Governorates of Syria

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Syria

Syria is divided into fourteen governorates, or muhafazat (singular: muhafazah). The governorates are divided into sixty districts, or manatiq (sing. mintaqah), which are further divided into subdistricts, or nawahi (sing. nahia). The nawahi contain villages, which are the smallest administrative units.

Each governorate is headed by a governor, appointed by the interior minister, subject to cabinet approval. The governor is responsible for administration, health, social services, education, tourism, public works, transportation, domestic trade, agriculture, industry, civil defense, and maintenance of law and order in the governorate. The minister of local administration works closely with each governor to coordinate and supervise local development projects. The governor is assisted by a provincial council, three-quarters of whose members are popularly elected for four-year terms, the remainder being appointed by the interior minister and the governor. In addition, each council has an executive arm of six to ten centrally-appointed officers, selected from among the council's elected members. Each executive officer is charged with specific functions.

Districts and subdistricts are administered by officials appointed by the governor, subject to the approval of the interior minister. These officials work on local matters with elected district councils and serve as intermediaries between the central government and traditional local leaders, such as village chiefs, clan leaders, and councils of elders.

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