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Political insurgency by Sunni Islamic groups, particularly the [[Muslim Brotherhood]], occurred in the city, which was reputed as a stronghold of conservative Sunni Islam. As early as the spring of 1964, Hama became the epicenter of an [[1964 Hama riot|uprising]] by conservative forces, encouraged by speeches from mosque preachers, denouncing the policies of the Ba'ath. The Syrian government sent tanks and troops into the quarters of Hama's old city to put down the insurrection.<ref name="DSA164"/>
In the early 1980s, Hama had emerged as a major source of opposition to the Ba'ath government during the Sunni armed [[Islamic uprising in Syria|Islamist uprising]], which had begun in 1976. The city was a focal point for bloody events in the [[April 1981 Hama massacre|1981 massacre]] and the most notable [[1982 Hama massacre]].<ref>{{cite web|author=[[Larbi Sadiki]] |url=http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/201173113293285318.html |title=In Syria, the government is the real rebel – Opinion |publisher=Al Jazeera English |accessdate=2011-07-31}}</ref> The most serious insurrection of the [[Islamic uprising in Syria|Syrian Islamic uprising]] happened in Hama during February 1982, when Government forces, led by the president's brother, [[Rifaat al-Assad]], quelled the [[Hama massacre|revolt]] in Hama with very harsh means.<ref>[http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=38546 ]{{dead link|date=February 2012}}</ref> Tanks and artillery shelled the neighbourhoods held by the insurgents indiscriminately, and government forces are alleged to have executed thousands of prisoners and civilian residents after subduing the revolt, which became known as the [[Hama massacre]]. The story is suppressed and regarded as highly sensitive in Syria.<ref>{{cite web |author=<!--[if IE 6]> <![endif]--> |url=http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/07/09/156879.html |title=English.alarabiya.net |publisher=English.alarabiya.net |date=9 July 2011 |accessdate=2011-07-31 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110714075113/http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/07/09/156879.html |archive-date=14 July 2011 |​dead-​url​-status​=​yes​dead }}</ref> The Hama Massacre led to the military term "Hama Rules" meaning the complete large-scale destruction of a military objective or target. The city was the site of conflict between the Syrian military and opposition forces as one of the main arenas of the [[Syrian civil war]] during the [[siege of Hama (2011)|2011 siege of Hama]].
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