“Useful Syria” and Demographic Changes in Syria

Hussain Ibrahim Qutrib
Associate Professor of Geomorphology

In early 2016 Bashar Al-Assad coined the term "Useful Syria", referring to six governorates encompassing Damascus, Rif Dimashq, Homs, Hama, Latakia, and Tartus. He stated that he will defend them with all his might, and considered remaining governorates as less strategic. The study hopes to track qualitative (ethnic, religious, and doctrinal) demographic changes of inhabitants, performed by the Syrian regime and its allies in these Governorates through forced migration operations, “siege and starvation” tactics and forced banishment deals that aim to displace inhabitants, while replacing them with another demographic. This depends on a comparative study of an official population consensus in late 2011 and estimations made of population numbers in late 2016. The study will finally present the most important aspects of demographic changes in “Useful Syria” Governorates, accompanied by tables and charts and the results and recommendations derived from them.