Syria / Cities and Towns /
Arabic: dayru z-zawr
Other spellings: Dayr az Zur; Dayr az Zor; Deir ez-Zor; Dayr az Zawr; Deir ez-Zur
City in eastern Syria with 190,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), on the right bank of the Euphrates River. It is the capital of Deir ez-Zawr province.
Suspension bridge across Euphrates river, Deir ez-Zawr, Syria.
The memorial to the Armenians slaughtered in 1915, seen outside the Church of the 40 Martyrs. Photo: Bill Williams.
The main economic activities of Deir ez-Zawr are oil production and gas production. Traditionally, Deir ez-Zawr has been a trade centre for several transport routes crossing the desert, involving economic exchanges between the Syrian cities Aleppo and Damascus, and Mosul in Iraq.
Deir ez-Zawr has excellent connections with other urban centres, by rail, road and a domestic airport. Qamishli is 200 km north, Raqqa 130 km northwest and Damascus 450 km southwest.
Deir ez-Zawr is an active city, mainly modern. The main landmark is the suspension bridge crossing the Euphrates River.
The university of Deir ez-Zawr was founded in 1977. The city also has a first class archaeological museum, opened in 1996.
The name of the city is most likely derived from the ancient city of Auzara which was located close to modern Deir ez-Zawr.
1867: Deir ez-Zawr is founded by the Ottomans, with the purpose of controlling the nomads of the Euphrates area.
1918: Occupied by British troops.
1921: Conquered by the troops of Faisal 1.
1924: A suspension bridge (see photo) is built across the Euphrates River.
1941: Occupied by British troops.
1946: Returned to the newly formed independent state of Syria.
1984: Extensive oil fields discovered around Deir ez-Zawr. Facilities are quickly developed.