Khan al-Shih offensive (October–November 2016)

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Khan al-Shih offensive (October–November 2016)
Part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate campaign (Syrian Civil War)
Khan al-Shih offensive map.png
Map of Damascus in October 2016. The Western Ghouta rebel pocket is in the southwest.
Date1 October[2] – 30 November 2016
(1 month, 4 weeks and 1 day)
Location
Result

Syrian Army victory

Belligerents

Syrian Arab Republic

Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Surrendered[1]

Ahrar al-Sham Surrendered[1]
Units involved

Syrian Army

Unknown
Strength
3,700+[5] 1,450–1,946 (at the end of the offensive)[6][7]

The Khan al-Shih offensive (October–November 2016) was a Syrian Army offensive in the Rif Dimashq Governorate that was launched in early October 2016, as part of the Syrian Civil War. Its aim was to take control of the rebel-held part of western Ghouta. The main rebel stronghold in the region was the town of Khan al-Shih.

The offensive[edit]

The offensive was launched on 1 October 2016, with the Army taking control of 10 kilometers of farmland around the town of Deir Khabiyeh, east of Khan al-Shih, within 24 hours.[2] All of Deir Khabiyeh's farmland had been secured by 3 October.[4] Ten days later, the military seized a former air-defense base west of Deir Khabiyeh, partially surrounding the town on its western and southern side.[1] The following day, the Army captured Deir Khabiyeh, after which they turned their focus to Khan al-Shih.[8][9]

Between 7 and 9 October, government troops captured the Milano Steel factory near Al-Mokaylebah, as well as the Al-Wadi area one kilometer west of the town, while also advancing in the northwestern outskirts of Khan al-Shih.[10][11][12]

On 18 October, a potential agreement on a rebel surrender in the town of Zakiyah was reached.[13]

By 21 October, after advancing in the Al-Buwaydah Farms on the southwestern outskirts of Khan al-Shih, government forces broke through rebel lines, securing the southwestern axis of the town.[14] Two days later, the northwestern farms of Khan al-Shih were also captured, partially surrounding the town.[15] On 24 October, a rebel counter-attack at Khan al-Shih was repelled.[16]

On 28 October, Khan al-Shih was fully surrounded after a nearby air-defense base was captured by the Army[17] and thus cutting the rebel's supply route between Khan al-Shih and Zakiyah.[9] Between 2 and 3 November, government forces again advanced in the Al-Buwaydah Farms area[18][19][20] and ultimately seized the village of Al-Buwaydah on 4 November.[21][22] On 3 November 33 rebels were killed in the fighting.[23]

On 5 November, the rebels in Khan al-Shih started negotiating to surrender and be evacuated from the area.[24][25] Concurrently, over the next 24 hours, the Army dropped about 35 barrel bombs on the town.[26] On 6 November, the negotiations collapsed and the Army continued with its operations, taking control of the air-defense housing.[27] Two days later, a rebel counter-attack against Al-Buwaydah Farms was repelled.[28] The Army then proceeded to take control of the Drosha road, tightening the siege of Khan al-Shih, which resulted in a new round of surrender negotiations.[29]

As of 9 November 48 barrel bombs had been dropped on Khan al-Shih and 23 ground-to-ground missiles had been fired at the town.[30] On 10 November, the rebels managed to make some advances in the area between Al-Buwaydah and Deir Khabiyeh.[31] Between 11 and 13 November, another 73 barrel bombs were dropped on Khan al-Shih.[32][33][34] During this time, the Army established fire-control over the Zuhair area in the eastern outskirts of Khan al-Shih[35] and managed to fully besiege the town.[34][36] They also took control of the largest rebel weapons factory in the western Ghouta,[37] an animal farm and Khirbet Khan al-Shih near the Air Defense housing.[38]

A new rebel counter-attack at Khan al-Shih was repelled on 16 November.[39] The following day, the Army took control of farms near the town of Mid’aani,[40] as well as reportedly the Skaik farms of Khan al-Shih.[41]

On 19 November, the Army made new advances with the capture of the Qusur district in the east of Khan al-Shih,[42] while they also advanced again in the west of the town.[43] In the evening, an agreement was reached for the rebels to surrender the town. Under the terms of the agreement, the Army withdrew from the Qusur district it had captured a few hours earlier and a 48-hour ceasefire came into effect. If the ceasefire would hold, the rebels would be evacuated to rebel territory in the Idlib Governorate.[44] 1,000 rebels were to be transferred to Idlib, while those staying would have their cases settled by the Syrian authorities.[45]

On 27 November, the rebels handed in their heavy weapons[46] and 1,450 fighters and 1,400 of their family members departed for Idlib the following day.[6] On 29 November, militants from Zakiyah also handed over control of the town to the Syrian government and set off towards Idlib, while insurgents in three other nearby villages also agreed to withdraw from Western Ghouta.[47] The final batch of rebels from Khan al-Shih and all of the nearby villages was evacuated between 30 November and 1 December,[48][49][50] leaving the area firmly under government control.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army captures Air Battalion Base in West Ghouta - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army enters key town in West Ghouta - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Charkatli, Izat (1 December 2016). "Map Update: Western Ghouta firmly under government control".
  4. ^ a b Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army captures all farms surrounding key West Ghouta town". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  5. ^ Fadel, Leith (21 November 2016). "All eyes on the Golan Heights for the Syrian Army as the jihadist rebels surrender last West Ghouta stronghold".
  6. ^ a b "Syrian rebels, families evacuate besieged town near Damascus". 28 November 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  7. ^ "The Latest: Syrian army clears town near capital of rebels".
  8. ^ Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army captures key West Ghouta town - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Syrian Army Edges Closer Towards Rebel Stronghold in Capital - Newsweek Middle East". newsweekme.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  10. ^ Zen Adra. "Syrian Army makes fresh gains in Western Ghouta amid jihadi collapse - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  11. ^ Izat Charkatli. "Syrian Army advances in Khan Al-Sheh, Western Ghouta - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  12. ^ Zen Adra. "Syrian Army pushes deeper in Western Ghouta - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ Zen Adra. "Rebel-held town in Western Ghouta to surrender after SAA's advance - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  14. ^ Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army approaches strategic West Ghouta town amid jihadist collapse - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  15. ^ Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army surrounds strategic West Ghouta town after major push - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  16. ^ Zen Adra. "Syrian Army repels jihadi attack on Western Ghouta - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  17. ^ Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army encircles strategic West Ghouta town - AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  18. ^ Fadel, Leith (2 November 2016). "Syrian Army advances at key West Ghouta town". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Clashes in the Western Ghouta and casualties and injuries in Douma". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  20. ^ معارك مستمرة في غوطة دمشق الغربية مع قصف مكثف بالبراميل المتفجرة على المنطقة
  21. ^ Fadel, Leith (4 November 2016). "Syrian Army captures another village in West Ghouta". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  22. ^ قوات النظام تواصل تقدمها في غوطة دمشق الغربية وتضيسق الخناق على خان الشيح
  23. ^ "The Inside Source on Twitter". Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  24. ^ Fadel, Leith (5 November 2016). "Jihadist rebels on the verge of surrender in key West Ghouta town as negotiations begin". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  25. ^ "After the siege of Khan al-Shih… helicopters drop barrel bombs over the village and the attempts to reach an agreement and "reconciliation" continue". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  26. ^ "Tens of barrel bombs dropped on Khan al-Shih with attempts to clamp down on the town even more". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  27. ^ Tomson, Chris (6 November 2016). "Syrian Army secures West Ghouta road as jihadists refuse to surrender - Map update". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  28. ^ Fadel, Leith (8 November 2016). "Syrian Army beats back jihadist rebels at key West Ghouta town". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Regime forces besiege Khan al-Shekh and advance around it". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  30. ^ "More than 70 air and missile strikes and tens of missiles target the besieged Khan al-Shih". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  31. ^ "9 casualties in a massacre carried out by warplanes in Douma and clashes continue in the vicinity of Khan al-Shih". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  32. ^ "Regime's Helicopters drop 25 barrel bombs on Khan al-Shih and the shelling continue on the town". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  33. ^ "Regime's Helicopters drop more than 50 barrel bombs on the besieged Khan al-Shih". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  34. ^ a b "20 barrels dropped by regime's helicopters on Khan al-Shih and clashes continue in the vicinity of the besieged town". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  35. ^ Fadel, Leith (12 November 2016). "Syrian Army attempts to enter jihadist stronghold in West Ghouta". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  36. ^ "Violence in northern Syria kills 23". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  37. ^ Fadel, Leith (14 November 2016). "Syrian Army captures massive jihadist weapons factory in West Ghouta". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  38. ^ قوات النظام تحقق تقدماً جديداً في محيط خان الشيح المحاصرة بعد قصف مكثف استهدفها وغارات تخلف جرحى بالغوطة الشرقية
  39. ^ Fadel, Leith (17 November 2016). "Syrian Army beats back jihadist rebels in West Ghouta".
  40. ^ "The regime forces advance in Mid'aani farms and about 10 persons killed and wounded in missile bombardment on Douma". Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  41. ^ Fadel, Leith (17 November 2016). "Syrian Army makes large advance at key West Ghouta town".
  42. ^ Charkatli, Izat (19 November 2016). "Map Update: Syrian Army continues to strangle jihadist West Ghouta stronghold".
  43. ^ "The Inside Source on Twitter".
  44. ^ Tomson, Chris (19 November 2016). "Islamist rebels agree to hand over West Ghouta stronghold to the Syrian Army - report".
  45. ^ Adra, Zen (20 November 2016). "Exclusive: rebel-held town in Western Ghouta to surrender following Army advance".
  46. ^ "Syrian rebels hand in heavy weapons in besieged Damascus town". Reuters. 27 November 2016.
  47. ^ "Syrian Government Sets Control of Whole Western Ghouta as Militants Withdrawing from Area". 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  48. ^ Adra, Zen (30 November 2016). "In Video: jihadi fighters evacuated from key town in Western Ghouta".
  49. ^ "Season of evacuation to the north: The green buses come for West Ghouta".
  50. ^ "Displacing people from the town of Khan al-Shih in the Western Ghouta is completed". Retrieved 29 April 2017.


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