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Al-Haffah is located in Syria
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 35°35′N 36°2′E / 35.583°N 36.033°E / 35.583; 36.033Coordinates: 35°35′N 36°2′E / 35.583°N 36.033°E / 35.583; 36.033
Country  Syria
Governorate Latakia Governorate
District Al-Haffah District
Nahiyah Al-Haffah
Elevation 310 m (1,020 ft)
Population (2004 census)
 • Town 4,298
 • Metro 23,347
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)

Al-Haffah (Arabic: الحفة‎) is a town in northwestern Syria administratively belonging to the Latakia Governorate, located 33 kilometers east of Latakia. It is the centre of al-Haffah District, one of the four districts (mantiqah) of the Latakia Goverorate. Located at an average height of 310 meters above sea level, al-Haffa's population was 4,298 in 2004 according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Together with the surrounding villages in the al-Haffa subdistrict (nahiya) greater al-Haffa had a population of 23,347.[1] The town's inhabitants are predominantly Sunni Muslim,[2] about 90%, while Christians constitute about 10% of the population. The two communities have lived together in al-Haffah for centuries.[3]

The residents of al-Haffa are largely involved in agriculture. The town produces many types of fruits such as olive, fig, pomegranate, apple and pear.


Al-Haffa is surrounded with mountains and located just 7 km to the west of Salah Ed-Din Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area has an ancient history starting with the settlement of the Phoenicians. Later on, it became an strategic point for the invading Crusaders.

Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi visited al-Haffah in the early 13th-century, during Ayyubid rule, and noted that it was a district to the west of Halab (Aleppo), comprising many villages. The cloths called Haffiyyah come from here ..."[4]

In 1919 al-Haffah was part of the mini-revolt led by Umar al-Bitar in the Sahyun region of which al-Haffah was the center.[5] Around this time, it joined the revolt of Saleh al-Ali which was in alliance with al-Bitar.[6]

From 5 to 13 June 2012, the town was involved in the Battle of Al-Haffah as part of the Syrian uprising during which nearly entire population fled the city. Al-Haffah has thus effectively become a ghost city.[7]


  1. ^ General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Latakia Governorate. (Arabic)
  2. ^ Morris, Loveday. Fears grow of new massacre as UN warns of civil war in Syria. The Independent. 2012-06-13. Retrieved on 2012-06-13.
  3. ^ Balanche, 2006, p. 88.
  4. ^ le Strange, 1890, p. 445.
  5. ^ Choueiri, 1993, p. 19.
  6. ^ Moosa, 1987, p. 283.
  7. ^ The ghost town of Syria: Haunting pictures from the place abandoned by 26,000 as it was shelled to smithereens


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