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Orontes River offensive

Orontes River offensive
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Date30 December 2015[1] – 20 January 2016
(3 weeks)
Location
Result

Partial Syrian Army victory

  • The Army captures Jarjisah,[2] Deir al-Fardis[3] and 10 other villages,[4] while Harbinfsah and Al-Zarrah remained contested
Belligerents

Al-Nusra Front
Ahrar ash-Sham

Free Syrian Army

Syrian Arab Republic


Air strikes:
 Russia

Units involved
Unknown

11th Tank Division

  • 47th Brigade[5]
  • 66th Brigade[2]
  • 67th Brigade[1]
Casualties and losses
86+ killed[1][2][5][6] Unknown

The Orontes River offensive was a military operation launched by the Syrian Arab Army against rebels during the Syrian Civil War on the administrative border of the Hama Governorate and Homs Governorate, along the Orontes River.

The offensive

The offensive commenced on 30 December 2015,[1] and by 3 January, the Army took control of 10–11 villages in the southeastern countryside of Hama along the Orontes River,[4][7] one of them being Jarniyah that leads to the eastern deserts of Homs province.[1] The advances also secured the Hama-Salamiyah road.[7]

On 11 January, the military's focus shifted to the southern countryside of Hama. They started an attack the village of Jarjisah, on the administrative border between Hama and Homs provinces, and on the northern bank of the Orontes River. Before the assault, government troops issued a deadline to the rebels to surrender, which was ignored. By the next day, the Army captured the village, and immediately started to shell the nearby rebel-held village of Harbinafsah, in preparation for an assault there as well.[2][8]

On 13 January, the Army temporarily seized Harbinafsah,[5] but withdrew 24 hours later, positioning themselves on its northern outskirts.[9]

In the night between 14 and 15 January, following heavy fighting, an agreement was reached between government forces and the citizens of Deir al-Fardis, leading to the Army's capture of the village.[3][10] Meanwhile, heavy clashes took place around Harbinafsah, as the Army advanced in the area.[11] The government force's advances over the previous several days had cut off rebel supply lines to the city of Al-Rastan and its surrounding area.[12]

On 18 January, the military once again entered the northern part of Harbinafsah.[13] The same day, Islamist rebels posted images on social media of beheaded soldiers in the contested village.[14] The next day, the rebels reportedly seized the al-Bashakir factory checkpoint on the outskirts of Harbinfsah.[15] On 20 January, the Army renewed its offensive[16] and captured the al-Madajen area north of Harbinfsah,[15] while also reportedly advancing into the southern part of the nearby village of Al-Zarrah.[16]

The offensive had cut off 120,000 people in the northern part of Homs province, according to the U.N., leading to increased hunger and patients dying due to a lack of medical care.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Syrian Army captures another village in southeastern Hama". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Syrian Army captures Jarjisah on the northern bank of the Orontes River". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Advances for regime forces in Hama countryside | Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". syriahr.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b "@deSyracuse Syria civil war (3 Jan 2016) - uMap". umap.openstreetmap.fr. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Syrian Army captures the village of Harbnafsah in northern Homs". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Syrian Armed Forces capture 7 villages in southeast Hama". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Syrian army clears the Hama-Salamiyah road after seizing 11 villages". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  8. ^ "The regime forces advance in the southeastern countryside of Hama | Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". syriahr.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Rebels on the brink of losing southern Hama". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Breaking: Syrian Army enters the village of Al-Furdays in northern Homs". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Russian warplanes target Hama countryside and continued clashes in Dar’a countryside | Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". syriahr.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Syrian Army takes control of another axis point on the Homs-Hama border". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Syrian Army enters Harbinafseh in southern Hama". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Frustrated rebels behead Syrian Army soldiers in southern Hama". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Will Syrian regime's advances on the ground strengthen their position in Geneva? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor.
  16. ^ a b "Syrian Army continues to advance in southern Hama". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  17. ^ Thomson Reuters Foundation. "UN warns of hunger in Homs as Syrian offensive strands 120,000".