List of massacres in Ottoman Syria

The following is the List of massacres in Ottoman Syria, mass atrocities committed during the Ottoman rule in Syrian provinces (region roughly corresponding the Levant) between 1517 and 1918.

Name Date Location Responsible Party Deaths Notes
1517 Hebron attacks 1517 Hebron Turkish soldiers Unknown Jews were attacked, beaten, and raped, and many were killed in their homes[1]
Massacre of the Telal 1517 Aleppo Turkish soldiers upon Selim I's order 9,400 [2] Fatwas issued against the Nusayris (or 'Alawites') that declared them infidels. Around 9,400 Nusayris who assembled in Aleppo were all executed.[3]
1517 Safed attacks 1517 Safed Mamluk supporters Unknown Many Jews subsequently fled the city[4]
1757 Hajj caravan raid September-October 1757 Qatraneh Bedouin highwaymen ~20,000 Hajjis killed or died of starvation/thirst
Siege of Jaffa 7 March 1799 Jaffa Napoleon's Army 2,440–4,100 Ottoman prisoners were executed on the beaches south of the town. Many of the civilian population of the town were also killed.[5]
1834 Hebron pogrom 1834 Hebron Egyptian troops Over 500 Egyptian soldiers did not distinguish between inhabitants; for three hours, troops plundered, killed, raped and maimed Hebronites both Muslim and Jewish.[6]
1834 Safed pogrom 1834 Safed Arab rioters unknown Reports detail torture and mass-rape of Jewish population[7]
Aleppo Massacre October to November 1850 Aleppo Muslim rioters 5,000[8] Attacks on Christian neighborhoods in Aleppo
1860 Druze-Maronite massacre July 9–11, 1860 Damascus Druze and Sunni Muslim paramilitary groups 25,000[9] Organized pogroms against Maronite Christians; 326 villages, 560 churches, 28 colleges, 42 convents, and 9 other religious establishments were completely destroyed
Tafas massacre September 17, 1918 Tafas Ottoman army 250 Ottoman Army perform a massacre of civilians upon retreat in order to demoralize French and British troops, as well as their allies.
Surafend affair December 10, 1918 Sarafand al-Amar ANZAC Mounted Division 50 Australian and New Zealand troops massacred the town after one of their officers was murdered by a local.

See also



  1. ^ The Solomon Goldman lectures. Spertus College of Judaica Press. 1999. p. 56. ISBN 978-0935982572. The Turks' conquest of the city in 1517, was marked by a violent pogrom of murder, rape, and plunder of Jewish homes. The surviving Jews fled to Beirut, not to return until 1533.
  2. ^ Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects. Syracuse University Press. 1987. p. 275. ISBN 0-8156-2411-5. Sultan Selim I summoned some Sunnite religious men and obtained from them a fatwa (juristic opinion) to fight the "infidel Alawis," or Shiites. It is estimated that 9,400 Shiite men assembled in Aleppo; all were maliciously murdered by the order of the Ottoman Sultan on the sanction of the Sunnite religious leader
  3. ^ "Ottoman Empire massacre against Alawites". Syrian Center for Studies. 9 May 2017. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  4. ^ Moses ben Mordecai Bassola; Avraham Daṿid (31 December 1999). In Zion and Jerusalem: the itinerary of Rabbi Moses Basola (1521–1523). C. G. Foundation Jerusalem Project Publications of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies of Bar-Ilan University. p. 62. ISBN 978-9652229267. The demographic data noted here must also be examined against the background of outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence shortly after the Ottoman conquest that caused many of Safed's Jews to flee the city in early 1517.
  5. ^ A Military History of Modern Egypt: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Ramadan War, Andrew James McGregor, p. 44, 2006
  6. ^ Sherman Lieber (1992). Mystics and missionaries: the Jews in Palestine, 1799–1840. University of Utah Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0874803914. During a ferocious onslaught of three hours, Ibrahim Pasha allowed his troops to slaughter Muslims, plunder the population, and defile the women. When Muslims sought safety in the Jewish quarter of Hebron, the soldiers pursued them, indiscriminately killing and looting all in their path.
  7. ^ Martin Sicker (1999). Reshaping Palestine: from Muhammad Ali to the British Mandate, 1831–1922. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 13. ISBN 978-0275966393. However, the insurrection soon lost its original purpose and turned into bloody rioting and excesses directed against the Jewish population. Arab villagers joined with the townspeople to attack the Jews, raping, looting and destroying synagogues. The rioting was most severe in Safed, where assaults and vandalism forced many Jews to flee to safety amount the friendly Arabs of the nearby village of Ein Zetim. Others were afraid to remain in the remote area and decided to relocate to Jerusalem. During the course of the disturbances, some 500 Torah scrolls were destroyed in Safed alone. The rioting continued for thirty-three days, until a contingent of Druse troops from Ibrahim's army arrived to restore order. The governor of Safed and thirteen of the ringleaders were taken captive, summarily tried, and put to death.
  8. ^ Eldem, Edhem; Goffman, Daniel; Masters, Bruce (1999). The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, Izmir, and Istanbul. Cambridge University Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0521643047. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  9. ^ Shaw, Ezel Kural. History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, Volume 2, Cambridge University Press, 1977