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al-Hasakah is located in Syria
Location of al-Hasakah in Syria
Coordinates: 36°30′42″N 40°44′32″E / 36.5117°N 40.7422°E / 36.5117; 40.7422Coordinates: 36°30′42″N 40°44′32″E / 36.5117°N 40.7422°E / 36.5117; 40.7422
Country  Syria
Governorate al-Hasakah
District al-Hasakah
Subdistrict al-Hasakah
Population (2004)[1] 188,160
 • Metro 251,570
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Area code +963 52
Geocode C4360

Al-Hasakah (Arabic: الحسكة‎, Kurdish: Hesîçe‎, Syriac: ܚܣܟܗ), also known as Al-Hasakeh, is the capital city of the Al-Hasakah Governorate and it is located in the far north-eastern corner of Syria. With a population of 188,160 residents in 2004, Al-Hasakah is among the 10 largest cities in Syria and the largest in the governorate. It is the administrative center of a nahiyah ("subdistrict") consisting of 108 localities with a combined population of 251,570 in 2004.[1] Al-Hasakah is a predominantly Kurdish city with a mixed population of Kurds and Arabs and in addition to a significant minority of Assyrians and a smaller number of Armenians.[2] The Khabur River runs through Al-Hasakah and the rest of the governorate.


Excavations in 2007 on Citadel Hill. The barracks from the French Mandate, battalion Levant is in the background

In the city centre, an ancient tell is identified by Dominique Charpin as the location of the city of Qirdahat.[3] Another possibility is that it was the sight of the ancient Aramean city of Magarisu, mentioned by the Assyrian king Ashur-bel-kala who fought the Arameans near the city.[4] The etymology of Magarisu is Aramaic (from the root mgrys) and means "pasture land".[5] The city was the capital of the Aramean state of Bit-Yahiri invaded by Assyrian kings Tukulti-Ninurta II and Ashurnasirpal II.[6]

Excavations in the tell discovered materials dating to the Middle-Assyrian, Byzantine and Islamic eras. The last level of occupation ended in the fifteenth century.[7] A period of 1500 years separated between the Middle-Assyrian level and the Byzantine level.[8]

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 cleansings 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 of Qamishli and al-Hasakah was a result of the irrigation projects started in the 1960s which transformed Northeast 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.

Syrian Civil War[edit]

See also Al-Hasakah offensive (February–March 2015), Al-Hasakah offensive (May 2015), Battle of Al-Hasakah (June–August 2015)

Hasakah is currently under mixed control by forces from Kurdish militias and the allied MFS and Sutoro, which control some 75% of the city. The rest is controlled by the Syrian Government, who lost large areas of control of the city to ISIS during the Battle of Hasakah, which were then captured by the YPG.[9][10][11]

The United Nations estimates that violence has displaced up to 120,000 people.[12]


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.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1942 7,835 —    
1981 73,426 +837.2%
1994 119,798 +63.2%
2004 188,160 +57.1%

In 2004 the population was 188,160. The population consists mostly of Arabs and Kurds in addition to a significant number of Assyrians and a smaller number of Armenians. There are at least nine church buildings in the city, proof of a large number of Christians of various rites. Although by contrast, there are more than forty mosques in the city. If a population ratio was made based on that, the city would be around 80% Muslim and 20% Christian.


The city of Al-Hasakah is divided into 5 districts, which are Al-Madinah, Al-Aziziyah, Ghuwayran, Al-Nasra and Al-Nashwa. These districts, in turn, are divided into 29 neighborhoods.[13]

English Name Arabic Name Population Neighborhoods (Population)
Al-Madinah المدينة 30,436 Al-Matar al-Shamali (9,396), Center / Al-Wista (6,067), Municipal Stadium / Al-Malaab al-Baladi (5,802), Al-Matar al-Janoubi (4,714), Al-Askari (4,457)
Al-Aziziyah العزيزية 56,123 Al-Salehiyah (21,319), Al-Ghazal (11,199), National Hospital / Al-Mashfa al-Watani (11,108), Al-Talaia (4,883), Abou Amshah (4,435), Al-Mufti (3,179)
Ghuwayran غويران 34,191 Sports City / Al-Madinah al-Riyadiyah (8,418), Al-Thawra (8,180), Al-Taqaddum (7,623), 16 Tishreen (5,595), Al-Zuhour (3,367), Abou Bakr (1,008)
Al-Nasra الناصرة 42,070 Tell Hajjar (10,343), Al-Kallasah (9,721), Al-Meshirfah (8,074), Al-Qusour (7,672), Al-Beitra (2,423), Al-Mashtal (2,306), Al-Maaishiyah (1,531)
Al-Nashwa النشوة 25,340 Al-Rasafah (12,618), Al-Masaken (4,968), Al-Khabour (3,805), Al-Liliyah (2,977), Villas / Al-Villat (972)


Al-Jazeera SC Hasakah is the largest football club in the city and plays at Bassel al-Assad Stadium.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2004 Census Data for Nahiya al-Hasakah" (in Arabic). Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 October 2015.  Also available in English: "2004 Census Data". UN OCHA. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  2. ^ IS fighters stage surprise attack on key Syrian border town, The Associated Press, Yahoo News
  3. ^ Hartmut Kühne (2010). Dūr-Katlimmu 2008 and Beyond. p. 41. 
  4. ^ Trevor Bryce (2009). The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia: The Near East from the Early Bronze Age to the fall of the Persian Empire. p. 439. 
  5. ^ American University of Beirut (1984). Land tenure and social transformation in the Middle East. p. 5. 
  6. ^ Antti Laato (1997). A Star is Rising: The Historical Development of the Old Testament Royal Ideology and the Rise of the Jewish Messianic Expectations. p. 107. 
  7. ^ "انهاء أعمال التنقيب في "تل الحسكة" الأثري". 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "أخيراً نطق تل "الحسكة" الأثري". 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "IS-extremisten rukken op in Syrië". Nieuwsblad. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Halabi, Alaa (24 June 2014). "Hasakah residents fear ISIS rally in east Syria". al-Safir. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Kurds secure Syria's Kobani as Islamic State targets northeast". Reuters. 28 Jun 2015. 
  13. ^ Al-Hasakah subdistrict population 2004 census