Damascus offensive (2013)
|Damascus offensive (2013)|
|Part of the Syrian civil war (Rif Dimashq Governorate campaign)|
Frontlines in Rif Dimashq from February to March 2013
Syrian Government control Opposition controlContested
PFLP – GC
Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas
|Commanders and leaders|
(Damascus Military Council commander)
Sheikh Zahran Alloush †
(Liwa al-Islam brigade commander)
Abou Al Nour †
(Al Hendesah Brigade Leader)
Naim Faysal Fiyad †
(Ahfad Omar Brigade Leader)
Bachar Rez Abou Yassine †
(Ahfad Omar Brigade Leader)
Mahmoud Al Aqrae †
(Farouk Al Sham Brigade leader)
Ali Mahmoud Afouf †
(Dera Al Asemah Brigade Leader)
Mohamed Al Haj Sulaymane †
(Al Mujahed Brigade Leader)
| Bashar Al-Assad
(Republican Guard Brigade 104 commander)
Ahmed Jibril (PFLP – GC)
Ali Smender (National Defence Front for Syria) †
|Damascus Military Council||1st Armoured Division
3rd Armoured Division
4th Armoured Division
10th Mechanised Division
14th Special Forces Division
|70,000 soldiers, 1000+ tanks|
|Casualties and losses|
|735+ fighters killed||440+ soldiers killed|
On 6 February, rebel forces launched an offensive, named "Battle of Armageddon", on the edge of Central Damascus, with rebels entering the Jobar District of Damascus after overrunning a Syrian Army roadblock. Parts of the Damascus ring road which acts as a barrier between Central Damascus and Ghouta were also seized by rebel fighters. Rebels have also launched attacks on Adra, north east of Damascus.
On 10 February, a rebel claimed that opposition forces had captured another military checkpoint in the Jobar district. However, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that while fighting for the highway continued, government troops regained control of the area after bombing rebel positions the day before.
On 19 February, rebels began moving truckloads of anti aircraft weapons into Jobar in an effort to consolidate advances made in the Eastern Damascus district.
On 20 February, a SCUD missile, fired by government forces, hit the command center of the islamist militia Liwa Al-Islam near Douma, which had been spearheading the attack against the roundabout and the Jobar district. Sheikh Zahran Alloush, the commander and founder of the brigade, had been wounded in the strike. The area was devastated and other rebel fighters were also killed or wounded.
On 21 February, rebels launched 3 car bombings on security targets in the Barzeh neighbourhood in Damascus. Also fired several mortar rounds at the Syrian army's general staff headquarters in Umayyad Square, as well as other streets and squares known to house government and security offices, according to residents and activists. SOHR claimed that 22 people, mostly soldiers, were killed in these other attacks.
On 2 March, heavy fighting was reported in Darayya between rebels and the Syrian Army. The Local Coordination Committees of Syria claimed that rebels targeted a military column attempting to storm Darayya, and also defended several attempts by the government to storm Jobar.
On 3 March, rebels reportedly fired several rockets at security forces headquarters in Damascus, though it is unknown if there were any casualties.
On 12 March, 30 military deserters were killed in an Army ambush near Damascus while they were heading towards the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area.
On 21 March, an explosion in the Iman Mosque in Al-Mazraa district killed as much as 41 people, including Sunni cleric, Sheikh Mohammed al-Buti. Al-Buti was one of the most prominent supporters of the Syrian government from the Sunni branch of Islam in Syria. Syrian State TV claimed the explosion was a suicide bombing, though some residents claim it was caused by a mortar bomb that struck a nearby political office.
On 25 March, rebels launched one of their heaviest bombardments of Central Damascus since the revolt began, with mortars reportedly hitting Umayyad Square, where Baath Party headquarters, Air Force Intelligence and state television are also located. The attack was launched when rebel forces advanced into the Kafr Souseh district of Damascus, and the Syrian Army retaliated with artillery launched from Mount Qasioun.
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