Map depicting historical and present distribution of Chechen–Ingush rural settlement in the Upper Khabur region of Jazira Region/Hasakah Governorate (full size). For more visual inclusiveness on this map, I designate this these two related groups collectively as “Vainakh” in the key, with Chechen assumed as the encompassing ethnicity except where historic Ingush populations have been secondarily specified.
This map intends to show the historical progression—or, more accurately, contraction—of the settlement area by dividing those rural villages attested in available sources into three “layered” groups. The villages listed as current settlements in this article published in June 2017 by Souriatna, an outlet aligned with the Syrian opposition, are presented with unbroken circles as the most recent layer; al-Safih, as the most significant of these presently and historically, I have marked more prominently. The next layer comprises those villages attested by Ahmad Zakarya in his in-depth mid-1940s survey of Syria Asha’ir al-Sham (p. 702), presented with dashed circles. The remainder of the villages, marked with dotted circles, are those not included in either of the aforementioned sources but are attested in other sources (particularly this selection by Madina Khangoshvili, found in a 2014 post on a community interest website but apparently originally published in the Annals of the Academy of Sciences of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in April 1999) as being inhabited earlier or without clear date, and are assumed to be either those villages whose original Vainakh inhabitants had emigrated or assimilated prior, or possibly whose populations were simply missed in the later surveys. The mixed town of Ras al-‘Ayn also presently retains a Chechen population dating back to the community’s original establishment, but as a quasi-urban location it is not specially marked with a circle on the map.
I employ simple transcriptions of modern Arabic placenames, with care taken in mapping to match variant or historical names with these. The village listed by Khangoshvili as “Tel Nvsar” (Тель-Нвсар) I assume with confidence to be a simple typographical error for Tel Nasar (Тель-Насар), and likely synonymous with the modern Tal Nasra (تل نصرى) . Four villages marked on the map are explicitly noted as having uncertain location due to potential but imprecise matches between toponyms of available maps of the area and placenames attested in the sources examined. I have tentatively associated Umm Salbah Luzah (ام سلبة لوزة) with al-Luiziyah (Аль Луизия) recorded by Khangoshvili; I similarly link al-Amiritt (الاميريط) and al-Dawudiyah (الداوودية) to al-Abratt (الأبرط) and al-Dawiyah (الداوية) recorded by Zakariya. Umm al-Kayf (أم الكيف) may be Khangoshvili’s Tel Kaifa (Тель-Каифа), although Tal Kayfji (تل كيفجي) immediately downstream is another possibility.
Additionally, I was not able to locate with sufficient confidence the following villages listed by Khangoshvili: Sufa Shimal (Суфа Шимал), Shamakhai Yurt (Шамахай Юрт), Bir Alsbeg (Бир Алсбег), Tel Sugal (Тель-Сугал), al-Kusa (Аль Куса), and Tuwaymiyah (Туваимия).
Khangoshvili records the breakdown of the teips (Vainakh equivalent of tribes) as follows:
- BULKUSHOY: al-Jahafa, Sufa Shimal, Tal Dhiyab, Tal Sinan
- BUOKOY: Mujaybirah*, Tal Juma
- DOURBUOKOY: ‘Arishah*, al-Tuwilah
- GALAY: ‘Arishah*, Jan Tamir
- GANDILO: al-Safih
- KURTOY: ‘Arishah*
- ISMIRZNEKIYE: ‘Arishah*
- MERDZHOY: Tal Sugal, Umm al-‘Asafir
- MUDZHGOY: Bir Nuh, Tal Kayfa
- TSIYECHOY: Bir Alsbeg, al-Luiziyah, Mujaybirah, Shamakhai Yurt
- GHALGHAY (INGUSH): Bir Razza, al-Kusa, Tal Maghas, Tal Tamer, Tal Nasra, Tuwaymiyah
- NOT SPECIFIED: al-Masajid
*denotes village with multiple teips