Suluk, Syria

Town and subdistrict

Suluk nahiya within ar-Raqqah Governorate

Location in Syria

Coordinates: 36°35′57″N 39°07′43″E / 36.599167°N 39.128611°E / 36.599167; 39.128611Coordinates: 36°35′57″N 39°07′43″E / 36.599167°N 39.128611°E / 36.599167; 39.128611
Country  Syria
Governorate Al-Raqqah
District Tell Abyad
Population (2004)
  Town 7,825[1]
  Subdistrict 44,131[1]
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
P-Code C5843
Geocode SY110201

Suluk or Saluq is a town and nahiyah within the Tell Abyad District of ar-Raqqah Governorate in Syria. Suluk is close to the border with Turkey. The population of the town is predominately Turkmen, while the nahiyah consists mostly of Turkmen and Arabs. The Kurds are a minority in the district in total but make up the majority in the sparsely populated south.[2] As a preliminary result of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, Suluk today is situated in Kobanî Canton within the autonomous Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava framework.

In June 2015, Suluk was taken over by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the course of their Tell Abyad offensive.[3] The YPG has been accused of barring the return of its residents,[4] "razing" nearby villages,[5] and "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs.[6] They have denied these allegations, calling them "biased, unprofessional and politicized".[7]

On February 27, 2016, fighters of the terrorist group Islamic State attacked Suluk, the village Hammam at‑Turkuman and Tall Abyad.[8] At this point, the towns were not directly at the front to ISIL-held territory anymore and the jihadists were able to expel the Kurdish People's Protection Units in this surprise attack from Suluk and Hammam at-Turkuman. Kurdish security forces soon were able to encircle the attackers[9] and recaptured the villages on March 3, 2016.[10] The liberation came too late for 15 civilians in Hammam at-Turkuman, which were executed by the jihadists in the charge of "Refusing to corporate with IS and helping the YPG earlier".[11]

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 70 fighters from the Islamic State and 20 Kurdish fighters were killed during the clashes.[12]

A spokesman of the YPG, Redur Xelil, accused Turkey of supporting the terrorists because some of them infiltrated from the Turkish border to the north. Turkey denied the accusations.[9]

In the early 13th century, during Ayyubid rule, the medieval geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi noted that Suluk was "a town of Syria".[13]


  1. 1 2 "2004 Census Data for Suluk nahiyah" (in Arabic). Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 October 2015. Also available in English: "2004 Census Data". UN OCHA. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
  2. "Syria Ethnic Composition (detailed)". The Gulf/2000 Project. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  3. Lefteris Pitarakis; Bassem Mrque (June 14, 2015). "Thousands of Syrians flee into Turkey amid intense fighting". AP The Big Story. Associated Press. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  8. "Tall Abyad: IS captures Suluk and Hammam at Turkuman". March 3, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  9. 1 2 Maryam Karouny; Seyhmus Cakan (February 27, 2016). "Islamic State attacks Kurdish-held town on Turkish border". Reuters. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  10. Edwin Mora (March 3, 2016). "Kurds Repel Attack by Islamic State in Syrian Town Targeted by Turkey". Breitbart. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  11. "IS executes 19 at least, in the town of Hamam al-Turkman south of Tal Abiad". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. March 2, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  12. "By "Caliphate Cubs and the costume of Self-Defense", "Islamic State" carry out Tal Abyad military operations". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. February 29, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  13. Strange, le, Guy (1890). Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. p. 530.
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