: دَيْرُ ٱلزَّوْرِ \ دَيْرُ ٱلزُّورِ
: Dayru z-Zawr / Dayru z-Zūr
; Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܙܥܘܪܬܐ,
romanized: Dayrāʾ Zəʿōrtāʾ
) is the largest city in eastern Syria
and the seventh largest in the country. Located 450 km (280 mi) to the northeast of the capital Damascus
on the banks of the Euphrates River
, Deir ez-Zor is the capital of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate
In the 2004 census, it had a population of 211,857 people.
is a common shorthand for Deir ez-Zor. In Syriac
, Zeʿūrta (ܙܥܘܪܬܐ
) means "little"; hence, Dīrā Zeʿūrta
means "small habitation
The current name, which has been extended to the surrounding region, indicates an ancient site for one of the Early Christian
secluded monasteries spread since the persecution times
and Apostolic Age
), which is Arabic (borrowed from Syriac) for "monastery", is believed to have been kept throughout the various Medieval
and modern age
, which indicates the riverbank bush, appeared only in some late Ottoman records of the Deir ez-Zor Vilayet
Many different romanizations are used, including Deir Ezzor
, Deir Al-Zor
, Dayr Al-Zawr
, Der Ezzor
, Deir Azzor
, Der Zor
, and Deirazzor
From the discoveries of Dura-Europos
, to the southeast of Deir Ezzor.
findings in Deir Ezzor indicate that the area has been inhabited since the ninth millennium BC. While the current location of the city has not always had a significant population, it was always an urban area, usually subordinate to more powerful cities, such as kingdoms like the Kingdom of Mari
, which rose in the third millennium BC.
During the third millennium BC, the Amorites
settled the area and established the kingdom of Yamhad
, one of whose urban centers was the city of Deir ez-Zor (alongside Mayadeen
, Qars, and Tarka and its capital of Aleppo
). The city didn't suffer during the succession of major empires (such as the Akkadian
and Assyrian Empire
) when some military campaigns by the emperors were destroying entire urban centers for fear of future rebellion
, as Deir al-Zour was too small to be considered a threat.
In the third century BC, Alexander the Great
crossed the region and built the city of Dura-Europos
. Although influenced by Greek culture
, the Aramaic
language remained prevalent in the city. When Syria
came under the Roman Empire
in 64 BC, Deir ez-Zor was a small, marginal village known as Azdra, which the Romans made the center of the region, and founded a strong military garrison. Deir ez-Zor came under the reign of Queen Zenobia
of Palmyra in the third century, within an autonomous federation
of the Roman Empire.
A map of al-Jazira
region (Upper Mesopotamia) in the 8th century. Iyad
played a leading role in the Muslim conquest of the region.
During the Abbasid
era, Deir ez-Zor grew. The agriculture in the region prospered because of advances in irrigation. The small town, now called 'Deir Al-Rumman', did not record any significant events during the decline of the Abbasid state and the ensuing Mamluk
period until its destruction by the Mongols
in the thirteenth century.
First Ottoman Era (1517–1864)
The first Ottoman
era extends from the date the Ottomans
in 1517 until 1864, where the Ottomans found Deir ez-Zor a small town on the upper Euphrates
and chose it as a center for their employees and settled in some of tribal sheikhs
to protect the trade route between Aleppo
and The tribesmen
began to visit it to communicate the men of power and buy their needs.
and European travelers visited it and describe its construction, economy
and the nature of its inhabitants. According to the description: "Its houses are adjacent over an artificial hill and its inhabitants are strong, polite and they welcome guests. Their crops
and corn, along with orchards
full of fruit
species, including palm
, the chess
game is common among elders".
Deir ez-Zor has repeatedly been subjected to Bedouin
attacks for looting and has been greatly affected by these attacks, including the attacks of Wahhabis
in 1807, It was repeatedly plundered and destroyed by the Bedouin
, because the Ottoman Empire
had not subdued them as it was preoccupied with its wars and the corruption
of its sultans
and officials. The people of the city armed themselves with guns
and organized a national army
to defend the city resulting in decline the Bedouin
attacks, but its negative effects were the shrinking of the city, But the isolation benefited the people of the city, because they relied on themselves to make many of their needs and those of neighboring villages such as axes, spears
, swords, gunpowder
and weaving the cotton
was relatively stable, the commercial convoys started passing through the area and Deir Ezzor was a station for them, providing them with food, feed, and comfort. The khans
were established in it and the road between Aleppo
began to revive it and get it out of isolation, and young people start traveling to Horan
with the beginning of the spring for trading or work and then return in the early fall, they also travel to Aleppo
In 1831 Ibrahim Pasha took over Deir Ezzor and annexed it to Hama Sanjak
and appointed Maejun Agha governor
of the city, Egyptian
rule remained until 1840 when the authority of the Ottoman
returned to the city, Perhaps the most prominent feature of Ibrahim Pasha's rule is the proliferation of weapons
among the city's inhabitants, especially the rifles
, known as "Brahimiyat", which constituted a major tool to defend the city and repel Bedouin
Second Ottoman Era (1864–1918)
Ottoman Syria until World War I. Present borders in grey.
On 2 January 1858, the Ottoman
government launched a military campaign under the command of Omar Pasha (Croatian) comprised 500 soldiers
to subdue the tribes
in the Euphrates
region. The campaign reached Deir ez-Zor city and fought against the residents of the city where 16 Ottoman soldiers were killed. After the Ottoman army
subdued the city, Omar Pasha recruited 16 young men from the city to replace the Ottoman soldiers who had been killed.
In 1864 the city revolted against Ottoman rule, and Soraya Pasha, the governor of Aleppo
, sent a military force to suppress it. After the campaign, Soraya Pasha came to Deir Ezzor and made it the center of the district's headquarters (Qaimakamiyya
) and he returned to Aleppo after appointing Omar Pasha governor
, whose rule did not last more than 6 months. Khalil Bey Saqib was appointed as Kaymakam
of Deir Ezzor after it was annexed to Aleppo.
During his reign, it established the government house (Dar Al Saraya), a military barracks
, a hospital
and some trade markets. Some of the arrivals from Urfa
settled in the city to help Khalil Bey Saqib with the administration, as well as starting campaigns to settle the Bedouin
in urban centers on the Euphrates.
The rulers (Mutasarrıfs
) solidified security, especially during Arslan Pasha's reign, and were interested in organizing and planning the city, building schools and streets and established the first public park
. They also built bridges
on the Euphrates and some mosques
and encouraged afforestation
and they used boats to cross the Euphrates. They reformed the tax
system and introduced European uniforms into the city and did not generalize it.
The era of the Zor Sanjak
lasted 54 years, where 29 Mutasarrıfs
successively ruled it, the most recent being Hilmi Bey, who left the city with the Ottoman army
on 6 November 1918. The continuous change of rulers (Mutasarrıfs) and lack of resources and disruption of conditions in the Ottoman Empire
affected negatively on the urban, economic, cultural and social activity of the city. The outbreak of World War I
in 1914 brought calamities, with many young people being recruited, famine
spread, livelihoods were confiscated, trade stopped and agriculture
declined. However, in the opinion of historian
Abdul Qadir Ayyash, Deir Ezzor owed its civilization to the Ottoman rulers despite their mistakes.
"The Armenian leader Papasian considers the last remnants of the horrific murders at Deir ez-Zor in 1915-1916."
At the beginning of World War I
in 1914 the Ottoman Empire
began systematic campaigns to kill and displace Armenians
. This was carried out through massacres
, forced deportations and displacement, which were marches under harsh conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. Researchers estimate the number of Armenian victims as between 1 million and 1.5 million.
Deir Ezzor was the last destination of the forced displacement of Armenian convoys, and the scene of killings and slaughter by the Turkish gendarmerie
, where the Ottoman
authorities planned to exterminate Armenians by the Arabs
. But their plans failed because the people of Deir ez-Zor regretted what happened to the Armenian men, women and children, prompting Haj Fadel Al-Aboud
who was mayor
of Deir Ezzor to help and protect them and provide them with food, housing, all livelihoods
If the Armenian forced migration had a tragic side, it had a positive side on the city of Deir Ezzor, reflected in the high population
of the city and consequently the high rate of population growth. Historically, the city of Deir Ezzor has a special place for Armenians in Syria
and the Armenian Diaspora
. The Armenian Genocide Memorial Church
, which was officially built in 1991, includes a museum
containing some remains, collectibles and maps for memory of the martyrs who died in that area by the Ottoman Turks
. The city later became a pilgrimage
destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians on 24 April each year, after being declared in 2002 by Catholicos Aram I
of the Armenian Orthodox
as a pilgrimage to the Armenians.
Post World War I
The first government of Haj Fadel
Trouble broke out in the city of Deir al-Zour after the Ottomans
left on 6 November 1918, where people began looting and stealing from each other across the area, so it was necessary to have a strong authority for protecting the city and its people and that led Al-Hassan who was the mayor
to form his first government
in the city and asking all tribal
leaders in the villages
and surrounding districts to support him and pledge allegiance to him. One of the priorities of this government
was maintain the security and running the affairs of the city. This government
later known as the "Haj Fadel Government
The Second government of Haj Fadel
On 27 December 1919, Ramadan al-Shallash took over the administration of Deir ez-Zor as a military
ruler and his authority was nominal and the real ruling was to the notables
of the city, and they were not satisfied with his actions so they took him out of the city after two months.
After the Battle of Maysalun
on 24 July 1920 and occupation of Damascus
by French forces
, The city of Deir ez-Zor was in a state of chaos and insecurity, which prompted Al-Hassan to form his second government
, Which has done great services in protecting the city and maintaining the security of its people despite its limited capabilities. This government
continued its work until 23 November 1920, when it was dissolved by a decision of the French occupation
In July 1920, French General Henri Gouraud
issued an ultimatum to the government of King Faisal
, known as the "Gouraud ultimatum ", I set four days to accept it.
When the French colonial forces
entered Deir ez-Zor on 9 November 1921 the region was locally ruled by Fadel Al-Aboud
, a member of an aristocratic family, After a while protests and demonstrations against occupation broke out, A group of French armored vehicles and dozens of soldiers
encircled the house of Fadel Al-Aboud
, where he was arrested and transferred to the military airport
of Deir al-Zour and then transported by military aircraft to Aleppo
, where he was imprisoned in the castle
and during his imprisonment he met with the leader Ibrahim Hanano
, In June 1922 he was released and returned to Deir ez-Zor.
The struggle against the Mandate
Hassan Al-Abed Al-Salamah, the moment of his execution by the French occupation
- Mahmoud Al-Ayyash
- Hakami Al-Abed Al-Salameh (Al-Shumaitiya Village).
- Aziz Al-Ali Al-Salamah (Al-Shumaitiya Village).
- Haji Ali Al-Abed Al-Salama (Al-Shumaitiya Village).
- Hassan Al-Abed Al-Salamah (Al-Shumaitiya Village).
- Hamza Al-Abed Al-Salama (Al-Shumaitiya Village).
- Aslibi Masoud Al-Abdul Jalil (Al-Shumaitiya Village).
- Khaleef Al-Hassan Al-Muhammad (Al-Kuraitia Village).
- Lions of Hamdan (Al-Kuraitia Village).
- Ahmed Al-Hassan (Al-Kuraitia Village).
- Hameed Al-Sultan (Al-Kuraitia Village).
- Abdullah Al-Khalaf Ibrahim (Deir ez-Zor city).
- Hamad Bin Rdaini - Al-Baggara tribe.
If each of the criminals, who committed this terrible offense deserve dying once, the gang leader Mohammed ِAl-Ayyash
is deserve hanging twice.
When the military vehicle arrived, the revolutionaries
attacked and arrested the officers
and took them with their car after they took their weapons to a desert
called "Al-Aksiyya", and threw them with their driver in one of the abandoned wells where they died.
The French were incensed for losing the contact with their officers
, and began a big campaign included planes to search for them and when they found their bodies and inquired from the informants about the names of the revolutionaries
, they sent a large military force equipped with heavy guns
and planes to attack the Albu Saraya clan
planes began bombing the villages
of the clan
with a devastating bombardment where the houses were destroyed, as were children and women and killed. Livestock
was destroyed, as well as farms and crops
. Civilians were killed, among them "Hanash Al-Mousa Al-Ani", "Ali Al-Najras", and a woman who was pregnant
, and many were wounded by bullets
and shrapnel from Airplane bombs
. All of this was to pressure on the people to surrender the revolutionaries
When the French
realised that the bombing
did not convince the local people to give up the revolutionaries, they resorted to a despicable means where they threatened to arrest
the women of the revolutionaries
, their mothers and sisters until the revolutionaries
surrender themselves to the French
, when the news arrived to the revolutionaries
, they emerged from their hideouts and surrendered themselves to avoid arresting their women.
Flag of Independence in the Syrian Republic 1946.
The city was neglected during the reign of the first ٍSyrian republic
was rampant by 95%, however, some achievements were belong to that stage, such as building the suspension bridge
and the establishment of the first bank
in addition to the palace of justice, the national library
and the city museum
and the municipal stadium
, during this period, literary and cultural clubs increased, electricity
was existed and cafes
The city participated strongly in the sixtieth strike in 1936, and has seen a large march on 10 February 1936, This strike
led to the signing of the independence
agreement between Syria
and the arrival of the national bloc to power after parliamentary
elections held at the end of the year in which the city was represented by three deputies.
The city has maintained its struggle and political role in addition to its civil activity even during the independence
phase, in 1946, the wheat
uprising against Governor Makram al-Atassi began due to the monopoly
of the authority with the good wheat in the city and the people succeeded in obtaining their rights.
In 1952 cotton
cultivation was widespread and automated pumping engines
were introduced which resulting in increase the area of arable land
became the first crop
of the city instead of wheat
, and the discovery of oil
during the reign of the second Syrian republic near the city helped to develop and expand urbanization
and the increase the number of public and private companies that working in it, as well as increasing migration from the countryside
The destroyed city of Deir Ezzor.
Deir Ezzor was one of the first cities that saw large demonstrations. The demonstrations began in the city on 15 March 2011, which was the first day in the movement of protests demanding the overthrow of the Syrian
regime. On 15 April 2011, a large demonstration was launched from the city's stadium
despite of using the live bullets
by the regime forces and the militias
In the demonstrations on Friday, 22 April 2011, (the sixth Friday in the history of the Syrian revolution
) the statue of Basil al-Assad
was shot down, until then, the Syrian
regime had been cautious about the protests in Deir Ezzor, because of their clan
nature and the size of their area and the presence of quantities of weapons
in it stored from the days of the Iraq
war. When the demonstrators headed towards the statue of Basil al-Assad
, the security forces fired only in the air. It is said that the demonstrators were not shot and prevented from dropping the statue because the security commanders did not know or appreciate the reaction that could be issued by the people of the city if one of the demonstrators was killed.
Syrian regime forces took full control of the city in August 2011, but the Free Syrian Army
(associated with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces) returned to take control in June 2012.
By the beginning of 2014, ISIS
announced its annexation to what it called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
, and a part of Syrian regime forces remained besieged in a small part of the city.
Deir Ez Zor district for more than two years remained one of the few Syrian Government strongholds in eastern Syria.
Islamic State militants launched an offensive in May 2015
, capturing Palmyra
and cutting off the remaining supply line to Deir ez-Zor.
The city was then effectively under siege by ISIS
, leaving supplies to be solely delivered by transport helicopters.
ISIS attempted to stop the supplies by daily attacking the Deir ez-Zor Airbase. However, their attempts failed due to the presence of elite Republican Guards
of the 104th Airborne Brigade led by Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine
From 10 April 2016 to 31 August 2017 the World Food Programme supplied the city with food and basic relief items through a high altitude airdrop service. With a Russian contracted Il-76 aircraft and parachute systems supplied by Canada, USA and Russia, a total of 8015 pallets, with an average weight of 754 kg each were dropped into the besieged city of Deir-Ezzor. 309 were the flights performed during the operational period.
The city and its rural surrounding is a fertile and prosperous farming area, with livestock-breeding (for awassi
sheep), cereals and cotton crops. Many agribusiness
institutions work there as well.
Since the discovery of light crude petroleum
in the Syrian desert
it has become a centre for the country's petroleum extraction
It is also a minor centre for tourism with many tourist facilities such as traditional French-style riverbank restaurants, up to 5-star hotels, a hub for trans-desert travel and an airport (IATA
) in Al-Jafra suburb. There are salt mines
Deir ez-Zor was the final concentration place for Deir ez-Zor Camps
for annihilating the Armenian deportation caravans. Tens of thousands of surviving men, women and children were systematically killed on the banks of the Euphrates River
. The Armenian Genocide
Memorial church commemorated the memory of Genocide victims who lost their lives, but it was destroyed on 21 September 2014 by Islamic State militants.
Successive waves of new settlers from surrounding countrysides and provinces were heavily related to severe drought in late 1950s and 1990s most of them looking for standard jobs and giving up their farming and herding lifestyle. The Mesopotamian
variety of Arabic is used in the city; a slight influence of the Aleppo dialect
can be noticed as well. Dominated by SunniMuslims
in Deir ez-Zor can be traced back to the Apostolic Age
, with few active churches and chapels belong to different congregations.
The city was also famous for the Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge
: الجسر المعلق
) which spanned the Euphrates
and was destroyed in 2013 during the civil war. The Deir ez-Zor Museum
keeps thousands of antiquities collected from nearby archaeological sites in Northern Mesopotamia.
The local daily newspaper Al Furat
and few other publications are published there and circulated in neighbouring Al-Hasakah
Deir ez-Zor is home to the third Armenian diplomatic mission in Syria; the Honorary Consulate of Armenia
, opened on 11 February 2010.
Deir ez-Zor Airport
is an under-developed domestic and international terminal and important hub mostly connecting with Damascus and destinations in the Persian Gulf
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Last edited on 21 April 2021, at 01:15
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