Due to its large population, Damascus has been divided into two governorates. Damascus governorate, the capital of Syria, and Rural Damascus which consists of the countryside surrounding Damascus City. Rural Damascus is commonly called Ghota, and it is divided into Eastern Ghota and Western Ghota.
Eastern Ghota consists of Duma, Kafr Batna, Harasta, Nashabiyyeh, Arbin, and Maliha Sub-districts. It is divided into four sectors: Duma sector, which contains Duma sub-district; the middle sector, which contains Arbin, Kafr Batna, and Harasta; Marj sector a.k.a. Marj Elsultan, which contains Nashabiyyeh; and the southern sector, which contains Maliha.
All the sub-districts of Eastern Ghota are controlled by the opposition forces, except for Maliha, which was taken over by the Syrian Regime forces on 15 May 2015. Back then, it had been under the control of the opposition forces for two years. Its population was estimated at 85,000 inhabitants most of whom were displaced into other towns under the control of the opposition forces in Eastern Ghota. The population of Eastern Ghota, in the five NSAG controlled sub-districts, amounts to 398,835, of whom 61,775 are refugees who left their homes because the Syrian Regime forces took over their towns, or because their towns
are close to the front lines