Battle of Rastan (2011)

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First Battle of Rastan
Part of the Early insurgency phase of the Syrian Civil War
Date27 September – 1 October 2011
(4 days)
Rastan, Homs Governorate, Syria
34°54′55″N 36°44′08″E / 34.91525°N 36.735485°E / 34.91525; 36.735485Coordinates: 34°54′55″N 36°44′08″E / 34.91525°N 36.735485°E / 34.91525; 36.735485

Syrian Army victory

  • Syrian Army retakes the city
Syrian opposition Free Syrian Army
Syrian opposition Civilian rebels

Syria Syrian Arab Republic

Commanders and leaders
Maj. Abdul Rahman Sheikh Ali [3]
1st Lt. Ahmad Mustafa al-Khalaf [4]
Units involved
Khalid ibn al-Walid Battalion 1st Armoured Division
1,000[5] 900 soldiers
250 tanks and armored vehicles
Casualties and losses
130 killed*[6]
3,000 opposition supporters arrested[7]
13 killed[8]
32 wounded[9]
*The number of dead on the rebel side includes both opposition fighters and civilian protesters
Battle of Rastan (2011) is located in Syria
Battle of Rastan (2011)
Location within Syria

A battle for control of Rastan, a city of 60,000 residents in Homs Governorate, Syria, occurred from 27 September to 1 October 2011. In late September, there were reports of numerous Syrian Army defections in the area, following which the Free Syrian Army took control of Rastan. After a four-day battle, the city was retaken by the Syrian Army.


On 28 May 2011, after major protests, the Syrian Army launched an operation in Rastan and the neighboring town of Talbiseh, which resulted in the suppression of anti-government protests and numerous deaths. The Syrian Army met some armed opposition during the operation,[10] but had gained control of the city by 4 June.


In late September, there were reports of many Syrian Army defections in Rastan, and the Free Syrian Army claimed to have destroyed 17 armoured vehicles during clashes in the city,[11] using RPGs and booby traps.[12] The assault was also, the opposition claimed, supported by Syrian Air Force jets.[1]

On 1 October, the Syrian Army took control of Rastan, killing 120 civilians and opposition soldiers according to opposition sources[13] and arresting 3,000 suspected opposition members.[7]


Insurgent activity continued in the area for months after the major clashes ended. On 24 November, the military conducted an operation in Rastan, during which they killed 16 gunmen and captured a large cache of weapons.[14]

On 1 February 2012, the FSA and opposition activists reported that the FSA had gained full control of Rastan after four days of intense clashes.[15][16] Photos were posted on the internet showing FSA fighters in the streets of Rastan, standing guard.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Syrian forces pound western city in battle against defectors". CNN. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  2. ^ "The view from Damascus: Assad regime is 'weak' and 'robbing banks' to finance repression". News - Telegraph Blogs. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  3. ^ "Martyr Abdul Rahman Sheikh Ali". Symbols of the Syrian Revolution. 3 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Ahmad Mustafa al-Khalaf". Violations Documentation Center in Syria. 28 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Syrian tanks pound anti-Assad fighters for 2nd day". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Pro-Assad forces regain rebel Syrian town: agency". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Syrian troops arrest 3,000 people in Rastan". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  8. ^ 13 killed (27 September–1 October),[1][2], total of 13 reported killed Archived October 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Fri, 30 Sep 2011, 09:37 GMT+3 - Syria". Al Jazeera Blogs. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  10. ^ ""We Live as in War" - Human Rights Watch". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Syrian defectors battle Assad's army". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Thousands of troops desert from Syrian army". Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Pro-Assad forces regain rebel Syrian town: agency". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Some 20 killed in 24 hours across Syria: report". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Syrian troops push towards Damascus". Retrieved 10 October 2014.
  16. ^ Syrian troops push further into Damascus suburbs as defectors take control of central town Archived January 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Syrian death toll from Monday at 100 as rebels take central town of Rastan". GlobalPost. Retrieved 10 October 2014.

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