Al-Harra, Syria

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El Hara[1]
al-Harra is located in Syria
Coordinates: 33°3′N 36°0′E / 33.050°N 36.000°E / 33.050; 36.000
Country  Syria
Governorate Daraa Governorate
District Al-Sanamayn District
Nahiyah Al-Sanamayn
Elevation 950 m (3,120 ft)
Population (2004 census)[2]
 • Total 17,172
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Harra (Arabic: الحارة‎ or (Turkish: El Hara,[1] Arabic: برق‎, translit. al-Hārrāh), also spelled Khirbet al-Harra; translation: "the Hot") is a town administratively belonging to the al-Sanamayn District of the Daraa Governorate in southern Syria. Situated in the Hauran plain, it is 37 kilometers (23 mi) north of Daraa, just west of Beer Ajam and the Golan Heights, northwest of Jassem, west of al-Sanamayn and southwest of Kafr Shams. In the 2004 census by the Central Bureau of Statistics, al-Harra had a population of 17,172.[2]


In 1596 Al-Harra appeared in the Ottoman tax registers under the name of Han, situated in the nahiya of Jaydur in the Qada of Hauran. It had an entirely Muslim population consisting of 50 households and 25 bachelors. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, goats and bee-hives; in addition to occasional revenues. Their total tax was 36,638 akçe, with half of it going to a waqf.[3]

In the 1870s Gottlieb Schumacher visited al-Harra and reported that except for two small Damascus-born Arab Christian families, the town's population of 500 was entirely Muslim. The inhabitants were fellahin originally from the nearby towns of Jasim and Zimrin who settled among the nomadic Bedouins of the area. Many of the latter continued to graze their fields in al-Harra. The 126 residences in the village consisted mostly of stone-built huts. The village itself was built around the eastern section of a small volcanic crater in the southeastern base of the Harrat ash-Shamah (Tell al-Harra) elevation. At the time, the property of al-Harra was owned by Selim Freige of Beirut and its farmland was administered by Yusuf Effendi Mansur Hatim on Freige's behalf. The PEF found ancient building stones resembling other Byzantine-era artifacts in the Hauran region just outside the town's congregational mosque and used in the local store.[4]

2011 Syrian uprising[edit]

Some of al-Harra's residents have participated in protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad during the ongoing 2011-2012 Syrian uprising. The opposition-aligned National Organisation for Human Rights in Syria reported 13 people were killed by the Syrian Army during a tank shelling on al-Harra on 12 May 2011.[5] Later, on 30 August three demonstrators, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed by government forces in al-Harra as they dispersed a protest there according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria.[6]

Syrian Civil War[edit]

On 10 August 2013, the Syrian Army seized the town, formerly under opposition control. They freed prisoners held by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and captured weapons and munitions, following their victory. The army reportedly found an almost empty village upon their arrival, since the vast majority of the residents had left their houses due to the ongoing military operations.[7] Al-Harra was captured by Syrian rebels during the Daraa offensive in October 2014. They also captured Tel Al-Harra, the hill adjacent to the town and the site of the Center C, a joint Syrian–Russian signals intelligence listening post.


  1. ^ a b Günümüzde Suriye Türkmenleri (in Turkish)Suriye’de Değişimin Ortaya Çıkardığı Toplum: Suriye Türkmenleri, p. 21 ORSAM Rapor № 83. ORSAM – Ortadoğu Türkmenleri Programı Rapor № 14. Ankara — November 2011, 33 pages.
  2. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004 Archived 2012-12-20 at Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Daraa Governorate. (in Arabic)
  3. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 207
  4. ^ Schumacher, 1897, pp.190-191.
  5. ^ Deaths reported as tanks shell Syrian cities. Al Jazeera English. 2011-05-12.
  6. ^ Syrian troops 'fire on Eid demonstrators'. BBC. 2011-08-30.
  7. ^ Syria: Harra falls as Syrian army continues advance RT, 11 August 2013


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