Kanaker is located in Syria
Coordinates: 33°16′2″N 36°5′49″E / 33.26722°N 36.09694°E / 33.26722; 36.09694
Country Syria
GovernorateRif Dimashq Governorate
DistrictQatana District
 (2004 census)[1]
 • Total13,950
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Area code(s)11

Kanaker (Arabic: كناكر) is a village in southern Syria, administratively part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate, located southwest of Damascus. Nearby localities include Sa'sa' to the west, Beit Saber to the northwest, Khan al-Shih to the north, Zakiyah, al-Taybah, Khan Dannun and al-Kiswah to the northeast, Deir Ali and Jubb al-Safa to the east, Ghabaghib to the southeast, Kafr Nasej and Deir al-Adas to the south and Jabah to the southwest. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, Kanaker had a population of 13,950 in the 2004 census, making it the largest locality in the nahiyah ("subdistrict") of Saasaa.[1] Kanaker marks the western boundary of the Marj al-Suffar plain.[2]


In 1838, Eli Smith noted Kanaker's population as being Sunni Muslims.[3]

Kanaker was settled by Druze from Mount Lebanon in 1862 and by 1867, the Abu Ras family, a prominent Druze clan and ally of the al-Atrash family, gained control of the village.[4] When the chief of the al-Atrash, Ismail Pasha, stayed a night at Kanaker, he massacred its Christian inhabitants before launching an attack on the Christian forces of the Shihab dynasty at Rashaya in Lebanon.[5] Kanaker continued to be inhabited by Druze through 1883 and a certain time beyond.[6]

During the Syrian civil war, on 27 July 2011, the Syrian human rights groups reported that eight or eleven people were killed during a Syrian Army raid in Kanaker and about 250 people were arrested. Four tanks and a bulldozer reportedly entered the village while another 14 tanks surrounded the place.[7] The rebels surrendered the village in December 2016 and turned themselves in to the Syrian Army. In exchange, they had their status legalized.[8][9]

Kanakri family

Some Jordanians of 3 villages in the north of the country, Irbid province (Kharja, Saham and Al nu'aimah) have the surname Kanakri. This relates them to Kanaker. These families have migrated from Kanaker-Syria down south to Jordan in the 19th century before the two countries been issuing their independence and new borders been issued.


  1. ^ a b General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Rif Dimashq Governorate. (in Arabic)
  2. ^ Bosworth, p. 546.
  3. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 149
  4. ^ Firro, 1992, p. 184.
  5. ^ Marmaduke William Pickthall; Muhammad Asad (2000). Islamic Culture. Islamic Culture Board.
  6. ^ Firro, 1992, p. 176.
  7. ^ Syria forces kill eight in Kanaker raid - rights groups. BBC News. 2011-06-27.
  8. ^ Jihadist rebels surrender large town near Golan Heights to Syrian Army. Al-Masdar News. 2011-12-13.
  9. ^ More Than a Thousand Persons Receive Legal Status in Damascus. Prensa Latina. 2011-12-13.