Al-Safsafah, Tartus

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Al-Safsafah is located in Syria
Coordinates: 34°44′7″N 36°3′10″E / 34.73528°N 36.05278°E / 34.73528; 36.05278
Country  Syria
Governorate Tartus
District Tartus
Subdistrict Al-Safsafah
Population (2004)[1]
 • Total 6,011
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Safsafah (Arabic: الصفصافة‎‎) is a town in northwestern Syria, administratively part of the Tartus Governorate, located southeast of Tartus and 13 kilometers north of the border with Lebanon. Nearby localities include Ayn al-Zibdeh and Kafr Fo to the southeast, al-Tulay'i to the east, Buwaydet al-Suwayqat to the northeast, Beit al-Shaykh Yunes to the north, Ayn al-Zarqa to the northwest and al-Hamidiyah to the west. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, al-Safsafah had a population of 6,011 in the 2004 census. It is the administrative center of the al-Safsafah nahiyah ("sub-district") which contained 19 localities with a collective population of 23,416 in 2004.[1] The inhabitants are predominantly Alawites.[2]


One of the principle families of the town are the Abbas family. They formerly served as aghawat ("local military leaders") during the Ottoman era.[2]

The al-Safsafah subdistrict was detached from the Safita District and transferred to the Tartus District in 1970. During the presidency of Hafez al-Assad (1970-2000), al-Safsafah and the coastal subdistrict center of al-Hamidiyah competed for the role of capital in a newly planned mantiqah ("district") consisting of the Akkar plain of Syria. The initial recommendation by Ministry of Environment, supported by a United Nations development team, was al-Hamidiyah. The town was larger, better equipped with civil service infrastructure and had been slated to be the third international port of Syria. However, it was a largely Sunni Muslim town and possessed little political weight and thus it was less likely for its position as district capital to be approved by the power structure. Al-Safsafah, on the other hand, although smaller and possessing only basic infrastructure, was better connected with the government. Although no new district has yet been created, in 1994 a branch of the Agricultural Bank of Syria was opened in al-Safsafah, which is normally reserved for district capitals.[2]


  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004[permanent dead link]. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Tartus Governorate. (in Arabic)
  2. ^ a b c Balanche, Fabrice (2006). La région alaouite et le pouvoir syrien (PDF) (in French). Karthala Editions. ISBN 2845868189.