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Mayadin (Arabic: ‎/ALA-LC: al-Miy?d?n) is a town in eastern Syria. It is the capital of the Mayadin District, part of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate. Mayadin is about 44 kilometers southeast of Deir ez-Zor. The Euphrates River flows through the town. In the 2004 census, the population was 44,028, making it the second most populous town in the governorate.[1]


Ancient era

Mayadin has been identified to be the ancient Audattha known to Ptolemy, though some suggest Audattha was where Haditha now stands in Iraq.[2][3]

Middle Ages

Mayadin is the successor of the medieval town and fortress of Rahbat Malik ibn Tawk, founded by the Abbasid lord and the original town's namesake, Malik ibn Tawk.[4] Strategically located at a crossroads on the western bank of the Euphrates and considered the key to Syria from Iraq, control of the town was highly contested by the Muslim powers and Bedouin tribes of the region. It grew to become one of the major Muslim towns of the Euphrates valley and was an administrative center.[5]

An earthquake destroyed Rahbat Malik ibn Tawk in 1157, after which it was granted by the Zengid ruler Nur ad-Din to Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, the paternal uncle of future Ayyubid sultan, Saladin.[6] Shirkuh relocated the fortress about four kilometers southwest of the original site.[5] The new settlement, known as "al-Rahba al-Jadida",[6] remained the significant center of the Euphrates region through much of the Ayyubid-Mamluk era (12th-15th centuries),[5] and today is a ruined fortress known as "Qal'at al-Rahba". The original settlement eventually became known as "Mashhad Rahba". The latter was located at the present site of Mayadin.

Modern era

Mayadin is the administrative center of Nahiya Mayadin and the Mayadin District.

In the early 20th century, Mayadin was the administrative seat of the Asharah kaza (subdistrict) of the Sanjak of Zor district and contained the residence of its qaimmaqam (governor).[7][8] In a British military intelligence report from the 1900s, the town had a population of 2,000 mostly Sunni Muslims and a small minority of Christians.[8] There was a bazaar, several shops and a mosque with a leaning minaret.[8] According to Czech explorer Alois Musil, who visited in 1912, Mayadin had a garrison of twelve gendarmes, ten policemen and ten mule riders.[7] There was a boys' primary school in the town.[7] The population was about 2,500, consisting of roughly four hundred Muslim families, fifteen Syriac Orthodox families (mostly refugees from Mardin), and three Jewish families, living in a total of 380 houses.[7] On June 19, 1947, Pan Am Flight 121, crewed by third officer Gene Roddenberry (who went on to create the original Star Trek television series), crashed 4 miles (6.4 km) from the town.

Syrian Civil War

During the Syrian Civil War, Free Syrian Army captured the town in late August 2012 after fighting in the town. The only part still in regime hands was the Mayadin military base, an artillery position on a hill overlooking the town,[9] which was captured on 22 November. This gave the rebels control of a large amount of territory east of the base to the Iraqi border.[10] On 3 July 2014, ISIL captured Mayadin and raised their black standard.[11] A local underground resistance movement of moderate Sunni[] Muslim fighters attacked ISIL checkpoints in the city in 2015.[12] This forced ISIL to dig a 15 km (9 mi) defensive position around the city.[13]

On 3 April 2017, during the SDF's offensive to capture Raqqa, it was reported that ISIL was possibly in the process of moving its capital from Raqqa city to Mayadin. This followed months of gradual relocation of resources and senior ISIL leaders from Raqqa to Mayadin.[14] On 21 April 2017, the United States announced that they had conducted a ground raid in Mayadin and killed Abdulrakhman Uzbeki, an ISIS leader.

On 18 June 2017, Iran hit ISIL targets in Mayadin using domestic-based surface-to-surface mid-range missiles.[15]

By the 10 October 2017, the town was besieged by the SAA and fighting had begun in the suburbs in preparation to storm the town. [16]

On 11 October 2017, the Syrian Army made huge advances inside the town of Mayadin and has taken control of about 60 percent of the town.[17]

On 14 October 2017, the Syrian Army retook the town thus ending the 4 year long ISIL rule over it.[18][19][20]

In June 2018, ISIL unsuccessfully attempted to retake the town.


Mayadin has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh).

Climate data for Mayadin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.9
Average low °C (°F) 2.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 27
Source: [1]


  1. ^ "General Census of Population 2004" (XLS). UN OCHA. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Boulanger, Robert (1966). The Middle East: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran. Hachette. p. 490. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ Sale, George; Psalmanazar, George; Bower, Archibald; Shelvocke, George; Campbell, John; Swinton, John (1748). An Universal History, from the Earliest Account of Time. T. Osborne. p. 348.
  4. ^ Bianquis 1995, p. 393.
  5. ^ a b c Bianquis 1995, p. 395.
  6. ^ a b Bianquis 1995, p. 394.
  7. ^ a b c d Musil, Alois (1927). The Middle Euphrates: A Topographical Itinerary (PDF). New York: American Geographical Society. p. 6.
  8. ^ a b c A Handbook of Mesopotamia, Volume III: Central Mesopotamia with Southern Kurdistan and the Syrian Desert. Admiralty and War Office, Division of Intelligence. January 1917. p. 124.
  9. ^ Mroue, Bassem (August 24, 2012). "Regime airstrike targets Syrian apartments". Newsday.
  10. ^ Yeranian, Edward (22 November 2012). "Analysts Weigh In on Longevity of Syria's Assad". Voice of America. Retrieved 2012.
  11. ^ "IS Takes Over Towns, Countryside in Oil-Rich Syria Province: NGO". 3 July 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Gunmen kill more than 12 ISIL militants in eastern Syria". Today's Zaman. 8 March 2015. Archived from the original on 9 March 2015.
  13. ^ "After repeated attacks launched by unknown gunmen, IS digs a trench around the city of Mayadin". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 28 March 2015. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ Speckhard, Anne; Almohammad, Asaad H. (3 April 2017). "Is ISIS Moving its Capital from Raqqa to Mayadin in Deir ez-Zor?". Modern Diplomacy.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Breaking: ISIS almost driven-out of capital city by elite Syrian forces
  18. ^ El Ejército sirio toma la ciudad de Al Mayadín, uno de los últimos reductos del Estado Islámico en Siria
  19. ^ El Ejército sirio toma la ciudad de Al Mayadín, uno de los últimos reductos del Estado Islámico en Siria
  20. ^ Breaking: Syrian Army liberates ISIS capital city


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