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Battle of Mork

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Title: Battle of Mork  
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Subject: Timeline of the Syrian Civil War (May–August 2012), Shayrat and Tiyas airbase ambush, Battle of Azaz (2012), Battle of Douma, Battle of Rastan (2012)
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Battle of Mork

Battle of Mork
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Date 1 February – 23 October 2014
(8 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
Location Mork, Syria
Result

Syrian Army victory

  • Rebels capture and hold Mork for nine months and cut supply lines to government forces in Khan Shaykhun and the Wadi al-Daif and al-Hamidiyah Army bases
  • Syrian Army recaptures Soran in February 2014 and Mork in October 2014
Belligerents

Islamic Front[1]
Al-Nusra Front[1]
Free Syrian Army[2]

Sham Legion[3]

Syrian Arab Republic

Hezbollah[4]
Commanders and leaders
Mondher Saras (Sham Legion leader)
Lt. Col. Ahmad Al-Sa’oud (13th Division leader)
Colonel Suheil Al Hassan
(Final Assault only)
Units involved

13th Division[5]

Knights of Justice Brigade[6]
11th Tank Division[7]

The Battle of Mork was a battle in the Hama Governorate during the Syrian Civil War, between the rebels and the Syrian Government. The clashes were concentrated around and in the eastern side of the town of Mork (or Morek), as the Syrian Army tried to regain the town after it was lost to the rebels on 1 February 2014.

Capture of Mork

On 1 February, rebels reportedly took the al-Harsh checkpoint, north of Mork, and the al-Jeser checkpoint, between Helfaya and Taybat al-Imam. They also captured the al-Aboud military checkpoint, thus fully taking control of Mork and cutting the supply line to the Wadi al-Daif and al-Hamidiyah military bases near Maarrat al-Nu'man, and isolating Army checkpoints in Khan Shaykhun. By doing this, the rebels managed to link up with other rebel groups in the eastern and western countryside of Hama.[1][2]

Army counter-attack

On 3 February, violent clashes took place between the rebels and an Army convoy heading to Mork near the bridge of Soran. According to the SOHR, at least 20 Army soldiers were killed in the fighting.[8] Two days later, violent clashes were taking place at the tank battalion north of Mork, Soran, and on the highway south of Soran. The Army managed to capture Soran.[9] On 11 February, at least 10 pro-government fighters were killed after a suicide car-bomb struck the Al-Aboud checkpoint, south of Mork.[10] On 15 February, the rebels destroyed the Madajin checkpoint near Morek (not to be confused with ones with the same name near Khan Shaykhun and Taybat al-Imam, respectively[11]).[12][13][14] On 17 February, it was reported that the Army stormed Mork, but was pushed back by the rebels. The Army entered the perimeter of Mork again later that day.[15] On 28 February, the Army managed to advance towards Mork, amid heavy fighting and mutual bombardments.[16]

Stalemate and Army advance into eastern Mork

On 4 March, violent clashes took place on the international highway south of Mork, while the west side of Mork was struck by air strikes.[17] By 24 March, the rebels had repeatedly fought off attempts by the Army to break through their lines at Mork.[18]

On 4 April, six rebels were killed by clashes around the town[19] and the government forces reportedly captured parts of Mork on 14 April.[20] Between 18 and 22 April, the SOHR reported that rebels managed to disable three Army tanks near Mork and on its perimeter.[21][22] On 24 April, it was reported that at least 6 soldiers and pro-government fighters were killed and wounded by a rebel ambush on the perimeter of Mork.[23]

On 1 May, rebels managed to capture an Army checkpoint to the south of Mork,[24] while the Army regained control over the eastern district of Mork five days later.[25]

July–August Army assault

On 16 July, the Army renewed its offensive and bombed the town over 20 times in an attempt to storm the rebel-held part of Mork to break the siege of Wadi al-Daif base. The attack resulted in the death of 15 terrorist.[26] The SOHR stated that, at this point, the rebels were on the verge of losing the strategic location.[27] At least 11 rebels were killed that day,[28] while at least one soldier and three Hezbollah fighters were killed. The Army conducted at least 10 air strikes the following day.[4]

On 18 July, it was reported that the Army launched 12 air strikes, while it also dropped 6 barrel bombs on Mork.[29] According to the SOHR, the Army captured the tank battalion base north of Mork, but rebels managed to recapture the military site and the '6th point' later that day. At least seven rebels (including a rebel commander) and many pro-government fighters were killed and captured in the fighting.[30] The rebels also allegedly destroyed a tank and recaptured the Kassaret Al Fostoq area, in the east of Mork.[31]

On 20 July, at least seven rebel fighters were killed in an ambush by the Army around Soran.[32] Afterwards, the fighting for Mork returned to a stalemate, with local skirmishes in and around the town.

Rebels regain lost ground

However, the rebels managed to advance in the southern side of Mork on the 29th, according to the SOHR,[33] and eventually recaptured the southwestern part of the town during the night of 12–13 August. It was also reported that the Army began retreating to the outskirts of Mork.[34] However, fighting continued in the town the next day.[35] On 25 August, rebels advanced in the northern countryside of Mork.[36]

October Army assault and capture of Mork

On 14 October, rebels advanced in the area between the so-called 'Eight point' and Kassarah checkpoint and destroyed three Army vehicles, while it was unclear who controlled the 'Tanks battalion' base north of Mork at that time.[37][38] On 17 October, it was confirmed the base had been captured by the Army[39] and later in the day it made more advances on the outskirts of the town,[40] as well as inside it,[41] as both sides sent reinforcements to the area.[39] Al-Masdar news reported the Army had captured the Mork–Khan Sheikhoun Road, north of Mork. Although, the SOHR reported continued fighting on the road the next day.[42]

On 23 October, the Syrian Army, backed by allied militias, took back total control of Morek, nine months after it was seized by rebel forces.[43] According to Al-Masdar, over 200 Islamic Front militants, 27 Syrian Army troops and 32 NDF fighters were killed in the final week of the battle. Rebel fighters retreated from the town southwest to Tal Itmeen hill where they were confronted by more government forces and in the late afternoon the Army secured the hill.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c Advances for rebel and Islamic fighters in Hama
  2. ^ a b Syria rebels control strategic area near Hama
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ violent clashes and losses in regime side in Hama
  9. ^ violent clashes continue in Hama
  10. ^ More than 60 regular forces and NDF killed in the past 3 days
  11. ^ Battles of N-Hamah Province
  12. ^ Shaam News, 15 févr. 2014
  13. ^ Shaam News, 15 févr. 2014
  14. ^ Shaam News, 15 févr. 2014
  15. ^
  16. ^ Violent clashes continue in Hama
  17. ^ Violent clashes and raids in Hama and Hasakah provinces
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^

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