Collage of Al-Hasakah
|Population (2004 census)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||+3 (UTC)|
Al-Hasakah (Arabic: الحسكة Al Ḥasaka, Kurdish: Hesîçe, Syriac: ܚܣܟܗ), also known as Hassake, is the capital city of the Al-Hasakah Governorate and is located in the far north-east corner of Syria. With a population of 188,160 residents, Al-Hasakah is among the 10 largest cities in Syria and the largest in the governorate. Hasakah has mixed population with the majority being Assyrians/Syriacs and Kurds with smaller groups of Arabs and Armenians. The Khabur River runs through Al-Hasakah and the rest of the governorate.
Al-Hasakah is 80 km south of the Turkish border-city of Qamishli. The Khabur River, a tributary of the Euphrates River flows through the city, downriver from Ras al-Ayn, another Turkish border-town. The Jaghjagh River flows into the Khabur River at Al-Hasakah.
Al-Hasakah is surrounded by several prehistoric settlement mounds. The best known are Tell Brak, 45 kilometers north-east and Tell Knedig, 20 kilometers to the south.
In Ottoman times the town was insignificant. Today's settlement was established in April 1922 by a French military post. After the expulsion and genocide of the Armenians in the then Ottoman Empire many refugees fled to the city and began to develop it in the 1920s. During the French mandate period, Assyrians, fleeing ethnic cleanings in Iraq during the Simele massacre, established numerous villages along the Khabur River during the 1930s. French troops were stationed on the Citadel Hill during that time. In 1942 there were 7,835 inhabitants in al-Hasakah, several schools, two churches and a gas station. The new city grew from the 1950s to the administrative center of the region. The economic boom of the cities Qamishli and al-Hasakah was a result of the irrigation projects started in the 1960s which transformed the Northeast of Syria into the main cotton-growing area. The 1970s brought oil production from the oil fields of Qara Shuk and Rumaylan in the extreme northeast.
In 2007-2008, Syrian archaeologists excavated the 2.5-acre citadel hill in the city center. They found a layer of mud-brick walls dating to the Neo-Assyrian period of the 11th to the 8th century BCE, and the remains of a Byzantine church dating from the 5th century. In the overlying layers they found traces of settlement from the early Islamic period.
Syrian Civil War
In 2004 the population was 188,160. The population consists mostly of Kurds and Assyrians/Syriacs and a smaller number of Arabs and Armenians. There are at least four large church buildings in the city as a visible sign of a large number of Christians of various Christian rites.