Raqqa Governorate (Arabic: مُحافظة الرقة, romanizedMuḥāfaẓat 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.[2] 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.[3] 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,[4] 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,[5][6] and the capture of many oil fields in Ar-Raqqah province, including various oil and gas stations.[7][8]

مُحافظة الرقة
Map of Syria with Raqqa highlighted
Map of Syria with Raqqa highlighted
Coordinates (Raqqa): 36°00′N 38°54′E / 36°N 38.9°E / 36; 38.9
Country Syria
Manatiq (Districts)3
 • GovernorAbdul-Razzaq Khalifa[1]
 • Total19,618 km2 (7,575 sq mi)
 • Total944,000
 • Density48/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeSY-RA

History Edit

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.[9]

Syrian Civil War (2011-present) Edit

As of 19 September 2012, the town of Tal Abyad, directly across the border from the Turkish town of Akçakale, was already under rebel control[which?].[10][11]

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.[12][13]

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.[14]

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.

Geography Edit

Settlements Edit

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.

Districts Edit

The governorate is divided into three districts (manatiq). The districts are further divided into ten sub-districts (nawahi):[citation needed]

Demographics Edit

As per the 2004 Syrian census the population was 793,500.[2] A 2011 UNOCHA estimate put the population at 944,000, though this has likely changed since the start of the war.[15]

References Edit

  1. ^ "President al-Assad issues decrees on appointing new governors for five Syrian provinces". 26 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Syria Provinces". www.statoids.com.
  3. ^ "Assad no longer main threat in Syria - DW - 23.08.2014". DW.COM. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. ^ Pollard, Ruth (13 March 2015). "Kurds unite to build Kurdistan in defiance of Islamic State". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Syrian government forces liberate Rusafa town in southwest Raqqa". 19 June 2017.
  6. ^ "After the International Coalition downs a warplane over it, the regime forces take control of Al-Resafa city". 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "ISIL's oil trade takes big hit as Syrian Army troops advance in southern Raqqa". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  8. ^ "Breaking: Syrian Army liberates new oil field in southern Raqqa". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 2017-07-16. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  9. ^ "الاستعاضة عن اسم محافظة الرشيد باسم محافظة الرقة". parliament.gov.sy (in Arabic).
  10. ^ Barnard, Anne (2012-10-07). "Rebels Clash With Syrian Security Forces Near Lebanon". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "WRAPUP 3-Syrian rebels extend grip on Turkish border". Reuters. 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
  12. ^ Saad, Hwaida; Gladstone, Rick (2013-02-11). "Syrian Insurgents Claim to Control Large Hydropower Dam". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Syrian rebels advance toward Aleppo airport - U.S. News & World Report". Usnews.com. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  14. ^ Mariam Karouny (4 September 2014). "In northeast Syria, Islamic State builds a government". Reuters.
  15. ^ Syrian Arab Republic - Governorates profile (PDF), UNOCHA, June 2014, retrieved 20 March 2020

External links Edit

  • eraqqa The First Complete website for Raqqa news and services