Saraqib (Arabic: سراقب also spelled Saraqeb or Saraqueb) is a city in northwestern Syria, administratively belonging to the Idlib Governorate, located east of Idlib. On the course of the Syrian Civil War, the city fell into rebel forces; as of 2019, it is controlled by Tahrir al-Sham. It has an elevation of 370 meters above sea level. The ancient site of Ebla is situated five kilometers south of the city. Nearby localities include Mardikh and Maar Dibsah to the south, Trunbah and al-Nayrab to the west, Sarmin to the northwest, Taftanaz to the north, Talhiyah to the northeast, Tell Touqan to the east and Kafr Amim to the southeast.
Location in Syria
|Coordinates: 35°51′49″N 36°48′2″E|
|Elevation||370 m (1,210 ft)|
According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Saraqib had a population of 32,495 in the 2004 census. It is the administrative center and largest locality of the Saraqib nahiyah ("subdistrict") which consists of 24 localities that had a collective population of 88,076 in 2004. Its inhabitants are predominantly Sunni Muslims.
Modern Syrian Republic
Syrian Civil War
Rebel residents of Saraqib have participated in the Syrian civil war against the government of Bashar al-Assad since at least April 2011. According to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian security forces arrested over 200 people, believed to be anti-government activists, in the city after taking it on 11 August 2011.
In the Battle of Saraqib, 24–27 March 2012, the government recaptured the city. On 19 July 2012, after a raid by a Free Syrian Army unit based in the city against a nearby checkpoint manned by the regular Syrian Army, at least 25 people were killed in subsequent shelling by the latter. Then between 30 October and 1 November, al-Nusra and Liwa Dawud, then a sub-unit of Suqour al-Sham jointly attacked government three government run checkpoints at the entrances of the town, and by 2 November 2012 a strategic junction of the Aleppo-Damascus and Aleppo-Latakia roads, and a 25 kilometres radius around it, was reported to be completely under Free Syrian Army control.
On 23 January 2017, Ahrar al-Sham captured Saraqib from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. On 19 July, 2017 the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham alliance, which was created after the merger of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and other rebel factions, recaptured the city from Ahrar al-Sham militants. It was bombed in September 2017 as part of a government/Russian offensive against rebel territories in Idlib and Hama.
On 3 February 2018, Russian military pilot Roman Filipov's Su-25SM jet was shot down by Tahrir al-Sham and Jaysh al-Nasr militants over the province of Idlib, near the town of Maarrat al-Nu'man (57 km (35 mi) north of the city of Hama), or the town of Saraqib, according to other sources, with a shoulder launched surface to air missile. He committed suicide by blowing his grenade to avoid capture.
On 15 October 2018, the Guardians of Religion Organization which is al-Qaeda's branch in Syria published a video in Saraqib which showed the group's religious police, the hisbah, driving around the city with loudspeakers calling on people to adhere to sharia.
In July 2019, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham raided an ISIL base in the city, arresting several individuals including an individual reportedly associated with ISIL's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, resulting in clashes between ISIL and HTS fighters during the fighting several improvised explosive devices were detonated by ISIL.
The local football club is called Saraqeb Sporting Club, founded in 1980, the club plays in the Syrian League 2nd Division.
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