Quneitra offensive (September 2016)

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Quneitra offensive (September 2016)
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Quneitra offensive (2016).svg
The military situation in Quineitra Governorate in 2016 - scene of fighting marked with black box.

     Syrian Ba'athist Army control      Syrian Opposition control      Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

     Ongoing confrontation or unclear situation
Date10–17 September 2016
(1 week)
Location
Quneitra Governorate, Syrian territories (de jure Syrian Arab Republic)
Status

Indecisive

  • Rebels captured two hills and several checkpoints[9]
  • The Army recaptures all lost territory,[10] except Tal Al-Hamirat hill[11]
Belligerents
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
Alwiya al-Furqan
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Bayt al-Maqdis[1]
Ahrar al-Sham[2]
Sadqa Wa'dah Movement[3]
Syrian opposition Free Syrian Army[4]

Syria Syrian Arab Republic

Hezbollah[5]
Jaysh al-Muwahhideen[6]
SSNP[6]
Rijal al-Karama[7]
Syria Kata’ib Humat al-Diyar[8]
Commanders and leaders
Abu Suhaib Al Tunisi [12]
(Jabhat Fatah commander)
Mohammad Yusuf al-Sabihi [12]
(Jabhat Fatah commander)
Amjad Abdul Hakim al-Balkhi [12]
(Jabhat Fatah commander)
Abu al-Mossana al-Shami [12]
(Ahrar al-Sham senior commander)
Baslan Fou'az Al-Masri [3]
(Sadqa Wa'dah Movement chief commander)
Brig. Gen. Osama Zahreddine[13]
(operations chief commander)
Majid Himoud[5]
(Golan Regiment’s Fist Battalion commander)
Units involved
Unknown

Syrian Armed Forces

Casualties and losses
28 killed (per the SOHR)[17][18]
54 killed (per The Inside Source)[19]
70+ killed (per the Army)[16]
9 killed (per the SOHR)[20]
dozens killed (per The Inside Source)[19]

The Quneitra offensive (September 2016) was launched by Syrian rebel forces, during the Syrian Civil War, in order to capture the government-held town of Hader, Quneitra Governorate.

The offensive[edit]

On 10 September, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly the al-Nusra Front), along with Ansar Bait al-Maqdis and Ahrar al-Sham, launched an offensive at the town of Khan Arnabah on the border with the Golan Heights.[21] Hours later, the rebels took one checkpoint[22] and a hill, but according to pro-government sources, failed to capture another hill and were repelled by pro-government forces.[2]

Meanwhile, the fighting caused stray shells to land at the northern Golan Heights and in response, Israel bombed a Syrian Army artillery position in Quneitra.[23]

The next day, the rebels made advances at the village of Homirat,[24] seizing a large part of its eastern flank,[25] mainly Tal Al-Hamirat hill. At the same time, the main rebel attack towards Hader, at the Tal Taranjeh hilltop, was repelled[9][26] after a three-hour battle. Rebel forces also reportedly suffered heavy losses after entering a minefield near Tal Gren hill. This included the destruction of two BMP infantry fighting vehicles.[27]

On 12 September, the Army reportedly recaptured all positions they had previously lost, including Tal Al-Hamirat.[10] Later in the day, despite the official start of a country-wide cease-fire, the rebels launched a new, much larger, assault.[28] The rebels once again assaulted Tal Taranjeh hill, but were again beaten back after 10 hours of fighting.[29]

The next day, the Syrian Air Defense Force launched two surface to air missiles at two Israeli Air Force aircraft flying over Quneitra. The Syrian state media Syrian Arab News Agency claimed to have shot down the plane and drone, but the IAF denied this.[30]

On 14 September, a new rebel attack on Tal Taranjeh was beaten back by the Syrian Army.[3] Despite the official ceasefire, both sides continued to shell each other during 17 September,[31] with one stray mortar shell hitting Israeli occupied territory. This led the Israeli Air Force to retaliate by striking the Golan Regiment's positions near Hader.[32] Hours later, the rebels launched a new attack on the government-held Battalion 4 Hill, which was repelled.[4] On 20 September, it was revealed that Al-Humriyah hill was recaptured by the rebels and was being bombarded by the army positions in Tuloul al-Hamar.[33][11]

Aftermath[edit]

A new rebel assault on Hader in November was also repelled, with 19–80 rebels and at least 10 soldiers killed.[34][35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Analysis: Israel feels the heat as battles rage across Syrian border". I24 News. 14 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Syrian Army repels major jihadist offensive in Quneitra". Al-Masdar News. 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "(Graphic +18) Group of jihadists killed in Golan Heights after attacking Tal Taranjeh". Al-Masdar News. 15 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Leith Fadel (17 September 2016). "Jihadist rebels launch new attack in the Golan Heights". Al-Masdar News.
  5. ^ a b c Albin Szakola (9 September 2016). "Hezbollah "secretly" deploying in Quneitra: report". NOW.
  6. ^ a b c d Leith Fadel (14 September 2016). "Reinforcements from Sweida pour into the Golan Heights". Al-Masdar News.
  7. ^ Aymenn Al-Tamimi (14 October 2016). "Labawat al-Jabal: A Druze Female Militia in Suwayda' Province". Syria Comment. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  8. ^ Aymenn Al-Tamimi (26 November 2016). "Kata'ib Humat al-Diyar: A Prominent Loyalist Militia in Suwayda'". Syria Comment. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b Fadel, Leith (11 September 2016). "(Graphic +18) Jihadist rebels suffer heavy casualties during Golan Heights offensive". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Fadel, Leith (12 September 2016). "Syrian Army restores all lost points in Golan Heights". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  11. ^ a b Tomson, Chris (23 September 2016). "Syrian Army raids Islamist outpost in the Golan Heights". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d "Senior Commander of Ahrar Al-Sham Terrorist Group Killed in Quneitra Province". ALALAM. 12 September 2016.
  13. ^ Chris Tomson (14 September 2016). "Syrian Army appoints brother of Issam Zahreddine to command troops at Quneitra". Al-Masdar News.
  14. ^ Alaa Al-Mohammad (18 July 2016). "Syrian army foils jihadi attack in Quneitra – frontline report". Al-Masdar News.
  15. ^ Leith Fadel (24 August 2016). "Syrian Army begins surprise offensive in the Golan Heights". Al-Masdar News.
  16. ^ a b Leith Fadel (14 September 2016). "Over 70 jihadist rebels killed in 3 failed Golan offensives". Al-Masdar News.
  17. ^ 23 rebels killed during clashes against regime forces in Quneitra
  18. ^ Violations escalated dramatically in the third day of ceasefire in Syria
  19. ^ a b "The Inside Source on Twitter". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - Timeline - Facebook". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  21. ^ "Islamist rebels announce new offensive in Al-Quneitra". Al-Masdar News. 10 September 2016.
  22. ^ Fadel, Leith (10 September 2016). "Fierce clashes spread across the Golan Heights as jihadists launch massive offensive". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Israel targets Syrian artillery after projectile lands in Golan Heights". CNN. 10 September 2016.
  24. ^ Society, Peoples Printing Press. "Major rebel groups reject Kerry-Lavrov brokered ceasefire". Morning Star. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  25. ^ Fadel, Leith (11 September 2016). "Jihadist rebels attempt to advance on key government village in the Golan Heights". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  26. ^ Fadel, Leith (12 September 2016). "[Video] Syrian Army beats back the jihadist rebels in the Golan". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  27. ^ Fadel, Leith (12 September 2016). "Syrian Army foils massive jihadist offensive in Golan Heights". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  28. ^ Fadel, Leith (12 September 2016). "[Breaking] Rebels launch new offensive in Golan Heights as ceasefire begins". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  29. ^ Fadel, Leith (13 September 2016). "Jihadist rebels suffer embarrassing defeat in the Golan Heights". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Syria claims shooting down Israeli warplane and drone". Al-Jazeera. 13 September 2016.
  31. ^ "Syrian Regime Continue Breaking The Truce And Bombard Qunaitra Countryside". Qasioun News. 17 September 2016.
  32. ^ Leith Fadel (17 September 2016). "Israeli Air Force attacks Syrian Army in the Golan Heights". Al-Masdar News.
  33. ^ "ملخص القنيطرة اليومي 20-9-2016". Step Agency. 20 September 2016.
  34. ^ About 30 fighters from factions and members of the pro-regime gunmen were killed in clash at Hodr
  35. ^ Fadel, Leith (9 November 2016). "Over 80 jihadist rebels killed in failed Golan Heights offensive: report".


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