Battle of Al-Shaykh Maskin (2014)
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Battle of Al-Shaykh Maskin (2014)|
معركة الشيخ مسكين (2014)
|Part of the Syrian Civil War|
Map showing the rebel advances and government counterattacks
| Free Syrian Army|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Fahad Al Naimi|
(Southern Command commander)
Gen. Assad al Zubi
Capt. Abdul Hakim
(Lions of Islam Brigade commander)
Abu Humam Jazrawi †
(local Nusra leader)
| Col. Mohammad Jaber|
(Suqur al-Sahara commander)
Hassan Hazbawi †
(IRGC 64th Artillery Group)
Unknown Hezbollah leader †
| || |
|Unknown||1,900+ fighters (reinforcements)|
|Casualties and losses|
|200 killed (pro-government claim; by 10 November)||58 killed (pro-government claim; by 10 November)|
The Battle of Al-Shaykh Maskin (Arabic: معركة الشيخ مسكين الأولى) started with a Syrian Arab Army attempt, during the Syrian civil war in Daraa Governorate, to capture Al-Shaykh Maskin and thus secure the Daraa–Damascus highway. Two days later, the rebels launched their offensive, code-named "Edkholo Alayhem al-Bab" (Enter upon them through the gate) and "Hadm al-Jedar" (Demolition Of The Wall), to take control of Al-Shaykh Maskin and the nearby town of Nawa.
Initial Syrian Army assault
On the morning of 1 November 2014, the Army attacked the town, quickly capturing the majority of the eastern part of the town after the rebels retreated towards the cemetery in the Eastern District. By the early afternoon, government forces had secured the cemetery, thus taking control of the whole Eastern District. They then pressed forward towards the Western District and captured the city center.
On 3 November, the rebels announced the beginning of the battle of "Edkholo Alayhem al-Bab", with the aim of controlling Al-Shaykh Maskin. Three days later, rebels advanced inside the town after they launched an operation to capture the strategic Tel Hamad hill base on the west side of the town, ending up controlling most of Shaykh Maskin, before the Army managed to recapture ground in the east and reached the town cemetery. According to Al-Masdar news, Al-Jazeera correspondent Mohammad Nour was wounded on 7 November while covering the battle. It also claimed that the rebels retreated from the Southern District to Ibta'a and confirmed that the Army retreated from the checkpoints it captured in the Western District the day before. The next day, rebels captured the "8 March Tower" inside the town and Tell al-Hamad.
On 9 November, rebels captured the al-Hesh northern and southern hills, the Army training ground, al-Rahba battalion base, "al-Konkors" battalion base, the medical base, "al-Hejajia" tanks battalion base and Hawi checkpoint around the city of Nawa. Later that day, rebels took control over the entire city after the Army retreated towards Brigade 112 HQ base (located between the two towns) as well as Shaykh Maskin. Brigade 112 HQ was eventually captured by the rebels according to two Arab news agencies. Both local rebel groups and the al-Nusra Front claimed credit for the opposition advance. Syrian State Television "SANA" said troops were "redeploying and reorganizing in the Nawa area... in order to prepare for upcoming fighting." At the end of the day, the Army advanced inside Shaykh Maskin.
As of 10 November, according to a military source the Army was still present in the South and East Districts of Shaykh Maskin, and reportedly cleared the two besieged areas surrounding base 82 and Brigade 112. The next day, rebels advanced in Shaykh Maskin and took control of new positions and eventually captured the eastern neighborhood on 12 November. In response to the rebel gains, the Army decided to reassign the Suqur al-Sahara (Desert Falcons Special Forces Unit) led by col. Mohammad Jaber.
On 13 November, an Army convoy from Homs under command of Colonel Mohammad Jaber headed towards Nawa, Shaykh Maskin and Izraa. The reinforcements were described by Al-Masdar as much-needed as the Army lacked the manpower to conduct counter-attacks to restore lost ground in the province of Daraa. The next day, rebels announced the start of the second phase of the offensive in Shaykh Maskin against the Brigade 82 main base, the eastern neighborhood, al-Jardat and al-Sakran buildings, the northern checkpoint and the officers housings. That day, rebels advanced in the Brigade 82 area of Shaykh Maskin.
On 15 November, rebels took wide parts of the al-Dalli area (north of Shaykh Maskin) as the Army retreated from it. At least 11 rebels were killed that day. The next day, rebels captured the 60th Battalion base near al-Seheleyyi and al-Dalli villages.
On 17 November, Al-Masdar reported that the Army recaptured the village of al-Dalli and Tal ‘Areed (hill). The recapture of the hill was confirmed by pro-opposition sources. Al-Masdar also claimed that the Army ambushed a large al-Nusra contingent in the Northern District of Shaykh Maskin.
As of 18 November, the Syrian rebels were "slowly" capturing the Daraa Governorate and seized the headquarters of the 82 Brigade Base.
Syrian Army counter-offensive
On 25 November, a military source reported that the 12th Brigade of the 5th Division of the Syrian Army had re-established their supply route in the strategic town of Sheikh Miskeen after recapturing the Nawa-al-Dawaar road. The source also claimed that a large number of Al-Nusra fighters, including the leader of "Kateeb Ansar Al-Shariah" (Nusra offshoot) Sami Al-Safadi and 16 others were killed in the area and that three T-55 tanks, taken from the Army in Nawa, were destroyed. On the same day, the same military source claimed that the 175th Brigade was on the outskirts of Nawa, where it looked to breach "Jabhat Al-Nusra" defenses and recapture the surrounding hills overlooking this large city in the Daraa province. However, opposition news agent SLN News claimed that the rebels repelled the army attack from the eastern district of Shaykh Maskin, leaving "scores" of pro-government fighters dead.
On 26 November, a Hezbollah military leader was killed in Shaykh Maskin, according to the SOHR.
On 30 November, Army units recaptured the eastern neighborhood of Sheikh Miskeen, forcing the rebels to pull back to the rear-lines of defense. That day, local Iranian media announced the burial of the Hassan Hazbawi, the second highest-ranking commander from Khuzestan province killed in Syria. He was killed in Daraa.
By 3 December, the Army, backed by Hezbollah and Iraqi volunteers, was gaining ground in Sheikh Miskeen and controlled the northeast neighborhoods and the area east of the town on the road to Izraa. A reporter of the pro-opposition news agency Syria Mubasher accused the Army of using "human shields". Later that day, rebels reportedly advanced in the military housing area. Seven rebels, including a brigade commander, were killed.
On 7 December, the al-Nusra Front detonated two car-bombs in the military housing area—resulting in an advance for the rebels in the area and the eventual capture of the military housing by rebel forces. One of the armored cars used in the attack previously belonged to the U.N. UNDOF mission. According to the al-Nusra media outlet, the driver made it safely back; the vehicle was remotely detonated after it was parked near the officers' quarters.
On 15 December, Syrian intelligence official, General Rustom Ghazaleh destroyed his own villa in the nearby village of Garfa as rebels were approaching it after they captured the eastern district of Sheikh Maskin in a recent push.
- "Moderate Syrian rebels say they're advancing on Damascus from south". McClatchy DC. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "A military leader in Hezbollah killed in al- Sheikh Meskin clashes". SOHR. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- [syriadirect.org/rss/1722-syria-direct-news-update-12-3-14 SYRIA DIRECT: NEWS UPDATE 12-3-14]
- "Syria Update: November 25 – December 02, 2014". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "In Syria, a New Battlefront Opens". Stratfor. 13 February 2015. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
The government has sent reinforcements to the south to stem the rebel advances, but as the rebel victory at the Battle of Sheikh Miskin revealed, those forces are not always enough
- Ahmed Marshal. "جبهة النصرة والكتائب يسيطرون على مدينة نوى بالكامل". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "Full Field Report from the Violent Battle at Sheikh Miskeen in Dara'a". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Dar'a province: 9-11-2014". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Nawa 'liberated' and the fall of the Brigade 112 Headquarters in the east". Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- emiratesvoice. ""الجيش الحر" يعلن سيطرته على اللواء 112 في نوى واللواء 82 في الشيخ مسكين". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "اشتباكات مستمرة في محيط اللواء 82, وقذائف على العاصمة". Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "The rebel and Islamic battalions advance in al-Dalli area in Daraa". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Daraa province slowly falls into Syrian rebel hands – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor.
- "@deSyracuse Syria civil war (8 January 2015) – uMap".
- "The Syrian Rebellion Observatory: 9-11-2014". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- ""نوى".. مدخل لدمشق بيد الثوار". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Syrian rebels defend hold on strategic town". Stuff. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- "Senior Al-Qaeda Fighter Killed at Sheikh Miskeen; Desert Hawks Reassigned to Dara'a Front". Al-Masdar News. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- "Some 30 members of Iranian IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah killed in Syria". National Council of Resistance of Iran. 25 November 2014.
- "Liwa Shuhada' al-Yarmouk: History and Analysis". Syria Comment. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- Leith Fadel. "Al-Jazeera Journalist Wounded at Sheikh Miskeen; Heavy Fighting Reported in the City". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Syrian Army Opens a Supply Route to Sheikh Miskeen". Al Masdar News. 25 November 2014.
- "archicivilians on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "Peto Lucem on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Master. "Rebel and Islamic battalions announce a new battle in Dar'a". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "Daraa Governorate: Syrian Army Secures the East District in Sheikh Miskeen". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- Ahmed Marshal. "اشتباكات مستمرة بالشيخ مسكين والكتائب المقاتلة تستهدف تمركزات النظام بريف حلب". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "Bloody Clashes in Sheikh Miskeen Lead to High Casualties". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- sohranas. "Al- Nusra Front advances in the town of al- Sheikh Meskin in Daraa". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Syria rebels, Nusra capture key southern town: monitor". The Daily Star Newspaper – Lebanon. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- sohranas. "18 people killed in Daraa today". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Dar'a province: 11-11-2014". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Dar'a province: 12-11-2014". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Al-Tamimi, Aymenn Jawad. "The History of Suqur al-Sahara': Interview". Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
- Leith Fadel. "Battle for Dara'a Heats Up; SAA Reinforcements Pouring into the Province". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "فصائل مقاتلة وإسلامية تعلن بدء المرحلة الثانية من "معركة ادخلوا عليهم الباب"". Archived from the original on 16 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Dar'a province: 14-11-2014". SOHR. 14 November 2014.
- "11 rebels at least killed in clashes in the countryside of Daraa". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "Daraa Battle Map: Syrian Army Captures the Village of Dilli". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "archicivilians: 15 November 2014". Twitter. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- "Daraa province slowly falls into Syrian rebel hands". Al-Monitor. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
- حذيفة. "عشرات القتلى من النظام في اشتباكات الشيخ مسكين". شبكة سوريا مباشر. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "Syria Direct: News Update 12-1-14". Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Daraa province: 4-12-2014". SOHR. 3 December 2014.
- "Al- Nusra Front advances in the town of al- Sheikh Meskin after detonating 2 booby- trapped vehicles". SOHR. 8 December 2014. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "Battle Map Update of Sheikh Miskeen; Al-Jazeera Correspondent Killed". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- [url=https://twitter.com/JnDar3a_2/status/541684533499027456 مراسل الجنوب: twitter]
- "Syrian rocket kills 3-men crew from opposition TV". The Daily Star Lebanon. 9 December 2014.
- "Syrian intelligence official destroyed his villa: video". The Daily Star Lebanon. 16 December 2014.
- "Syria rebels overtake strategic base in south". Reuters. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.