Deir ez-Zor Governorate

Coordinates: 35°20′10″N 40°08′42″E / 35.336°N 40.145°E / 35.336; 40.145
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Deir ez-Zor Governorate
مُحافظة دير الزور
Map of Syria with Deir ez-Zor Governorate highlighted
Map of Syria with Deir ez-Zor Governorate highlighted
Coordinates (Deir ez-Zor): 35°20′10″N 40°08′42″E / 35.336°N 40.145°E / 35.336; 40.145
Country Syria
CapitalDeir ez-Zor
Manatiq (Districts)3
 • GovernorFadil Najjar[1]
 • Total33,060 km2 (12,760 sq mi)
 • Total1,239,000
 • Density37/km2 (97/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
ISO 3166 codeSY-DY
Main language(s)Arabic

Deir ez-Zor Governorate (Arabic: مُحافظة دير الزور / ALA-LC: Muḥāfaẓat Dayr az-Zawr) is one of the fourteen governorates (provinces) of Syria. It is situated in eastern Syria, bordering Iraq. It has an area of 33,060 km2 (12,760 sq mi) and a population of 1,239,000 (2011 estimate).[2] The capital is Deir ez-Zor. It is divided roughly equally from northwest to southeast by the Euphrates. Most of the territory on the river's left (northwest) bank is part of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, while that on the right (southeast) bank is controlled by the Syrian government.


The governorate is divided into three districts (manatiq). The districts are further divided into 14 sub-districts (nawahi):


On 6 September 2007 Israel attacked and destroyed a facility in the governorate that Israel claimed was a nuclear site[3][4][5] in Operation Outside the Box. The complex was suspected of holding nuclear materials from North Korea.[6] In 2011, the IAEA confirmed it had been a nuclear weapons site.[7]

Syrian Civil War[edit]

In the course of Syrian Civil War, as the Syrian Army has concentrated its forces on wresting back control of Aleppo, rebels have slowly gained ground in the eastern tribal heartland, aiming to control the country's 200,000 barrel-a-day oil output.[8] In August 2012, units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) targeted the remaining isolated outposts of the Syrian Army forces in north-east Syria, where the FSA controls all the main roads. There were said to be only 3 Army outposts left in Deir ez-Zor province countryside and they were under attack. On November 30, 2012, Syrian troops withdrew from Omar oil field, one of the last regime positions east of Deir ez-Zor city near the Iraqi border. This meant that the rebels controlled the country's major fields. This happened after Syrian troops lost the Conoco gas reserve on November 27. The insurgents took control of an oil field for the first time on November 4 when they overran Al-Ward, the most important in the province. After also losing control of Al-Jofra field also in November, the army controlled not more than five fields, all located to the west of Deir ez-Zor city.[9] Residents in Deir ez-Zor used crude oil for heating and agriculture for lack of fuel[10] On 1 January 2013, it was reported that two thirds of Deir ez-Zor Governorate was under rebel control.[11]

Siege of Deir ez-Zor[edit]

On April 11, 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) withdrew from Abu Kamal to the T2 oil site, where a Syria-Iraq pipeline runs.[12] On 3 July, Syrian Organisation for Human Rights (SOHR) said that all towns and villages on the route from Abu Kamal to Al-Bab, passing through Raqa province, were now under ISIL control. Only the provincial capital Deir ez-Zor and the military airport were not under ISIL control. The city of Deir ez-Zor was split between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and an amalgam of rebel groups.[13] In 2014 ISIL forces massacred an estimated 900 members of the Al-Shaitat tribe in the governorate, following resistance to the group's control of the area.[14] In early 2016, the forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces entered the governorate following the Al-Shaddadi offensive. Up until October 2017, ISIL controlled all of the countryside while Syrian Government forces held out in the capital. On 14 October 2017, Russia confirmed that Al-Mayadeen was recaptured by the Syrian army amid major offensive.[citation needed] The Syrian Army fully secured the Deir ez-Zor on 3 November [15] and on 17 November 2017, ISIL surrendered the island of Hawijat Kati, bringing all areas around the city under Army control following the two-month offensive.[16] On 23 October 2017, the Syrian troops began an offensive towards Abu Kamal, being ISIL's last stronghold in the governorate. The city was captured on 19 November 2017 after changing hands three times.[17]

ISIL insurgency in Deir ez-Zor[edit]

In 2018 ISIL started insurgency in Deir ez-Zor.


Arabs constitute about 90% of the population of the governorate, a vast majority being Sunni Muslims. In the 1980s, some Arabs converted to Shia Islam whose population do not exceed 5,000. About a thousand Christians live in the governorate as well.[18]

The most significant Arab tribes are the Bu Kamal, the Shuwayt, Al-Shaitat, Bakir, Bu Kamil, Mashahda, Bu Khabour, Qaraan and Bu Hassan who all are part of the 'Egaidat confederation. Beside the 'Egaidat confederation, other tribes include the Al-Baggara, Abeed, Kul’ayeen, and Albu Saraya.[19]

Historic Sites[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "President al-Assad issues decrees on appointing new governors for five Syrian provinces". 26 October 2020.
  2. ^ "City Population: Syria". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  3. ^ IAEA: Syria tried to build nuclear reactor Associated Press Latest Update: 04.28.11, 18:10
  4. ^ Beaumont, Peter (16 September 2007). "Was Israeli raid a dry run for attack on Iran?". The Observer/The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
  5. ^ Stephens, Bret (18 September 2007). "Osirak II". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  6. ^ Mahnaimi, Uzi; Baxter, Sarah (2007-09-23). "Israelis 'Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid'". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "IAEA: Syria tried to build nuclear reactor". Ynetnews. 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2020-05-12.
  8. ^ Khaled Yacoub Oweis, "Assad's Aleppo focus allows rebel gains in Syria's east", Reuters, Aug 14, 2012
  9. ^ "Syrian troops reportedly withdrew from Omar oil field, one of the last regime positions east of Deir Ezzor". Al Jazeera. November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  10. ^ "أهالي دير الزور يستخدمون النفط الخام كوقود للتدفئة". Al Arabia. 9 December 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-03-05. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  11. ^ "سوريا - أهم المناطق التي سيطر عليها الجيش الحر عام 2012", Al Jazeera, 1 January 2013.
  12. ^ Le Point, magazine (11 April 2014). "Syrie : des rebelles islamistes repoussent un assaut djihadiste dans l'Est". Le Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  13. ^ "IS Takes Over Towns, Countryside in Oil-Rich Syria Province: NGO". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Mass Grave of 230 Tribespeople Four in Syria's Deir Ezzor: Monitoring Group". Alakhbar English. Al Akhbar. 18 December 2014. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Syria declares victory over Islamic State in Deir al-Zor". 12 April 2018.
  16. ^ "ISIS mass surrenders large Deir Ezzor island, 250+ terrorists captured". 18 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Syria army, allies retake Albu Kamal from IS: military source". 20 April 2018.
  18. ^ Awad, Ziad (2018). "Deir Al-Zor after Islamic State: Between Kurdish Self Administration and a Return of the Syrian Regime" (PDF). European University Institute. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-03. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  19. ^ "2017Deir Azzour Tribal Mapping Project". 2 October 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-10-12. Retrieved 1 August 2021.

External links[edit]

  • edeiralzor The First Complete website for Deir ez-Zor news and services