World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Al-Ghab offensive (July–August 2015)

Article Id: WHEBN0047414490
Reproduction Date:

Title: Al-Ghab offensive (July–August 2015)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of Hama Governorate, 2015 in the Syrian Civil War, Conflicts in 2015, Timeline of the Syrian Civil War (August–December 2015), Timeline of the Syrian Civil War (January–July 2014)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Al-Ghab offensive (July–August 2015)

Al-Ghab offensive (July–August 2015)
Part of the Syrian Civil War

Territorial changes during the al-Ghab offensive

     Opposition control pre-offensive      Territory gained by Opposition during offensive

     Maximum extent of rebel advance; recaptured by Syrian Army
Date 28 July – 28 August 2015
(1 month)
Location Al-Ghab plain, Idlib and Hama Governorates, Syria (For a war map of the current situation in Al-Ghab plain, see .)
Status

Rebel victory

  • Rebels capture 13 towns/villages, along with four hills
  • Army recaptures two towns/villages
Belligerents

Army of Conquest[1]

SRCC

Supported by:
 Turkey
 Saudi Arabia
 Qatar


Junud al-Sham[4]
Jabhat Ansar al-Din[5]
Katibat Turkistani[6][7][8]
Katibat Tawhid wa Jihad (Uzbeks)[9][10][11]

Syrian Arab Republic

Hezbollah[12]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Syrian Resistance[13]
Liwa Fatemiyoun
Supported by:
 Iran

Commanders and leaders
Unknown Col. Suheil Al Hassan (WIA)[14]
Col. Ali Al-Hajji 
(leader Qawat Al-Fahoud)[14]
Units involved
Ansar al-Sham[4]
1st Coastal Division
13th Division[4]
101st Division
Falcons of Mount Zawiya Brigade
Knights of Justice Brigade[4]
Falcons of al-Ghab[15]
87th Brigade[16]
155th Brigade[17]
“Al-Qawat Al-Nimr” Brigade[18]
54th Special Forces Regiment[19]
106th Republican Guard Brigade[19]
40th Tank Brigade[19]
Suqur al-Sahara[20]
Qawat Al-Fahoud[14]
Hezbollah Units[19]
Qods Force
Casualties and losses
186–226 killed[21] 203 killed and wounded[22]
22 civilians killed and 70+ wounded[23][24]

The Al-Ghab offensive (July–August 2015) is an offensive launched by rebels in the Syrian Civil War to capture areas surrounding Jisr al-Shughur, and to establish a foothold in the Al-Ghab plain, in Syria's Idlib and Hama governorates.

Contents

  • Background 1
  • The offensive 2
    • Initial rebel assault 2.1
    • Army counter-attack 2.2
    • Rebels regain ground 2.3
    • Attacks and counter-attacks continue 2.4
  • References 3

Background

The 2015 Northwestern Syria offensive, dubbed by the rebels as Battle of Victory,[25][26][27] took place in Idlib and Hama.

The campaign consisted of a three-pronged attack, with the two main assaults spearheaded by Ahrar ash-Sham, -affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and other Islamist factions under the banner of the Army of Conquest, and the remaining attack force including collaboration with Free Syrian Army brigades.[28] The commander of the FSA 13th Division stated that coordinating with other groups such as al-Nusra Front did not mean they were aligned with them.[2] Within days, the rebels captured the city of Jisr al-Shughur and later on an Army base.[25] The success of the campaign was attributed to better coordination between the Syrian opposition's backers.[29][30] Still, the operation resulted in a high attrition rate for both sides.[25]

The offensive

Initial rebel assault

On 28 July 2015, rebels launched an assault to capture the remaining areas surrounding Jisr al-Shugur. Two hours later, rebels had captured the strategic hills of Tal Khattab, Tal Awar and Tal Hamka; along with the towns of Frikka, Mushayrafah, Salat Al-Zuhour and Zayzun. The Army retreated to the south in order to reinforce its positions at Tal Wassit and Tal Sheikh Elyas.[31] The Army responded with 160 airstrikes and dozens of shells and missiles. According to the SOHR, about 90 government fighters were killed or wounded during the assault, while 37 rebels (15 non-Syrian; including a Jordanian leader) were killed.[32]

Army counter-attack

Three days later on 1 August, the military recaptured Ziyadia and Zayzun, including its power station. In addition, they captured the towns of Khirbat al-Naqus and Mansura and its surrounding areas. The advances came after the Air Force had conducted more than 270 air-strikes on rebel positions over four days. The fighting had left 39 combatants dead,[33] including 20 soldiers and 19 rebels.[34]

On 2 August, government troops managed to recapture the Frikkah area, Khirbat al-Naqus, Mansura, al- Ziyadiyyah, Zayzun power plant and its dam, Tal Awar, Al-Ziyarah area and other areas on the outskirts of Idlib governorate and Sahl al-Ghab. The fighting in the preceding 72 hours left more than 115 rebels and 42 government fighters dead.[35] Later that day, rebels launched a counter-attack and managed to recapture parts of Frikkah.[36] However, this claim was refuted by pro-government outlet Al-Masdar, which stated that the Army never re-entered Frikkah.[37]

On 3 August, rebels recaptured Tal Awar and Frikkah, after the Army retreated from them,[38] while the Army recaptured Tal Hamka.[39] At least 30 government fighters and 16 rebels were killed.[38] According to Al-Masdar, the Army repelled an attack on Fawru.[40] Meanwhile, a Syrian warplane crashed inside Ariha, leaving a number of casualties among civilians. The fate of its crew was unclear.[41]

Rebels regain ground

On 5 August, rebels launched a counter-offensive and advanced towards the Army operation command center in Jurin and recaptured several positions in the Al-Ghab plain, including Tal Hamka, Tal Awar, the Zayzun termal plant and Zayzun. At least 12 government fighters and 9 rebels were killed, while a number of armoured vehicles and tanks were destroyed by BGM-71 TOW missiles.[42][43] Later that day, rebels captured al-Bahsa village and advanced into Safsafa, killing 17 government fighters, while losing 19 fighters.[23]

On 6 August, the Army launched counter-attacks on al-Bahsa, Mansura and Tal Awar, recapturing al-Bahsa and Mansura. 29 government fighters and 35 rebels were killed since 5 August.[44][45]

On 7 August, rebels captured Qarqur, its hill and Mashik.[46] The military leader of “Qawat Al-Fahoud” (Cheetah Forces), Colonel ‘Ali Al-Hajji was killed, while the leader of “Qawat Al-Nimr” (Tiger Forces), Colonel Suheil Al-Hassan was wounded in a rebel mortar attack on a government military camp.[14] A leading al-Nusra Front leader was also killed.[47] Later that day, government forces reportedly recaptured Mashik and most of Qarqur. Pro-government sources also confirmed that al-Bahsa was back in rebel hands at that time.[48] The SOHR reported that government forces recaptured large parts of al-Mshek and al-Bahsa during the counter-attack.[49]

On 9 August, rebels (re)captured Mansura, al-Ziyara, the silos area, Tal Wassit, al-Tanmia checkpoint and a number of military vehicles (including tanks). The Army conducted over 80 airstrikes, covering the retreat of the government forces in the area. The rebels lost 33 fighters during the assault.[50]

On 10 August, over 90 airstrikes were conducted on villages and towns in the al-Ghab plain, killing a number of rebels. The SOHR reported that one of these villages was Khirbat al-Naqus, which was previously not mentioned as captured by the rebels the day before.[51]

On 14 August, the rebels blew up two bridges at al-Ziyara, in the al-Ghab plain, to prevent future government advancements.[52] That day, five soldiers were executed by the rebels in Idlib city, in protest of the mistreatment of rebel prisoners in Hama Central Prison.[53]

Attacks and counter-attacks continue

On 18 August, the military launched a new counter-offensive recapturing several villages,[54] including Khirbat al-Naqus, al-Ziyara, Mansura and Tal Wassit.[55] Later, they also captured Msheek[56] and advanced in al-Qahera.[57] Two days later, government forces also secured the southern sector of Qarqur.[58][59]

On 25 August, rebels launched a new counter-attack and recaptured al-Ziyara, al-Msheek, Mansura, Tal Wassit and Khirbat Al-Naqus, as the Syrian Army retreated with little resistance.[60][61] At least 14 soldiers were killed,[62] while government forces also lost a number of military vehicles, including tanks.[63] On the same day, the Syrian Armed Forces were attempting to recapture the contested town of Al-Bahsa, which was 60 percent under their control[64] (they ended up recapturing it on October 10).[65]

On 28 August, the Army again launched a counter-attack and recaptured Khirbat Al-Naqus. According to Al-Masdar News, the "Tiger Force" pulled back its forces during the last rebel counter-attack and did not participate.[61][66]

On 4 September, government forces launched an attack on Tal Wassit, losing a tank.[67]

On October 10, the Syrian Armed Forces were able to take full-control of the town of Fawru.[65]

References

  1. ^ "Al Qaeda and allies form coalition to battle Syrian regime in Idlib". Long War Journal. 24 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Syrian rebels fight Syrian army near Assad heartland". Newsweek. Reuters. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015. As the biggest group in Army of Fatah, Ahrar al-Sham appears to hold the key to preventing infighting. 
  3. ^ Joscelyn, Thomas (25 April 2011). "Al Qaeda, jihadist allies declare victory over Syrian regime in key city". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2015. In addition to Al Nusrah and al Qaeda-linked jihadist groups, fighters associated with the Free Syrian Army also took part in the battle. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Syrian Rebellion Obs on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Second Idlib Stronghold Falls to Jabhat al-Nusra and Rebel Forces".  
  6. ^ Weiss, Caleb (August 9, 2015). "Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria takes part in battle for the Al Ghab plain". Long War Journal. 
  7. ^ Weiss, Caleb (23 April 2015). "Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria involved in new Idlib offensive". Long War Journal. 
  8. ^ "karakur-fethisi". Internet Archive. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Idlibga oid so'ngi qishloqlardagi janglar - Идлибга оид сўнги қишлоқлардаги жанглар. YouTube. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Tel Vosit qishlog'idagi amaliyot - Тел Восит қишлоғидаги амалиёт. YouTube. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Sahl al G'ob mintaqasidagi fathlari - Саҳл ал Ғоб минтақасидаги фатҳлар. YouTube. Aug 12, 2015. Retrieved Aug 12, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Military Situation in Idlib Province - Syria - April 29, 2015". archicivilians. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d Leith Fadel. "Key Tiger Forces Commander Killed; Colonel Suheil Al-Hassan Wounded in the Wadi Al-Ghaab". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Gutman, Roy; Alhamadee, Mousab (3 May 2015). "Rebel worry: How to control Islamists if Assad is pushed from northern Syria".  
  16. ^ Leith Fadel. "Update from Jisr Al-Shughour - Fierce Clashes at the National Hospital". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Leith Fadel. "Complete Field Report from Idlib City: Islamist Groups Fail to Progress". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Leith Fadel. "Tiger Forces Arrive at Ariha; Jaysh Al-Fatah Tries to Enter Al-Mastouma". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d White, Jeffrey; Abdulhamid Alrifai, Oula (27 April 2015). "Growing Rebel Capabilities Press the Syrian Regime". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "watanisy on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  21. ^ 37 killed (28–29 July),[11] 73–113 killed (31 July–2 August),[12] 16 killed (3 August),[13] 35 killed (5 August),[14] 25 killed (9 August),[15] total of 186–226 reported killed
  22. ^ 90 killed and wounded (28–29 July),[16] 42 killed (31 July–2 August),[17] 28 killed and wounded (3 August),[18] 29 killed (5 August),[19] 14 killed (25 August),[20] total of 203 reported killed and wounded
  23. ^ a b Edward. "The violent clashes continue and the hit-and-run battles in the Sahl al-Ghab and the countryside of Jesr al-Shoghour and the outskirts of Idlib province". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Master. "More casualties in Ariha, and warplanes strike the countryside of Idlib". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c Jeffrey White and Oula Abdulhamid Alrifai. "Now is a good time to apply maximum pressure on the Syrian regime". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  26. ^ "Syrian Town Jisr Al-Shughour Seized By Rebels In Major Blow To Assad". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  27. ^ "Jabhat al-Nusra seizes control of major Syrian government stronghold with rebel coalition". The Independent. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  28. ^ Barnard, Anne; Saad, Hwaida (25 April 2015). "Islamists Seize Control of Syrian City in Northwest". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 April 2015. Other video images posted by fighters and antigovernment activists showed insurgents, including some with Fursan al-Haq, a Free Syrian Army group, using what appeared to be guided antitank missiles to blow up armored vehicles in the battles in Idlib Province in recent days. 
  29. ^ Stuster, J. Dana (26 April 2015). "Syrian Rebels Seize Strategic City Near Coast". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 27 April 2015. The collective is called the "Army of Conquest," and its gains have been at least partially attributed to better cooperation between the rebels' foreign patrons Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar 
  30. ^ Blanford, Nicholas (27 April 2015). "Why Iran is standing by its weakened, and expensive, ally Syria". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  31. ^ Leith Fadel. "Jaysh Al-Fateh Captures Remaining Hills Near Jisr Al-Shughour". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  32. ^ Master. "About 90 members of the regime forces and allied militiamen killed in the rebels’ attack on areas in Sahl al- Ghab and Jeser al- Shohour". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  33. ^ "Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: monitor". Reuters. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  34. ^ "Syria army pushes back rebels near regime heartland: monitor". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  35. ^ Master. "More than 115 fighters killed in the counter attack launched by the regime forces in Sahl al- Ghab and the countryside of Jeser al- Shogour". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  36. ^ Edward. "Violent clashes take place in the vicinity of Frika and the countryside of Jesr al-Shoghour and Sahl al-Ghab". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  37. ^ Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army Making Significant Gains in the Al-Ghaab Plains". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  38. ^ a b Edward. "About 30 deaths and wound from the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them in the violent clashes in Sahl al-Ghab and the countryside of Jesr al-shoghour". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  39. ^ Master. "A commander in an Islamist faction executed in Jabal al- Zaweya, the regime forces advance again in the countryside of Jeser al- Shogour, while more civilians killed in Ariha". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  40. ^ Leith Fadel. "Jaysh Al-Fateh Retreats from Tal Hamki: Syrian Army is in Full Contr". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  41. ^ jack. "Casualties by aerial bombardment and a crash of a warplane in Ariha". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  42. ^ Master. "The fighters of factions reach to the closest point to the the operation command center of the regime forces and Hezbollah in Sahl al- Ghab killing 12 members of them". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  43. ^ Leith Fadel. "Jaysh Al-Fateh Launches Massive Offensive to Recapture Lost Territory in the Al-Ghaab Plains". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  44. ^ Master. "The rebel and Islamist factions advance in Sahl al-Ghab killing at least 29 members of the regime forces while dozens others wounded". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  45. ^ jack. "Clashes continue in Jesr al-Shughour and Hama countrysides amid advances for the regime". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  46. ^ Master. "The rebel and Islamist factions expel the regime forces from al- Qarqor and kill the military arm of Soheil al- Hasan". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  47. ^ Master. "The rebel and Islamist factions stifle the regime forces in the town of al- Ziyarah after expelling them from the village of al- Mshek". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  48. ^ Leith Fadel. "Breaking: Syrian Army Recaptures Al-Misheek and Several Points at Qarqour in the Wadi Al-Ghaab". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  49. ^ Edward. "Explosion cause wound in Hama city and the regime forces carry out a counterattack and advance in areas in Sahl al-Ghab". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  50. ^ jack. "Regime forces and Hezbollah collapse in al-Ghab valley and lose control on more points". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  51. ^ Edward. "About 90 air strike targeted areas in Sahel Al-Ghab". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  52. ^ Master. "The rebel and Islamist factions detonate 2 bridges in Sahl al- Ghab". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 
  53. ^ jack. "more-executions-in-the-city-of-idlib". More executions in the city of Idlib. 
  54. ^ "Syrian government launches counter attack on strategic plain: monitor". Reuters. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  55. ^ "Syria regime retakes villages near stronghold: monitor - World - Dunya News". dunyanews.tv. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  56. ^ "IUCA". Twitter. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  57. ^ "Timeline Photos - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - Facebook". Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  58. ^ Leith Fadel. "Tiger Forces Advance in the Al-Ghaab Plains". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  59. ^ Edward. "Ongoing clashes in the vicinity of several villages In Sahl Al-Ghab and the outskirts of the countryside of Idlib". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  60. ^ Leith Fadel. "Deja Vu in the Al-Ghaab Plains: Syrian Army Pulls Out of 4 Towns". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  61. ^ a b Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army Launches Counter-Assault in the Al-Ghaab Plains: Khirbat Naqous Captured". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  62. ^ Jack. "40 قتيلاً من قوات النظام في معارك سهل الغاب وجبال اللاذقية". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  63. ^ "Julian Röpcke". Twitter. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  64. ^ Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army Suspends Northeastern Latakia Offensive after the Capture of Tal SyriaTel". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  65. ^ a b Leith Fadel. "Russian Airstrikes Make the Difference as the Syrian Army Advances North Towards Idlib". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
  66. ^ jack. "Clashes continue in al-Ghab valley". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  67. ^ jack. "Violent clashes around Tal Wasit". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.