In the 2004 census by the Central Bureau of Statistics
, Idlib had a population of 98,791 and in 2010 the population was around 165,000. The inhabitants are mostly Sunni Muslims
although there were a significant Christian
minority, but most of them became evacuees.
Idlib is divided into six main districts: Ashrafiyeh (the most populous), Hittin, Hejaz, Downtown, Hurriya, and al-Qusur.
The Ebla tablets
(2350 BC) mention the city of 𒁺𒄷𒆷𒇥𒌝
"Duhulabum") which is most probably located at Idlib as suggested by Michael Astour and Douglas Frayne; a similarity exists between the sounds of the ancient and modern names. In the tablets Duhulabuum is located 22 km south of "Unqi" which might correspond to the modern village of Kaukanya; a village located 22 km northeast of Idlib. Thutmose III
also mentioned the city with the name Ytḥb
Idlib, along with the rest of Syria were conquered by the Armenian king Tigranes the Great
, and incorporated in the Armenian Empire
, only to be later conquered by the Roman Pompey the Great
around 64 BC. The city was never of much significance, belonging to the province of Roman Syria
under the Roman Empire
, and later to the Eastern Roman
province of Syria Secunda before being conquered by the Arabs around the middle of the seventh century. Not much remains from Roman and Byzantine times in the city, except in its museum. North of the city are the Dead Cities
, a collection of important archaeological sites from the Byzantine era.
From the Köprülü period, Idlib was a center of olive production.
which in turn gave way to a prosperous olive-based soap
industry. Although the major markets for Idlib's soap were at Aleppo
, and Hama
the product was exported as far as the Ottoman capital of Istanbul
. Idlib was also a major producer of cotton fabrics.
Western traveler Josias Leslie Porter
noted that Idlib was "encompassed in olive groves, rare in this bleak region",
and remarked that its olive groves were larger than those of Damascus, Beirut
, or Gaza
. In the mid-19th-century, the town had an estimated population of 8,000, including 500 Christians
In the late 19th century, Idlib was "flourishing" and still contained a number of Christian families, according to German orientalist Albert Socin
Syrian civil war
Ba'athist mural at the Mihrab roundabout in Idlib, defaced after the city's capture
by rebel forces in 2015.
During the uprising since 2011
, Idlib was the focus of protests and fighting in the early phase of the Syrian war. As the uprising descended into armed conflict, Idlib became the focus of a rebel campaign, which temporarily captured the city and the governorate, prior to a government offensive in April 2012. After this, government forces retook the city and the rebel-controlled province after a month of fighting, prior to the attempted enforcement of the ceasefire proposed by Kofi Annan
. After the 2015 Idlib offensive
in March, the rebel alliance Army of Conquest
, led by the al-Nusra Front
and Ahrar al-Sham
, succeeded in the Second Battle of Idlib
and captured the city,
as well as besieging the Shi'a-majority towns of Al-Fu'ah
to the north of Idlib city.
In April 2015, the interim seat of the Syrian opposition
's Syrian Interim Government
was proposed to be Idlib,
in Idlib Governorate. On 23 July 2017, Tahrir al-Sham
, the successor to the al-Nusra Front, expelled the remaining forces
of Ahrar al-Sham
from Idlib, capturing the entire city.
The all-time record high temperature was 44 °C (111 °F) on June 16, 2012.
Olive orchards at the outskirts of the city. Idlib is a major production center for olives.
Idlib is a major production center for olives
, wheat and fruits, particularly cherries.
Other principal crops include almonds
, sesame seeds
, figs, grapes and tomatoes.
In 1995 there were roughly 300 hectares
planted with various citrus
crop. Olive oil
pressing and textiles
are some of the city's local industries.
The nearby city of Aleppo has an important economic presence in Idlib.
Idlib is a major agricultural center of Syria, the Idlib area is also historically significant, containing many "dead cities" and tells
The Idlib Regional Museum in the city contains over 17,000 of the Ebla tablets
and serves as Idlib's main tourist attraction, excluding the nearby ancient site of Ebla itself. Under the Technical and Financial Cooperation Agreement between the governments of Italy
and Syria, the museum was to undergo a restoration and renovation project starting in 2010.
Because of the rapidly declining value of the Syrian pound
, the Turkish lira
became widespread in use in Idlib and was adopted as legal tender in the city on 15 June 2020.
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- ^ a b "Climate: Idlib - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Archived from the original on 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
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- ^ DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES (2020-06-16). "Idlib follows suit in adopting Turkish lira to shield region from plummeting Syrian pound". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
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