Entrance to Khirbet Ghazaleh
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Khirbet Ghazaleh (Arabic: خربة غزالة also spelled Khirbet Ghazalah) is a town in the Daraa Governorate, roughly 17 kilometers northeast of Daraa adjacent to Da'el in the west and near Izra' to the north. It is situated on the main highway between Damascus and Amman. In the 2004 census by the Central Bureau of Statistics Khirbet Ghazaleh had a population of 16,240. Its inhabitants are predominantly Muslims.
In 1596 it appeared in the Ottoman tax registers under the name of Kutaybit Tamir, being part of the nahiya of Bani Malik al-Asraf, in the Sanjak Hauran. It had an entirely Muslim population consisting of 29 households and 12 bachelors. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 40% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, goats and bee-hives; a total of 12,700 akçe. ⅔ of the income went to a Waqf.
2011 Syrian uprising
Khirbet Ghazaleh's residents have participated in protests against the Syrian government and have hosted opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) during the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising. On 14 November 2011, following an FSA attack on a security police bus traveling on a nearby intersection, the Syrian Army launched an armor-backed assault against the town, resulting in the deaths of 20 FSA members, local opposition fighters and civilians. According to an opposition activist in Khirbet Ghazaleh, the FSA clashed with the Syrian Army troops while Bedouins from surrounding villages arrived to aid the town's residents.
On 18 March 2012 opposition armed groups destroyed an overpass on the main highway with the stated purpose of blocking the arrival of army tanks to the area. The state-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) confirmed the bombing of the bridge and estimated the costs of damage to be over $5 million.
On 8 May 2013, the Syrian army captured the town after a ferocious two-month bombardment, regaining control of an international transit route, according to opposition sources. Khirbet Ghazaleh acted as a vital logistical town for Syrian Government forces during the Daraa offensive (February–May 2014)
- General Census of Population and Housing 2004. Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Daraa Governorate. (in Arabic)
- Smith; in Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Second appendix, B, p. 151
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 213
- Smith; in Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Second appendix, B, p. 112
- Oweis, Khaled Yacoub. Fighting in Syria kills 40 near Jordan border-activists. Reuters. 2012-04-05.
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