Harem, Syria

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Harem
حارم
Harem is located in Syria
Harem
Harem
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 36°12′N 36°31′E / 36.200°N 36.517°E / 36.200; 36.517
Country  Syria
Governorate Idlib
District Harem
Subdistrict Harem
Elevation 175 m (574 ft)
Population (2008)
 • Total 21,934

Harem or Harim (Arabic: حارم‎) is a Syrian city within the Idlib Governorate. It has an altitude of 160 meters and a population of 21,934. Harem is situated on the border of Turkey, 55 km west of Aleppo.[1]

History[edit]

There is an important castle in Harem which has been built in a unique military style. The city lies along the route between Antioch and Aleppo, and has been around since the Byzantine era. The castle was originally Byzantine and was built by Nicephorus shortly after 959, it then fell to the Arabs and then to the Seljuk Turks.

In 1097 it was taken by the Crusaders, who kept it for the next forty years, except for a short time in 1098 when it was taken by the Muslim Arabs. After Nur al-Din's victory over Raymond of Poitiers at the Battle of Inab, the castle fell to Muslim forces in 1149.[2] It was taken back by the Crusaders under Baldwin III in 1158.[3] However, Nur al-Din besieged the castle once more in 1164. When the Crusaders attempted to relieve the siege, Nur al-Din defeated them decisively at the Battle of Harim, capturing many of the Christian leadership including Raymond III of Tripoli, Bohemond III of Antioch, Hugh VIII of Lusignan, and Joscelin III of Edessa.[4] After this, the castle remained in Muslim hands for the remainder of the Crusader period, though Count Philip I of Flanders unsuccessfully attempted to recapture it one last time during his pilgrimage to the east in 1177.[5]

When the Mongols invaded in the 13th century, much of Harem was destroyed including its castle. What is left of the castle dates back to the Muslim - Crusader battles between 1164 and 1268. The crusader castle was rebuilt by the son of Saladin, Malik Al Zaher Ghazi.[6] As part of the Syrian Civil War, Syrian rebels have taken complete control of the town.

Syrian Civil War[edit]

During the Syrian Civil War, the town remained loyal to the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad before surrendering to the Islamist militants. By late 2014, Harem had become the local headquarters for al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaeda.[7]

On 24 January 2016, Ahrar ash-Sham expelled al-Nusra Front from the Syrian town of Harem, after tensions between the two groups boiled over. Subsequent clashes erupted in the nearby town of Salqin.[8]

Climate[edit]

Due to Harem's location being very close to Aleppo, the climate is very similar. Below is the climate table for Aleppo, because there is no climate data concerning Harem.

Climate data for Harem
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 10
(50)
13
(55)
18
(64)
24
(75)
29
(84)
34
(93)
36
(97)
36
(97)
33
(91)
27
(81)
19
(66)
12
(54)
24.3
(75.6)
Average low °C (°F) 1
(34)
3
(37)
4
(39)
9
(48)
13
(55)
17
(63)
21
(70)
21
(70)
16
(61)
12
(54)
7
(45)
3
(37)
10.6
(51.1)
Average rainy days 11 10 7 4 2 0 0 0 0 4 8 10 56
Mean monthly sunshine hours 124 168 217 240 341 390 403 372 330 279 210 124 3,198
Source: BBC Weather [9]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 36°12′N 36°31′E / 36.200°N 36.517°E / 36.200; 36.517