Harasta (Arabic: حرستا Ḥarastā), also known as Harasta al-Basal or Hirista, is a city and northeastern suburb of Damascus, Rif Dimashq, Syria.[1] Harasta has an altitude of 702 meters. It has a population of 34,184 as of 2007, making it the 43rd largest city per geographical entity in Syria.


Location in Syria
Coordinates: 33°34′N 36°22′E
Country Syria
GovernorateRif Dimashq Governorate
DistrictDuma District
702 m (2,303 ft)
Area code(s)Country code: 963, City code: 11


During the Syrian Civil War, it was one of the earliest rebel-held cities in Syria (see Battle of Douma and Rif Dimashq clashes (November 2011 – March 2012)). Before the war, Harasta had been home to the 104th and 105th Republican Guard regiments and has a high population of Alawites in the suburbs,[2] although it was a site of several anti-government protests in 2011. Harasta was reported under rebel control by early 2012.[3] In March 2012[4] and again on 21 October 2012 it was reported that Harasta was under heavy government shelling.[5] On 25 October, the Syrian army fired heavy tank and rocket barrages, after rebels overran two army checkpoints on the edge of the town.[6] On 26 October 2012, it was shelled with heavy artillery, killing at least 10.[7] On 30 October, government airstrikes targeted Harasta.[8] It reported to be under regime control on 25 November 2012.[2] In August 2013 it was reported under rebel control with government advances on key points in the town.[9] Government control but rebel advances were reported in January 2014.[10] It was reported targeted by chemical attacks in April 2014.[11][12][13] Territory in Harasta changed hands repeatedly during the Rif Dimashq offensive (September 2015). It has been the site of fighting in the Battle of Harasta (2017–18).

On 23 March 2018, the Syrian army captured Harasta.[14]


  1. "Harasta – Wikimapia". Wikimapia.
  2. Holliday, Joseph; Lynch, Michael (7 December 2012). "The Battle for Damascus: The Current State of Play in Syria". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  3. Karouny, Mariam (26 January 2012). "Outside Syria's capital, suburbs look like war zone". Reuters. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  4. "Syrian forces assault opposition strongholds". Al Jazeera English. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  5. "Harasta in the Damascus Suburbs endures heavy shelling by government forces, activists say". Al Jazeera Blogs. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  6. "Syria violence flares ahead of possible truce". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  7. "Dozens killed as Syria cease-fire ends within hours," Los Angeles Times (27 October 2012). Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  8. Al Arabiya with Agencies, "Ramos-Horta warns of 'Somalization' of Syria as airstrikes leave more deaths," Al Arabiya News (30 October 2012). Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  9. "Raid des forces aériennes syriennes sur le site des attaques chimiques supposées | Dernières Infos | L'Orient-Le Jour". Lorientlejour.com. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  10. "31 Syrian soldiers killed in bomb attack near capital monitoring". Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  11. Official: U.S. looking into reports of poison gas use, dailystar.com.lb.
  12. UN called on to investigate poisonous gas usage in Syria, worldbulletin.net.
  13. In footage, rebels claim new Assad chemical attack, timesofisrael.com
  14. "The final batch departs from Harasta to the Syrian north, the first agreement in Ghouta ends and the regime controls over 90% of the Eastern Ghouta". SOHR. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.

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