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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
Elevation 300 m (1,000 ft)
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, Turkish: Haseke ), also known as Al-Hasakeh, Al-Kasaka or simply Hasakah, is the capital city of the Al-Hasakah Governorate and it is located in the far northeastern corner of Syria.[2] With a population of 188,160 residents in 2004, Al-Hasakah is among the ten 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 has an ethnically diverse population of Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians and a smaller number of Armenians.[3][4] The Khabur River runs through Al-Hasakah and the rest of the governorate. As a preliminary result of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, Al-Hasakah today is situated in Jazira Canton within the autonomous Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava framework.

Al-Hasakah is 80 kilometres (50 miles) 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 border town. The Jaghjagh River flows into the Khabur River at Al-Hasakah.


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.[5] Another possibility is that it was the site of the ancient Aramean city of Magarisu, mentioned by the Assyrian king Ashur-bel-kala who fought the Arameans near the city.[6] The etymology of Magarisu is Aramaic (from the root mgrys) and means "pasture land".[7] The city was the capital of the Aramean state of Bit-Yahiri invaded by Assyrian kings Tukulti-Ninurta II and Ashurnasirpal II.[8]

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.[9] A period of 1500 years separated between the Middle-Assyrian level and the Byzantine level.[10]

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: Rojava and Jazira Canton

On 26 January 2011, in one of the first events of the uprising,[11] Hasan Ali Akleh from Al-Hasakah poured gasoline on himself and set himself on fire, in the same way Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi had in Tunis on 17 December 2010. According to eyewitnesses, the action was "a protest against the Syrian government".[12][13] In 2012, Al-Hasakah which has a large Kurdish population, began witnessing protests of several thousand people against the Syrian government, which responded with tanks and fired upon the protesters.[14] From 2013, the militia associated with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the People's Protection Units (YPG), controlled Kurdish districts and government Arab districts. There were also clashes in the city between an Arab insurgent group and the YPG.

In the Battle of Hasakah during summer 2015, the Syrian Government lost large areas of control of the city to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which were then captured by the People's Protection Units (YPG). Afterwards, some 75% of Hasakah and all surrounding countryside were under the administration of the Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava, while only some inner city quarters were controlled by the Syrian Government.[15][16][17] On 1 August 2016 the Syrian Democratic Council opened a public office in Al-Hasakah.[18]

On 16 August 2016, the Battle of al-Hasakah (2016) started, with Rojava-associated forces taking control of the remaining areas held by Assad loyalists.[19] On 23 August 2016 an agreement between YPG and Syrian Army let Al-Hasakah be freed completely from Syrian Government forces.[20][21] Al-Hasakah since is self-administered within Jazira Canton in the framework of the de facto autonomous Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava.[22][23]

Hasakah Security Box[edit]

The Hasakah Security Box is a Syrian government enclave within al-Hasakah, established in August 2016.[24] It contains the prison, immigration office, mayor's palace, police headquarters, and local army command center.[24][25][26]

Following the second battle for the city in 2015, the Syrian government controlled 25% of the city while Rojava controlled 75%. On August 16, 2016, a small skirmish erupted into the third Battle of al-Hasakah between the Syrian government and Rojava for al-Hasakah. After a week-long battle, Rojava secured control over 95% of the city.[27]

Russia mediated a ceasefire that was put into place on August 23, 2016.[28] The Syrian Armed Forces and the NDF were expelled from the city and barred from ever returning. Only civilian police officers and interior ministry forces were allowed to return to the Security Box to protect the government's department buildings.


Al-Hasakah has a semi-arid climate (BSh) with very hot dry summers and cool wet winters.

Climate data for Al-Hasakah
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11.3
Average low °C (°F) 1.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 66
Source: [29]



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 city's population was 188,160. Al-Hasakah has an ethnically diverse population of Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians and a smaller number of Armenians.[3][4]

The United Nations estimates that violence related to the Syrian Civil War has displaced up to 120,000 people.[30]


There are more than forty mosques in the city, as well as at least nine church buildings, serving a large number of Christians of various rites. The cathedral of the Assumption of Mary is the episcopal see of the non-metropolitan Syriac Catholic Archeparchy of Al Hasakah-Nisibis, which depends directly on the Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch.


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.[31]

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: UN OCHA. "2004 Census Data". Humanitarian Data Exchange. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Al-Kasaka, Syrian Arab Republic :: city code...". Phone Area Code and Dialing. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Kurds Assert Control of Hasakah: The Battle for Rojava (Dispatch 3)". VICE News. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b IS fighters stage surprise attack on key Syrian border town, The Associated Press, Yahoo News
  5. ^ Hartmut Kühne (2010). Dūr-Katlimmu 2008 and Beyond. p. 41. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ American University of Beirut (1984). Land tenure and social transformation in the Middle East. p. 5. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "انهاء أعمال التنقيب في "تل الحسكة" الأثري". 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "أخيراً نطق تل "الحسكة" الأثري". 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "أبرز محطات الثورة السورية خلال الأيام الماضية.wmv". Al Jazeera. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Information on the death of a young man who burned himself in Al Hasakah". Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Syrian suicider is "Hasan Ali Akleh". Damascus has banned a demonstration in support of Egypt". Middle East Transparent. Retrieved 30 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Syrian police open fire on Kurdish rally". The News. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "IS-extremisten rukken op in Syrië". Nieuwsblad. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Halabi, Alaa (24 June 2014). "Hasakah residents fear ISIS rally in east Syria". al-Safir. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Inauguration of the 1st MSD office". Hawar News Agency. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  19. ^ "Syria: YPG launches assault to take all of Hasaka". Al Jazeera. 24 August 2016. 
  20. ^ "Agreement to halt fighting in Hasaka enforced at 14:00 p.m". 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "'I am here': New census in northern Syria seeks to document unregistered Syrian Kurds". Syria:direct. 29 September 2016. 
  23. ^ "Syrian regime supporters protest against Rojavan federalism in Hasakah". ARA News. 2 October 2016. 
  24. ^ a b Izat Charkatli (August 23, 2016). "New deal reached for Hasakah in Hmeimim Base". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  25. ^ Rodi Said; Tom Perry (23 August 2016). "Syria Kurds win battle with government, Turkey mobilizes against them". Reuters. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  26. ^ Ralph Ellis (August 23, 2016). "Syrian military, Kurdish fighters reach ceasefire in Hasaka". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  27. ^ Wladimir van Wilgenburg (August 24, 2016). "Kurds triumph in battle against Syrian regime". ARA News. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  28. ^ Qehreman Miste (August 24, 2016). "Hasakah: Truce reached between Syrian regime, Kurds after Russian mediation". ARA News. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Climate statistics for Al-Hasakah". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  30. ^ "Kurds secure Syria's Kobani as Islamic State targets northeast". Reuters. 28 Jun 2015. 
  31. ^ Al-Hasakah subdistrict population 2004 census