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Al-Thawrah (Arabic: الثورةaṯ ṯawrah), also known as al-Tabqah (Arabic: الطبقةaṭ ṭabqah; Kurdish: Tebqa‎, Classical Syriac: ܛܒܩܗ‎; official name before 8 March 1967[2]), is a city located in Raqqa Governorate (Syria), approximately 55 kilometres (34 mi) west of Raqqa. The name "al-Thawrah" literally means "The Revolution", in reference to the March 8th revolution. The Tabqa Dam, which compounds the Euphrates and creates Lake Assad, was built near al-Thawrah. The city had a population of 69,425 as of the 2004 census.[3]

Al-Thawrah is the administrative centre of Nahiya Al-Tabqah and the Al-Thawrah District.

Syrian Civil War

Smoke rises in Tabqa after the city was hit by a Syrian Air Force airstrike in June 2013

On 26 November 2012, during the Syrian Civil War, a main route from Raqqa to Aleppo passing through al-Thawrah along the Euphrates was dotted with both government and rebel checkpoints.[4] On 11 February 2013, rebel groups including the al-Nusra Front and Liwa Owais al-Qorani took over the city.[5] On 21 November, there was fierce fighting between government troops and rebels in the town.[6] On 25 November, the rebels were in control of the town. On 5 January 2014, there were clashes in Tabqa, where ISIL forces were most dominant, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).[7]

On 22 March 2017, SOHR reported that an international coalition airstrike killed or injured more than 40 people.[8] The BBC reported 27 killed and 40 wounded.[9] During ISIL rule, the town's Catholic, Antiochian Orthodox Church and Assyrian Church of the East churches were turned into a parking garage, a weapons factory and a housebarn with ISIL militants destroying all Christian symbols of the three churches. The Shiite Omar Bin al-Khatab Mosque was destroyed and an Ismaili place of worship was turned into a children's training centre.[10] The Syrian Democratic Forces, as well as the SOHR, announced on 10 May that the alliance had completely captured the town as well as the dam.[11][12]

Demographics

Prior to the civil war, the majority of the city's inhabitants were Sunni Arabs, with Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian as well as Ismaili and Shiite Arab minorities.[13] The Assyrian minority consisted of around 1,000 people, with about half belonging to the Assyrian Church of the East, originating from the Khabour River villages, and the other half being Syriac Orthodox Christians, along with a few Chaldean Catholic, Syriac Catholic and Protestant families.[14]

See also

Notes