Battle of Hosn
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|Battle of Hosn|
|Part of Syrian Civil War|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Unknown|| Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi|
(Ahrar ash-Sham commander)
Khaled Mahmoud al-Dandashi †
(alias: "Abu Suleiman", Emir and Founder of Jund ash-Sham)
|Casualties and losses|
|Several killed|| 40–93 killed (Army claim)|
12 killed (opposition claim)
The Battle of Hosn was a one-day battle during the Syrian Civil War around the village of Hosn and its proper center in the 900-year-old medieval Crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers, a UNESCO world heritage site, that had been in the hands of rebel fighters along with Hosn itself since 2012. The Syrian Army's objective during the battle was to sever the rebels' supply routes for recruits and weapons coming in and out of Lebanon.
On the morning of 20 March, fighting started around early dawn with a heavy bombardment of the medieval castle where three-hundred rebels were believed to reside. The town of Hosn itself was also shelled. According to an opposition activist, an agreement for safe conduct of the rebels to Lebanon had been reached the previous day. The military commander leading the battle denied that an agreement had been reached. He stated the military had refused to grant the rebels holed up in the castle safe conduct from the fortress and made the final push into it after seeing the rebels retreating. Another opposition activist countered with claims the military ambushed individuals fleeing Hosn, near the Lebanese border, leaving many dead. Government troops took the castle by the early afternoon. 12 rebel fighters were killed in the engagement inside the castle, including Abu Suleiman Dandashi, an Ahrar ash-Sham brigade commander and Lebanese national. According to military sources, 40–93 rebels were killed as they retreated, including Khaled al-Mahmud, purported to be the leader of the jihadist Jund ash-Sham rebel group. Several soldiers were also killed in the fighting.
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