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Governorates of Syria
محافظات سوريا (Arabic)
CategoryUnitary State
LocationSyrian Arab Republic
Number14 Governorates
Populations90,000 (Quneitra) – 4,868,000 (Aleppo)
Areas110 km2 (41 sq mi) (Damascus) – 42,220 km2 (16,302 sq mi) (Homs)
  • provincial councils and their executive bureaus

Syria is a unitary state, but for administrative purposes, it is divided into fourteen governorates, also called provinces or counties in English (Arabic muḥāfaẓāt, singular muḥāfaẓah). The governorates are divided into sixty-five districts (manāṭiq, singular minṭaqah), which are further divided into subdistricts (nawāḥī, singular nāḥiyah). The nawāḥī contain villages, which are the smallest administrative units.

Each governorate is headed by a governor, appointed by the president, subject to cabinet approval. The governor is responsible for administration, health, social services, education, tourism, public works, transportation, domestic trade, agriculture, industry, civil defense, and maintenance of law and order in the governorate. The minister of each local administration works closely with each governor to coordinate and supervise local development projects. The governor is assisted by a provincial council, all of whose members are popularly elected for four-year terms. In addition, each council elects from among its members an executive bureau which administers the day to day issues between provincial council sessions. Each executive officer is charged with specific functions.

Districts and subdistricts are administered by officials appointed by the governor. These officials work on local matters with elected district councils and serve as intermediaries between the central government and traditional local leaders, such as village chiefs, clan leaders, and councils of elders.


Governorate name Area
Population density
Districts Photo Location
Aleppo Governorate 18,482 4,600,166 248.90 8
Aleppo nights k.jpg
Aleppo Governorate.svg
Raqqa Governorate 19,616 919,000 46.84 3
Raqqa 2003-12-31.jpg
Raqqa Governorate.svg
As-Suwayda Governorate 5,550 364,000 65.58 3
As Suwayda
As-Suwayda Governorate.svg
Damascus Governorate 106 2,211,042 20,858.89 1
Damascus by night.JPG
Damascus Governorate.svg
Daraa Governorate 3,730 998,000 267.65 3
Syria bosra theater.jpg
Daraa Governorate.svg
Deir ez-Zor Governorate 33,060 1,200,500 36.31 3
Bridge of Deir ez-Zor, over Euphrates river, in Syria.JPG
Deir ez-Zor Governorate.svg
Hama Governorate 8,883 1,593,000 179.33 5
Hama, Syria.jpg
Hama Governorate.svg
Hasaka Governorate 23,334 1,272,702 55.54 4
Tal hajar Quarter in AL-Hasakah.JPG
Al-Hasakah Governorate.svg
Homs Governorate 42,223 1,762,500 41.74 6
Homs syria3.JPG
Homs Governorate.svg
Idlib Governorate 6,097 1,464,000 240.11 5
Idlib Governorate.svg
Latakia Governorate 2,297 1,278,486 556.58 4
Latakia Governorate.svg
Quneitra Governorate 1,861 87,000 46.74 2
Quneitra Governorate.svg
Rif Dimashq Governorate 18,032 2,831,738 157.03 9
Rif-Dimashq Governorate.svg
Tartus Governorate 1,892 785,000 414.90 5
Boats on Tartus boat harbor.jpg
Tartus Governorate.svg

See also