Qatana is a city in southern Syria, administratively part of the Qatana District of Rif Dimashq Governorate. Qatana has an altitude of 879 meters. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics, the city had a population of 33,996 in the 2004 census. It is the administrative center of the Qatana Subdistrict, which contained 20 localities with a collective population of 147,451 in 2004. Prior to the Syrian Civil War, during which there have been armed confrontations in Qatana, the city had a mixed population of Sunni Muslims (65%), Christians (20%) and Alawites (15%). The Alawites were relatively recent arrivals, who emigrated to the city during the 1970s.