Syria Daily. April 21: Regime Suffers Another Military Defeat in South




Audio Analysis: Assad Gives Interviews as He Loses the War
Video and Transcript: Assad with French TV “No Barrel Bombs, No Chemical Attacks, Syrians Support Me”

The Assad regime has suffered another military defeat in Syria’s conflict, this time in a failed offensive in Daraa Province in the south.

Syrian forces launched a major attack on Busra al-Harir on Tuesday, taking a corridor of five villages, trying to cut the highway between Daraa and Suweida Provinces, and launching hundreds of artillery shells into the town.

However, the attack was met by an effective resistance that killed scores of Syrian troops, mainly militiamen. The exact toll is not known, but activists on social media posted a series of photographs showing slain and captured troops.

The activists also claimed that seven armored vehicles, including tanks, were destroyed and others were seized.

Having proclaimed on Tuesday that the Syrian military had taken five villages and cut off Busra al-Harir, State news agency SANA makes no reference at all this morning to the offensive.

The defeat is the latest significant setback for the Assad regime since the start of the year. In the south, rebels have steadily advanced from Quneitra Province in the southwest, near the demilitarized zone with Israel, across Daraa Province and reaching the borders of Suweida Province. Earlier this month, they took the historic town of Busra al-Sham, near the Jordanian frontier, and the regime’s last border crossing with Jordan.

In the northwest, rebels punished a regime offensive which failed to cut off the route to opposition-held areas of Aleppo city. And at the end of March, the opposition took the provincial capital of Idlib and threatened to advance further towards Aleppo and Latakia Provinces.

An abandoned regime convoy, including three armored vehicles:

The rebel faction Liwa al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar in Busra al-Harir destroys a regime tank with a French Milan anti-tank guided missile:

The faction films a destroyed tank:

Another tank burning from rebel fire:

Slain troops, supposedly from Afghanistan, on the battlefield — Iran has been giving the incentives of money and residency to Afghan immigrants to fight for the Syrian regime:

Other claimed bodies of slain fighters from Afghanistan — activists have posted more graphic footage and pictures:

There is also claimed video of a captured Asiatic soldier from Russia.

A captured regime soldier:


Bab al-Hawa Crossing on Turkish Border Put Under Civilian Administration

Opposition media report that the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border has been put under civilian administration, with the rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham providing protection.

The crossing was claimed by the Free Syrian Army in July 2012. In December 2013, the Islamic Front bloc, including Ahrar al-Sham, took over the operations.

In early March, Turkey suddenly closed its side of the crossing, although commercial and emergency medical
vehicles can still pass and people can move from the Turkish side into Syria.

Deputy Foreign Minister Meets Iranian Foreign Minister in Tehran

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran on Monday.

Iranian media gave no details of the discussions, merely referring to al-Miqdad’s general remarks about fighting in Yarmouk in southern Damascus and recent talks in Russia between a regime delegation and selected members of the domestic opposition.

Rebels Strike Syrian Military in Jobar Section of Damascus

Rebel sources claim success in fresh attacks on the Syrian military in the Jobar section of northeast Damascus.

The “Straightening the Lines” offensive is hoping to link up units in Jobar with the Damascus suburbs of Harasta and Qaboun.

Pro-opposition activists claim rebels, including Jaish al-Islam, have taken the Electricity Department (see map for possible location) and several buildings in the Tiba neighborhood, destroying a tank and capturing heavy and light weapons. They announced the death of several Syrian troops and militia, including a commander in a pro-Assad militia.

The regime has responded with airstrikes and tank shelling, as “fierce clashes” continue.

Jobar has been held by the opposition since 2012, despite persistent regime bombardment and ground attacks.

Footage from the area:

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    • Razmjoo,

      The Daily Star’s report, repeating the Syrian military’s official line on Monday morning, has been overtaken by events.


  1. “There is also claimed video of a captured Asiatic soldier from Russia.”
    I thought the word Asiatic was an ethinic slur, used by Hitler to describe the Russians (that Asiatic Horde) as savage and sub-human and to inply inferiority by by not being European.

    • Not necessarily, it’s more used as an indication of where someone might be coming from based on their looks. It’s surely not a precise, scientific term, but it’s not an insult either.

      • @commie
        I doubt whether the rebels will do a complete DNA profile on this chap before beheading day.God help anyone in Syria who does not look like Bin Laden these days.

    • At first this “asiatic” guy was shown on some pro rebel tweeps accounts as showing Assad is scraping the bottom of the barrel because of the “asiatic” gentlemens older age when compared to the young bearded bucks behind him.Next thing i know he is some kind of “asiatic” infidel.

  2. So the Baath Party is now less of the Syrian Arab Republic and more the Iranian Mandate for the Syrian Dari Republic.

      • lol while you base your statements on AL QAEDA.

        gonna repost the idlib at gunpoint christians are happy video?

        • Right, early Monday — overtaken by the afternoon, which is why the Syrian Army is no longer putting out statements on the offensive….

          • I would be very cautious in giving definitive info on the these last events in Deraa. There is been a lot of propaganda from rebel side (100+ dead and tens of tanks killed its pretty a huge exageration) regime did indeed take a series of villages isolating the rebels in some parts. The regime too is overpumping its offensive and no real videos to support their claims either. The only credibile news as of today is that for now the offensive in Busra al-Harir has been checked by the rebels. More to come for sure in the next hours/days.

            • Caligola,

              I appreciate the need for caution. Before posting this morning, I claimed the claims on social media with trusted sources in Syria.

              As you can tell from the entry, I have been careful with numbers. I did not give an exact casualty total though “scores” is likely, in light of the regime admitting the deaths of 28 soldiers and the footage pointing to those who are probably not in that count. And 7 armored vehicles seems a careful and conservative claim, given the video of destroyed tanks and BMPs.

              I fully agree that it will take some time to get the full story, but I think heavy regime defeat is a fair statement.


              • Yes Scott, heavy regime defeat regarding their Busra al-Harir offensive i think we all can agree on that. But the offensive was not only in Busra al-Harir but it was all around it and the regime did indeed capture some villages. If i recon well from this morning news i think some rebels are isolate north of Busra al-Harir were the regime managed to cut in. Ongoing offensive. Next days will tell better i think.

              • Caligola,

                Rebels are claiming that they have removed the regime encirclement of Lejat, north of Busra al-Harir. I am looking for confirmation.


              • Yes i heard that too, but as you said the problem is the confirmation….which unfortunately its the vital part of any news :)

              • Confirmed by my nephew who is in Busra al-Harir. Rebels kicked some ass in Busra al-Harir. Just kidding.

                Isn’t the fact that the rebels were able to reinforce Busra al-Harir confirmation enough that the regime were not able to hold the siege on Busra al-Harir?

              • Besides the rebel claims that the rebels repelled the regime encirclement of Lejat area, there is other logic that can be used to infer that the rebels repelled the offensive.

                1. Large numbers of confirmed kills and captured. Also, at least 5 – 7 tank kills and other captured armor. Extremely unlikely this would be possible without the rebels being able to reinforce Busra al-Harir.

                2. Regime suddenly quit talking about the offensive. Almost sure sign that the regime offensive failed (probably completely).

                3. Reports were that rebels actually made some progress toward Brigade 12 in Ezra and towards Qarfa. Certainly, the regime would have had to fall back to reinforce those positions.


    I put this together last night before hitting the sack. Several items are not covered in the EA roundup above while EA includes several developments since especially in the Jobar area of Damascus and in Busra Al-Harrah where, as anticipated, rebels seem to have compounded a victory by retaking supply lines. The regime’s prospects in any battle in which it must depend on militia against hardened rebels are bound to be poor–monopoly of the skies or not. Only troops can take and hoild ground and Assad no longer has the numbers or the right kind.


    –Regime Warns of Imminent ISIS Attack on Hama

    –From Abdul Rahman: “Confirmed News:ISIS yesterday launched an attack on the village of Sreiheen which is 1 KM from Hama City,with the clashes reaching the city.”

    –From Abu Ward Al Raqawwi: “unconfirmed news that #ISIS are storming #Hama city , Five car bombs have gone off. . violent clashes happend in Maknna checkpoint east #Hama.”


    Someone tweeted.” how is this possible when ISIS hasn’t gotten as far as Salamijah?” Abdul Rahman responds that ISIS appears to have bypassed Salamiyeh. What’s also interesting about this is that JAN was reported n control of the area between Salimiyeh and Hama. Has it withdrawn to let ISIS by—returning an old trick Assad has often played on the rebels?

    From Bosno Sinj: “north of Hama FSA Brigade 56 is shelling regime forces in Tall Malah.” He reports FSA-linked rebels have created an “operating room” for Hama province. Hopefully they’ll avoid clashing with ISIS. An attack on Hama Airport, the source of so many barrel bombs, would be preferable.


    Sami posted, :” Unconfirmed reports of a twin Nusra inghimasi attacks inside Ariha, #Idlib. Huge number of regime forces/militia casualties reported.

    LATER he posts: “Nusra confirms inghimasi attack in Ariha, #Idlib & claim over 70 regime militias killed in firefight followed with double suicide bombing


    One of the Afghan mercenaries captured by rebel forces in fighting in Busra al-Harir in Daraa province on Monday (April 20th, 2015).
    The Assad regime is increasingly wholly reliant on Iranian troops, Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, with many of these troops and mercenaries killed or captured in Monday’s fighting.

    • IS will never take Hama nor the rebels. Hama is the most important city for Assad after Damascus. Its massively defended with some of the best troops guarding it. If one day Hama would ever fall that would mean the regime is basically done. Hama is too important for the regime for a number of very important reasons and not only for military reasons.

      • You may be correct about the regime not being able to afford Hama but that won’t save it if it has thinned its defenses in the area to deal with Idlib, the south and Aleppo. The regime has often shipped units off from Hama for duty in those areas. Defenders may be militia heavy.

        If Isis attacks the eastern side and if rebels attack to the northwest (safely distant from ISIS) can the regime handle both, especially without reinforcing.? Another possibility is that its two enemies, attacking from different direction could shut off the city and force the regime to take the offensive.

      • Surely Latakia and Tartous are more important than Hama, and when you speak of non-military reasons are you referring the symbolic fact that Hamwis have always been very anti-Baath (I think it was the city that fewest Baathist votes in the 1961 election) and because its where the regime killed about 30000 of them in 1982 after an uprising attempt?
        P.S. my ancestors from 2000 years ago may of been born in Hama.

        • At the moment Hama is more important than latakia and Tartous whom by the way are not directly threatened as Hama is.Hama is out of reach for the rebels because some of the most important military bases and airports are in that area. There are huge weapons storage facilities and its of one of the most strategic cities in this conflict. Just look were it stands on the map and the main roads which cross it.

          • Frank you for clarifying Caligola (are named after a Roman Emperor who’s real name was Gaius?), I thought you just talking symbolically. Also don’t the rebels hold a bit of Latatikia that borders Turkey? I know its far from the city but surely shell it from that distance if get a little closer. Personally I don’t think there ever be a battle of Tartous, if Latatikia falls they likely just give up.

          • I would take the “ISIS” attack on Hama with a grain of salt. As in Qalamoun, there is a group in the Rastan pocket of north Homs that had pledged allegiance to ISIS. There were reports earlier this month about the rebels attempting to break out of the Rastan pocket. Fighting was quite close to Hama city. This ISIS affiliated group may simply be part of this push, as opening supply lines towards Turkey is in their interest as well.

            Caligola, you were right about the best troops of the regime being in Hama. But that may not be the case anymore, since Hasan’s unit has been moved to Idlib, and a lot of regular army units previously stationed in Hama were siphoned into north Aleppo two years ago.

            • @Ivan trust me if ever Hama would be in real danger the regime will airlift back those troops immediately. I still think that some elite units are in Hama and they can dispose of huge firepower and have close by airports which can provide air cover even with choppers. In short Hama is very very very well defended and its not like idlib or even Aleppo, its importance is huge and in my opinion if Hama would ever fall that would mean that the time for Assad has come. But i as of now i dont see any credible threat on the city. Remember last try from the rebels one year ago how it ended ?

              @Niall rebels are in the mountains well behind. and again as with my reply to Ivan look at how the biggest offensive by the rebels ended in 2014 when they tried and they tried hard and with turkish support. They indeed suprised NDF – SAA and advanced quickly, i am sure you remember the battles to took the hill of tower 45. Latakia city was never really threatened and the SAA managed in its counteroffensive to regain all territories lost including Kessab. Latakia will go down only if the regime goes down or if that region is part of an agreement to end the war and make it a safe heaven for the alawites.

              • @Niall: Gaius Iulius Caesar Germanicus in latin Caligola`s real name. Know for his eccentricity and total depravity but aswell as a good military strategist.

              • @Niall well ok you took one perfect example of his eccentricity :) he considered himself superior to any mortal human…so in a way its possible he declared war to Neptune. By the way this was never confirmed he actually did :) And true he can be called caligula which was at the time a small type of shoe.


    What other opportunity compares? In Aleppo and Damascus, ISIS would lilkel get bogged down and face a vulnerable rear. In Sweida ISIS could wind up fighting three different enemies on the ground along with Coalition aircraft. Supply routes would also be long and vulnerable. A successful drive west would bring ISIS up against tough rebel forces in Daraa.

    Now consider an offensive in Central Syria:

    1. Ground Advantage to ISIS: Taking on depleted and demoralized regime forces here beats taking on the rebels.

    2. Coalition aircraft is less likely get involved on this front in timely fashion.

    3. ISIS supply lines to Raqaa would be secure on the ground though not from air power.

    4. The regime’s ability to reinforce Central Syria could hardly be worse than it is right now.

    5. A dramatic victory or threat to the Alawite heartland would be a huge spur to ISIS recruitment.

    6. Rebels would be fools to get involved and without that involvement I can’t see how the regime can hold the line against a major ISIS assault here.

    IISIS and Assad would surely team up against rebels otherwise. It’s best to let the Bad Guys kiill one another and for civilian loyalists to experience a dose of panic.

    Rebel involvement would also relieve pressure on the regime to siphon off manpower and airpower at other vulnerable locations. At minimum the regime would have to withdraw most resources presently in Idlib province, allowing a quick rebel victory there and releasing large rebel forces to threaten Latakia or Aleppo. By taking Abu Duhour and moving on Khanasir it is not inconceivable that rebels could force a regime surrender in Aleppo as news any ISIS rampages reaches anxious defenders.


    More on Sweida

    No doubt the regime and its loyalists would prefer a major ISIS offensive in Sweida rather than near Hama. For ISIS a secondary offense in the former would make sense if suifficient resources are available. It would tie down regime forces in one more location. Rebels would benefit the most as Assad must deal with a double ISIS offensive. ISIS itself would be the next biggest beneficiary. The regime would be The Biggest Loser–all over the map with positions in Aleppo and Deir Ezzor becoming especially hopeless.

    As I’ve written many times in the past, rebel strategic gains have often been overlooked because their battlefield impact rarely shows up immediately but long term they had to set up a landslide and that’s what we are starting to see. I compared the regime to a termite-ridden house that looks fine at first glance. Any involvement by Turkey, the Saudis or Israel–in response to Obama’s inaction–simply adds to the process.

    Assad and his Genodice Regime may finally be going down. Look for newfound willingness to make concessions on the part of Putin and Iran, with Obama lending support to both. The Syrias, owing Obama nothing, must ignore any pressures from Obama to save a place for the Bad Guys in a future Syria. Why give them something when they are headed for nothing? It makes no sense.

      • Rebels aren’t JAN and the Druze know it. Also, even JAN is divided as they also known.

        Druze leader W. Jumblatt recently praised the rebel victory in Idlib. The Druze are rightly very suspicious of the regime because of past incidents. In at least two cases, Assad’s forces led Druze forces into a rebel ambush and stood aside. As in Salimeyeh and Yarmouk, the regime has a nasty practice of moving aside to allow ISIS attacks on minorities and then moves in the “save” them. The problem in Sweida is that the Druze have caught on.

        These regime stunts recall how Assad released most present leaders of the Islamic Front, including Alloush himself, while killing unnamed demonstrators at the same time and while nursing ISIS back to health. Again the idea was to force minorities to rally around Assad “for protection” against a threat that he himself created.

          • Why would Jumblatt side with Assad? He knows what a snake the man is and the tactics the regime uses to try to persude minorities they need Assad. The Druze aren’t as stupid as Alawites. Jumblatt is representative of predominant Druze opinion.

            • Jumblatt is against Assad – but urges Syria Druze to stay out of the conflict.
              He even made some agreements with JAN but it did not work.

              • I know in past the Druze where very pro-Baath as both where heavily persecuted by the early 50 military regime. I was a Druze that hunted said dictator down in exile in Brazil and killed him for making him an orphan. And many Druze where members in the 60s thought I don’t think that’s the case anymore. Also with all the defeats the regime has had recently, it be like neutral Spain joining the Axis powers in 1945. So I think they will stay neutral mostly.

              • The Druze, like the Ismaili, Kurds, Alawii, Yazidi, Assyrians and Maronites have survived as ethno-religious minorities by understanding they have no permanent allies and no permanent enemies. They cut deals with whoever they have to to ensure their survival.

                Under Saddam, the Iraqi Sunnis were mostly Baathists and at least on paper supported full equality for all Iraqis. They were, at least, not actively hostile to those groups unless like the Kurds they resisted Arabization. Iraqi Christians, in particular, occupied senior government positions. Now, it’s Sunnis from Daesh who are attacking them.

                10 or 20 years from now, the Sunni will likely be on their side again. 10 or 20 years after that?

              • @Ian Gould you know in Iraq a lot of Assyrian Christians were killed along with the Kurds for not being ethnic Arabs? So really it just Arab Christians who benefited under Baathism, which is inherently racist against non-Arabs.

              • The Baathists aren’t actively racist against the minorities SP much as they want to assimilate them onto the Arab nation.

                See also, Atatürk’s pretence that there were no Kurds just “Mountain Turks”.

                Note too that at times Baathist regimes have been perfectly happy to assist Kurds outside their own countries when it suited their purposes. At various tines both Iraq and Syria supported the PKK and Iraq also supported Syrian and Iranian Kurds when it suited their purposes.




    Rand Paul is the one pro-Russian exception, like his daddy. Both adore Assad as well and fall for the line the guy is “fighting terror.” Paul has no more chance of winning than Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee.



    “Rebellion gaining ground in SalahadDin, S-W #Aleppo after new assault launched this morning, advancing in west’ streets.–Syrian Rebel Observatory


    The following article from a strongly pro-regime source suggests things are not going quite so well for the regime in Idlib. Ordinarily you’d hear nothing of rebel successes from this source.


    1. Private Joker ‏tweets: “Abandoned loyalist convoy near Busra al-Harir:At least 3 BMPs, including 2 with DIY ZU-23 mounts”

    2. Revolutionary Guard Hadi Kajba killed in Busra al-Harir . Regime confirmed 11 SAA, 3 PLA & 14 NDF killed in Busra Al-Hareer/#Daraa-but no words about the dozen killed afghan Hazara fighters. Rebels claim regain control of villages north of Busra al-Harir in Lajat in the evenin –Markito0171.

    3. GRAPHIC VIDEO: Among the scores of dead Assad fighters: Hazari Afghans, Russians, Lebanese, Iraqis and others. At 1st I thought the number was too high..but it seems like there r at least 100 Assad militias mmbrs killed in past 24hrs in Basr Al Hareer –The 47th.


    –Jund al-Asima (Capital Army) reports that a Liwa Abu Fadl al-Abbas (Iraqi Shia militia) commander was killed

    –Lots of ambulance sirens in eastern #Damascus since last night, I don’t think Jobar is going well for the regime. Fighting in #Jobar intensifying, a number of regime militias reportedly killed, several positions cleared & a tank taken out–Sami


    “4 months into 2015 & the #Assad regime is looking discernibly weak: the most vulnerable since early-2013. Offensive capacity far diminished”–Charles Lister of Jane’s.

    “Assad’s “offensives” have basically morphed into Afghani Hazaraa ‘Banzai’ charges. The End is inching closer”–The Revolting Syrian

    Genome remains missing in action. Hasn’t appeared here for days–a sure sign of things going wrong.

    • The regime is losing on all fronts. The only thing thats keeping them afloat is the constant influx of afghan cannon fodder and the hezballs . This is not sustainable . The tides have turned the rebels are slowly but surely winning. The only force I could see slowing it down would be iraqi shiaa militias , but theyre completely out of the picture They have isis to deal with before they could even dream of helping asshead again. They have a long fight ahead but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

      • On Iraq.One thing i am glad to know on our 300 troops going over to help train their shia majority army is that they won’t be getting shot in the back by those they train.Like in afghanistan.Bless you and godspeed Iraqi army.Might quicken up the reallocation of iraqi shia militias.In the long run.Like 12 months or so.Maybe

      • @antiasshead I see your using “hezballs” now, which I coined. Good to my left such an impersonation and you like it as much as mean. I may have started a trend, I would so love it if in future there is a story in the news about Hassan Nashaytan b***hing about being called hezballs.


    As the Syrian crisis enters its fifth year under a deteriorating economic climate, the regime is increasingly unable to pay the salaries of shabeeha and militias fighting beside them. Such an incident recently happened in Homs, as sources inside the city’s pro-regime neighborhoods have confirmed to al-Souria.


    Iran can see how the West fails to enforce an arms-control deal.

    “Assad will keep gassing his own people, and Mr. Obama will keep claiming a disarmament triumph”:

          • The number of (mostly Hazara) Afghans fighting on behalf of the Syrian government is pretty small, probably smaller than the number of Chechens fighting on behalf of the opposition. The difference being that the Hazara are mostly recruited in a predatory manner — being refugees from Taliban persecution in Afghanistan, they come to Iran and are treated as second-class citizens with little prospects for labor and little social mobility. So the Iranian government offers to pay them some money if they’ll volunteer to fight in Syria.

            Should they be there? No. Are they combatants and ultimately fair game? Yes. But to call Hazara of all people “terrorists” just shows really little knowledge of their background and circumstance.

  8. I am not sure his influence in Syria is as wide as his influence is with druze in Leb.Was it not Hafez who had his father knocked off in the 70s?He worked under hafez after that if i remember right?

  9. Depleting Hezbollah’s power

    “”The years-long Syrian war seems to be depleting Hezbollah’s power.

    It is becoming difficult for Iran to send weapons to Hezbollah through Syria, as the routes are monitored and hindered by Israel.

    Thus the Shiite militia’s arsenal will come to an end one day or at least will be weakened in comparison to those it opposes, such as the Syrian opposition. The recent seizure of the Syrian rebels on the Nasibe border crossing with Jordan was proof of the Syrian opposition’s growing military competence as opposed to the deteriorating capabilities of Hezbollah and other militias fighting alongside the Assad regime’s forces. Hezbollah is weakening itself by itself.””

  10. In the Salamiyeh area of central Syria, the Ismaili community is still reeling from a recent massacre committed by ISIS in one of their villages.


    After the massacre the Syrian arab army looted the homes of the victims.

    In addition thousands of pro-regime militiamen and Hezbollah fighters were stationed in Saboura, just a few miles away, yet they did not come during the killings.


    Intense clashes between #IS soldiers and Assad forces at Atharyah checkpoint, eastern countryside.

    very interesting developments, this means IS is after the entire road Salamiya-Khanasir, all the way to Ithriya

    Given rebel offensive north Hama and Idlib, and IS offensive East Hama, its going to be a devastating summer for Assad

    There are also talks about mass emigration from E.Hama villages, bcause of IS attacks

    Tying up all these soldiers in E.Hama is enabling rebels to take all of Idlib and North Hama, useful in that sense

    Source: Iman Ikhlass


    These guys are just flat-out better than the opposition.

  12. A dead Afghan fighter had mullah issued ‘Passport to Paradise’ on him

    The same passport was previously taken from dead militias in different Syrian Governorates. Similar thing happened during the Iran-Iraq war when the Iranians gave out thousands of paradise keys to their soldiers which they told them were supposed to open the doors to heaven.

    • Ebe can I thank you for using the word Governate to describe the administrative divisions of Syria. So many people say province when its wrong, talking of Aleppo Province is like saying the Governate of Texas, or the State of Quebec.

      • NP Niall. It is not a province but an administrative Governorate. In fact, Syria as a whole let alone Lebanon was a Central Asia Minor province of the Byzantine Empire, and currently it is considered to be the 35th province of Iran according to a leading Iranian mullah.

        • People use the word province in the convenient generic sense. Basically governate and provinces are synonyms.

          • Currently they are. The Turkish and Arabic terms translated as “Governate” originally referred to the area over which a single governor was appointed to rule. These changed all the time. This is the basis, for example, for the historic dispute between Syria and turkey over Hatay which was repeatedly switched between the Governate of Aleppo and the Governate that covered south east Anatolia (I forget where it was based.) Same deal with Mount Lebanon.

            • Thank you for your contributions, I get why people say Province instead of Governate, I guess its like how Akihito’s title is Tenno and that normally translated from Japanese into Emperor, even though King would be a better title as just rules Japan one country. Or maybe they could call Pharaoh if people recognise him as a descendent of the Sun Goddess again. Also Syria with her current boarders is roughly the same as the Roman Province of Syria.

              • Umm no. Tenno literally means son of Heaven. If anything its an even more grandiose title than “Emperor”.

            • I’ve never ever encountered a situation in which I’m talking to an Arab and referred to a محافظة as a province, and had them stop me and say “excuse me, it’s a governorate.”

              • Yeah, unless you’re talking about the very specific context of Ottoman political arrangements, it’s much the same.

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