Battle of Markada

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Battle of Markada
Part of inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War
Date 21–31 March 2014
(1 week and 3 days)
Location Markada, Syria

ISIL victory

  • ISIL captures Markada on 29 March[1]
al Nusra Front Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Commanders and leaders
Abu Mohammad al-Julani
(Leader of the Al-Nusra Front)
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
(Leader of ISIL)
Omar al-Farouk al-Turki 
(Top provincial ISIL commander)[1]
Casualties and losses
120 killed[2]

The Battle of Markada was a military confrontation between two jihadist groups, al Qaeda's al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), over the town of Markada in the Al-Hasakah Governorate, in March 2014 during the Syrian civil war.[2] The strategic importance of the town to the ISIL lay in its position on the group's weapons supply route from Iraq, the road linking Al-Hasakah with Deir ez-Zor and a hill that dominates the surrounding area.[3] On the ISIL side there were many Sunni Iranians, including Kurds, who played an important role in the battle.[4]


The battle started on 21 March 2014,[2] with fighting near Markada's grain silos that left 27 Nusra fighters dead and others missing.[5]

On the morning of 27 March, the ISIS attacked the town, which was being held by the Al-Nusra Front. The ISIS managed to force Nusra to withdraw to the town's hospital and the mountain overlooking Markada.[6]

Before dawn on 29 March, clashes erupted in the town[7] as the ISIS attacked the hospital and Nusra positions in the mountain.[6] After heavy fighting that left 43 Nusra and 13 ISIS fighters dead,[5] the ISIS took full control of the town,[1] with Nusra forces retreating towards the town of al-Sour in the eastern rural area of Deir ez-Zor province. Many Nusra fighters were also captured.[8] Among those killed was also the top provincial ISIS commander,[1] Omar al-Farouk al-Turki.[6]

On 31 March, Nusra launched a counter-attack in an attempt to recapture the town.[5] By this time, the number of those killed since the start of the fighting had risen to 120.[2]


Coordinates: 35°44′00″N 40°46′00″E / 35.7333°N 40.7667°E / 35.7333; 40.7667