24 October, 2012

Syria Uprising Map: October 2012 (#7)

There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all Syria updates.

Syria's civil war has raged on over the last two months, with neither side gaining the upper hand. Death and destruction has been enormous, and territorial changes few, though not none. Read on for the rundown.

Map of rebel activity and control in Syria's Civil War (Free Syrian Army, Kurdish groups, and others), updated for October 2012
Activity and cities held by rebels and other groups in Syria, updated for October 2012. Map by Evan Centanni, starting from this blank map by German Wikipedia user NordNordWest. License: CC BY-SA
Rebel Gains in North
Since our last Syria update in August, the broadest change to territorial control has been the rebels' eastward expansion from Aleppo into ar-Raqqah province, a region that had previously seen little fighting. Most notably, the Tal Abyad border crossing fell out of government hands on September 19. Starting early this month, attempts by government forces to take back Tal Abyad spiraled into low-intensity border clashes between Turkish and Syrian government forces after Syrian shells began crossing into the other country.

Flag of Syria under the current government Country Name:  
• Syria (English)
• Sūriyya/Sūryā (Arabic)
Official Name:  
• Syrian Arab Republic (English)
• al-Jumhūriyyah al-‘Arabīyah  as-Sūriyyah (Arabic)
Capital: Damascus
Meanwhile, as the city of Aleppo remains divided (map), rebel forces have slowly fought their way to modest gains in neighboring Idlib province. On August 12, the fighters secured a new stretch of border villages west of Armanaz, and on the 16th they seized Maarat al-Numan, a strategic town located on the highway between Damascus and Aleppo.

Southern & Eastern Regions
Fighting still rages in the Damascus area as well, and it is sometimes impossible to keep track of the constant back and forth between the government and rebels. However, as of last week Douma, the largest city outside of the capital, was reportedly under control of the Free Syrian Army. In the east, they also hold Mayadin, a major eastern town with a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Fighting has also begun to spill over into the neighboring country of Lebanon, whose current government is seen as supportive of the Syrian regime. The country is among the Middle East's most diverse, and many groups have sided instead with Syria's rebels.

Syria Map: Corrections & Additions
As the situation in Syria is rapidly changing, and journalists inside the country are few, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the changes. As a case in point, it turns out that the town of Ariha in Idlib province was taken back by the Syrian army a week before our August 2012 Syria update, though that map still indicated that it was rebel-held.

Two more towns have also been added to the map since last time: Zabadani northeast of Damascus was a key rebel stronghold early in the war before falling to the government, and since at least this August it is again largely controlled by the Free Syrian Army rebels. East of Aleppo, Manbij is one of the country's largest rebel-administered towns, after government forces pulled out on July 19.

Graphic of Syrian flag is in the public domain (source).


  1. FSA has reached Ceylanpinar/Ras Al Ain. Time to update the map ;)


    1. Lol... they was liberated. how can rebel forces wich are compose of foregin dog of war liberated Siriyan cities, when offical army of the country occupay it??
      10000 taliban entered in Sirya to promote democracy and human rights. They will also liberate cities?
      I hope that people arent so stupid to belive that cionist mercenaries liberate they own towns...

  2. Thanks for the source! I'll incorporate it in the next update. I'll also be watching to see how control of the town pans out, as this is apparently a government vs. FSA battle in a supposedly Kurdish PYD controlled town (Ras al-Ayn = Serekani).

  3. I believe the battle took place between a PYD/PKK-Assad coalition and the FSA. According to a couple of minor sources, the FSA have captured the town:



    Major sources haven't confirmed yet.

    FSA is expected to move along the border to the next town and the townspeople are already leaving.

  4. Thanks for the links. I see that the AFP has now confirmed Ras Al-Ayn has been captured by the rebels (http://bit.ly/TkUJ1e). But still haven't seen anything from a major source clarifying the role of the PYD in the Ras Al-Ayn fighting. I'll be keeping an eye on it.

  5. According to Al-Jazeera, Deir ez-Zor is fully liberated now.

  6. Do you have a source? The same thing has been reported in the past, and it later turned out not to be that simple. I'll keep an eye on it for the next update.

  7. Al Jazeera was my source, but their current reports are contradicting the one where they said the town was entirely liberated. It looks like Assad forces are still in control of at least one major base in the area.

    In other news, PYD/PKK and FSA clashed in Ras al Ayn after Assad forces withdrew last week leaving at least 6 FSA fighters, 1 PYD fighter, and a Kurdish council member dead.

  8. PYD in total control of sare kanye (ras al ayn). :)

  9. Thanks. There will be an update coming within a few weeks. I try to wait until a few things have happened, so as not to flood the site with tiny updates.

  10. Very interesting maps - good work :)

    whilst it is difficult to capture the situation exactly as it actually is (considering fast changing facts on the ground) - I think it would good to have one for the end of November and then one for perhaps 31 December just so we can all see how things stood at the end of this very eventful year.

  11. Thanks! There will be another update before the end of the year, so check back soon!

  12. Why the rebels don't liberate the Palestinians? Because they are stupid pigs.

  13. they should snipe the crap out of the persident

  14. Notice how all areas where there are "syrian" rebels are bordering towns... and not a single one in the heartland.
    Watched a video recently, a chechen "emir" is now amongst those "syrians" who are rebelling.
    Good that at least Russia and China vetoed down the western aggression plans, otherwise there would also be NATO "syrians" flying in on F-15's and rolling in on Abrams tanks, to "liberate" Syria form Assad.

    1. I think you may have misunderstood the map - the "heartland" is a mostly unpopulated desert. The only major populated area with no rebel activity is the west coast. Also, see the more recent update of the map.

  15. why don't you report on the 2 million protesters that were pro-assad last week? why don't you give the Syrian people that are for the president the opportunity to voice their opinions?

    1. We don't report on protests, only on changes in territorial control. You are very welcome to voice your opinion here in the comments. No one is voicing any opinions in the article itself, and Political Geography Now doesn't take a side in any conflict. We only report what happens - you can judge whether it's good or bad.