Raqqa Governorate (Arabic: مُحافظة الرقة, romanized: Muḥāfaẓat ar-Raqqah) is one of the fourteen governorates of Syria. It is situated in the north of the country and covers an area of 19,618 km2. The capital is Raqqa. The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant claimed full control of this province as of August 24, 2014 when its fighters captured Tabqa Airbase in the southwest part of the province. However, the Syrian Democratic Forces now control much of the province; all of the area north of the Euphrates River including the provincial capital of Raqqa and the city of al-Thawrah are under SDF control, with the government holding the southern part of the governorate after a successful offensive was launched with the aid of Liwa al-Quds, tribal militias and Russian air support, which resulted in the recapture of the city of Resafa, and the capture of many oil fields in Ar-Raqqah province, including various oil and gas stations.
|• Governor||Abdul-Razzaq Khalifa|
|• Total||19,618 km2 (7,575 sq mi)|
|• Density||48/km2 (120/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||SY-RA|
Modern Syria (1946–2011) Edit
On November 17, 1957, during the presidency of Shukri al-Quwatli, Al-Rashid Governorate, named after Harun al-Rashid, was carved out from the adjacent Deir ez-Zor Governorate. Subsequently, on January 1, 1970, the Governorate's name was changed to Raqqa Governorate.
Syrian Civil War (2011-present) Edit
On 11 February 2013, Syrian rebels, including al-Nusra fighters, took control of the Tabqa Dam, and Tabqa city, according to SOHR and videos posted by rebels. Tabqa Dam, on the Euphrates river, is the largest hydroelectric dam in Syria and provides electricity to many areas, including Aleppo. Tabqa is also known as Thawrah.
As of September 2014, governance has been fully reestablished with previous personnel who pledge allegiance to the new regime. Only the police and soldiers are ISIL fighters, who receive confiscated lodging previously[dubious ] owned by non-Sunnis and others who fled. ISIL asserts that it is providing welfare services, that it has established price controls, and that it has imposed taxes on the wealthy. The Raqqa Dam continued to provide electricity and water. The exportation of oil brought in tens of millions of dollars.
As of July 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces occupy the majority of the province, including the city of Raqqa, which they have captured from ISIL following a months-long siege. A few months before the capture of Raqqa, the Syrian government launched the Southern Raqqa offensive, which cleared southern Raqqa and southeastern Aleppo from ISIL militants. With the south part of the governorate under government control and the northern part under Rojava, the governorate has been fully cleared from ISIL.
Raqqa is the provincial capital; other major settlements include Abu Hamad, Abu Susah, Al Hawrah, Al Qaltah, Al-Sabkhah, Al-Thawrah, Ar Ruhayyat, Ar Rusafah, Ath Thadyayn, Bash Dulki, Dulq Maghar, Fatsat ath Thayb, Hamrat Nasir, Jubb al Abyad, Kasrat Muraybit, Ma'adan, Matir, Nasiriyah, Suluk and Tell Abyad.
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