was reported that the FSA had regained control of the city.[282]
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.[283] In January 2014, the town saw heavy clashes between ISIS and other Syrian rebel groups, but ISIS remained in control of the strategic town.[284] See also: Battle of Saraqeb.

Sarmin 14,530 Idlib District n  FSA had gained control over Sarmin. By 3 April, 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.[257][285] Sarmin’s mosque was severely damaged.[286][287] By November 2012, Sarmin was back under FSA control.[288]
Taftanaz 8,540 Idlib District y  The town has been a center for opposition protests The Battle of Taftanaz started on 3 April 2012. Heavy fighting took place on the outskirts of the town, killing 20 people.[289][290] By 5 April, the military captured Taftanaz's city center, which was defended by 200 FSA fighters, after a two-hour battle, following which the army reportedly rounded up and executed 82 people. It was unknown how many were opposition fighters and how many were civilians.[291] Witnesses in the town said that tanks shelled the town from four sides before armored cars brought in dozens of soldiers who dragged civilians from their homes and gunned them down in the streets, and they also claimed that the soldiers looted, destroyed and torched hundreds of homes, bringing some down on their owners’ heads. Videos showed this, and 62 people were killed during the attack, despite the town only having a small rebel presence. Nine government tanks were destroyed by homemade bombs as they left the town.[292] Two months after, two-thirds of the population had left. 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.[293]

In November, the town was under rebel control.[259]
On 2 January 2013, the strategic Taftanaz military airbase (which rebels have repeatedly tried to capture but failed) was attacked by rebels launching what they called "the battle to liberate Taftanaz Military airport" involving three rebel brigades.[294][295]

Outside listed towns in Idlib G. t 
By June 2012, large parts of Idlib Governorate are controlled by FSA who (along with local people), administered justice and the distribution of supplies to residents.[174] Sham Falcons (led by General Mustafa al-Sheikh) operate in Jabal al-Zawiya.[296] Eight out of the 35 villages of the Zawiya Mountain, around 25% percent, were reportedly under opposition control.[297] On 18 October 2012, Al Jazeera reported that rebels were giving classes to children in caves in Jabal al-Zawiya after the regime destroyed schools[298]

By November 2012, the FSA had taken control of 65% of the Governorate.[299]
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.[300] Al Nusra Front and a number of Islamist militias, along with a small number of FSA groups, now controlled between 70 and 80 percent of Idlib province.[301]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, April 2012 Idlib Governorate Operation, Idlib Governorate clashes (2014) and Northwestern Syria offensive (April 2019–present)

Latakia GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Latakia 383,786 Latakia District n  See Latakia (Syrian Civil War).
Al-Haffah 4,298 Al-Haffah District n  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.[302] On 12 June 2012, the military recaptured al-Haffah,[303] 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.[304][305] The rebels were reported to have retreated to Turkey.[citation needed]
Jableh 53,989 Jableh District n  Since June 2012, the government has maintained control.[51]
Qardaha 8,671 Qardaha District n  See Qardaha (Syrian Civil War).
Kesab 1,754 Latakia District y  Kesab, which has a border post, is 3 kilometers away from the Turkish border and is mainly populated by Armenians[306] with an Alawite minority. On 13 October 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.[307] Local Alawite militias continue to exercise control over the area.[308] In late December, the town was reportedly shelled by unspecified forces, but no residents were killed or injured.[309] On 24 March 2014, the Islamist rebels and their jihadist ally Al-Nusra Front seized the small city of Kasab and nearby Kasab border crossing.[310] However they were repelled and forced back by the Syrian army and allied NDF forces (including by Syrian Resistance of Ali Kayali) by the end of June 2014.
Outside listed towns in Latakia G. p 
Situation in the Latakia Governorate in December 2016     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.[51] 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.[311] 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.[312] 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.[300] See also: Latakia Governorate campaign.

Quneitra GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Quneitra 4,318 Quneitra District y  See Quneitra (Syrian Civil War).
Outside listed towns in Quneitra G. r 

As of 13 September 2014 the Syrian government has lost control of about 80 percent of towns and villages in Quneitra province.[313] In July 2018, the entire rebel-held part of Al-Quneitra province surrendered to the Syrian army and rebels begin evacuation from the Syrian south, towards the Syrian north.[314]

Raqqa GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Raqqa 220,488 Raqqa District y  [315] See Raqqa (Syrian Civil war and ISIS).
Tell Abyad 14,825 Tal Abyad District y
The Free Syrian Army took control over the city on 19 September 2012.[316][317] Tell Abyad under control Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[318] While rebels in Raqa appeared to be advancing, ISIL was fighting back in the countryside, especially in the border town of Tal Abyad, from which they were expelled earlier this week.[319] In the first weekend of January 2014, ISIS forces recaptured the town.[320] The YPG and FSA captured Tal Abyad from ISIS on 15 June 2015.
Al-Thawrah (Tabqah) 69,425 Al-Thawrah District


See Al-Thawrah (Syrian Civil War).
Outside listed towns in Raqqa G. s (Northern Raqqa)
  (several villages)
 (Southern Raqqa)[322][323]
On 1 January 2013, it was reported that a majority of Raqqa Governorate was in rebel control.[56] On 4 March 2013, FSA forces captured the provincial capital of Raqqa. While ISIS has captured the remaining SAA outposts left in Raqqa Governorate, the Tabqa (Thawra) military airbase, as well as the army bases of Division 17 near the city of Raqqa and of Brigade 93 near the town of Ayn Isa.[324] See also: Syrian Kurdistan campaign (2012–present).

as-Suwayda GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
As-Suwayda 73,641 As-Suwayda District n  See As-Suwayda (Syrian Civil War).
Salkhad 9,155 Salkhad District n  The government has maintained control of this town located in the central Jabal el Druze highlands.[51]
Shahba 13,660 Shahba District n  The government has maintained control of this town located in the Jabal el Druze.[51]
Outside listed towns in As-Suwayda G. p 

Tartus GovernorateEdit

Name Population District Held by History during the Syrian Civil War
Tartus 115,769 Tartus District n  Syrian army kept control of this Alawi stronghold and naval facility.[51]
Baniyas 41,632 Baniyas District n  See Baniyas (Syrian Civil War).
Duraykish 13,244 Dreikiche District n  Syrian army kept control of this town.[51]
Safita 20,301 Safita District n  Syrian army kept control of this town.[51]
Al-Shaykh Badr 47,982 Ash-Shaykh Badr District n  Syrian army kept control of this town.[51]
Outside listed towns in Tartus G. n  The government has maintained control of this Governorate that has an Alawi majority.[51]

See alsoEdit


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