Al-Hirak, Syria

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al-Hirak is located in Syria
Coordinates: 32°45′4″N 36°18′19″E / 32.75111°N 36.30528°E / 32.75111; 36.30528
Country  Syria
Governorate Daraa Governorate
District Izra' District
Nahiyah Al-Hirak
Population (2004 census)[1]
 • Total 20,760
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Hirak (Arabic: الحراك‎, also spelled al-Hrak or Herak) is a small city in southern Syria, administratively belonging to the Izra' District of the Daraa Governorate. It is situated about 40 kilometers northeast of Daraa, and is surrounded by the towns of Maliha al-Gharbiyah to the east and Izra' to the northeast. In the 2004 census by the Central Bureau of Statistics, al-Hirak had a population of 20,760.[1] Its inhabitants are predominantly Sunni Muslims.[2]

Syrian civil war[edit]

During the Syrian civil war, al-Hirak has served as a base for the opposition militants if the Free Syrian Army (FSA). On 6 March 2012, the town was severely damaged during clashes between the Syrian Army and the FSA militants, a fighting that was described by the United Kingdom-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as "very intense." Residential areas and the Abu Bakr al-Saddiq Mosque -serving as military base for the militants- were reportedly hit by Syrian Army shells.[3] During the battle, the FSA ambushed a Syrian Army armored carrier, killing five soldiers. A 15-year old boy was reported to be killed after being allegedly shot by a government sniper.[4] "Mosque al-Herak" is named on the Global Heritage Fund listing of damages to Syrian cultural heritage due to the military operations.[5] In July of 2012, about 4,000 residents living in Southern neighborhood of Al-Hirak fled to neighboring cities in Syria or Jordan. [6]