Ayn al-Tineh

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For the village in Homs Governorate, see Ayn al-Tineh al-Gharbiyah.
Ayn al-Tineh
عين التينة
Ayn al-Tineh is located in Syria
Ayn al-Tineh
Ayn al-Tineh
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 35°33′50″N 36°6′0″E / 35.56389°N 36.10000°E / 35.56389; 36.10000Coordinates: 35°33′50″N 36°6′0″E / 35.56389°N 36.10000°E / 35.56389; 36.10000
Country  Syria
Governorate Latakia Governorate
District Al-Haffah District
Nahiyah Ayn al-Tineh
Elevation 800 m (2,625 ft)
Population (2004)
 • Total 1,333
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Ayn al-Tineh (Arabic: عين التينة‎‎, Ain al-Tineh) is a town in northwestern Syria administratively belonging to the Latakia Governorate, located east of Latakia. Nearby localities include the district center of al-Haffah to the northwest, Slinfah to the northeast, Farikah and Nabl al-Khatib to the east, Shathah to the southeast, Muzayraa to the south and al-Shir to the west. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Ayn al-Tineh had a population was 1,333 in 2004. It is the administrative center of the Ayn al-Tineh nahiyah ("subdistrict") which contains 13 localities with a collective population of 6,825.[1] Its inhabitants predominantly Alawites.[2]

It is situated on a limestone spur in the northern an-Nusayriyah Mountains,[3] with an average elevation of 800 meters above sea level.[4] Located between al-Haffah and Muzayraa, Ayn al-Tineh is separated from the two towns by wadis.[3] "Ayn al-Tineh" is also the name of a spring that flows under the nearby Citadel of Salah Ed-Din.[5]

Ayn al-Tineh was historically a fief of the Kheirbek clan, a prominent family in the Syrian security forces and part of the Kalbiyya tribal confederation.[3] According to French researcher Fabrice Balanche, Ayn al-Tineh is one of a number of villages in the coastal mountain region, like al-Tawahin, that is largely dependent on the Syrian Army and the state, finding abundant employment in the former and within the internal security services. The poverty of the village is a significant motivational factor in the high rate of employment in the security forces and the consequent backing of the ruling Assad family. This is in contrast to other impoverished Alawite villages in the region which that have historically been at odds with the prominent Alawite families and have not received the extent of benefits from state income that Ayn al-Tineh does.[6]

During the middle and end of late President Hafez al-Assad's term in the 1980s and 1990s, a hussainia (Shia Muslim congregational mosque) was founded in Ayn al-Tineh. It was the smallest one built by the al-Murtada movement, measuring 40 square meters. While during Hafez's rule the hussainias served largely for local opposition meetings, this changed when relations between Shia Muslim-majority Iran and Syria increased dramatically with the coming to power of current President Bashar al-Assad.[7]


  1. ^ General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Latakia Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. ^ Balanche, 2006, p. 88.
  3. ^ a b c Balanche, 2006, p. 177.
  4. ^ Boulanger, 1966, p. 467.
  5. ^ Boulanger, 1966, p. 458.
  6. ^ Balanche, 2006, p. 180.
  7. ^ Sindawi, Khalid. The Shiite Turn in Syria. Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World. Hudson Institute. 2009-06-23.