Battle of Hosn
|Battle of Hosn|
|Part of Syrian civil war|
|Syrian Arab Republic||Islamic Front|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Unknown||Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi
(Ahrar ash-Sham commander)
Abu Suleiman Dandashi †
(Ahrar ash-Sham brigade commander)
Khalid al-Mahmoud † (Jund ash-Sham commander)
|Casualties and losses|
|Several killed||40–93 killed (Army claim)
12 killed (opposition claim)
The Battle of Hosn was a one-day battle around the village of Hosn and its proper centered around the 600-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 rebel's supply route of recruits and weapons coming in and out of Lebanon.
On the morning of 20 March, fighting started around early dawn with heavy bombardment of the castle, where three-hundred rebels were believed to reside, and the town of Hosn itself. An agreement was reached the previous day between both sides per which the rebels would be granted safe passage to the Lebanese border, according to an opposition activist. But the military commander leading the battle denied this and stated they refused to grant the rebels held up in the castle safe passage from the fortress and made the final push into it after seeing the rebels retreating. In turn, another opposition activist claimed the military ambushed people fleeing Hosn near the Lebanon border leaving many dead. Government troops overran the castle by the early afternoon. The fighting killed 12 rebel fighters, 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 the leader of the jihadist Jund ash-Sham rebel group, Khaled al-Mahmud. Several soldiers were also killed.