Deir ez-Zor offensive (December 2014)

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Deir ez-Zor offensive (December 2014)
Part of the Syrian Civil War and the Siege of Deir ez-Zor (2014-17)
Date3–13 December 2014
(1 week and 3 days)
Location
Result

Partial Syrian government victory

  • ISIL captures al-Mari'iyah,[2] al-Jafra,[3] the Missiles Battalion base[4] and the mountain overlooking Deir ez-Zor city[5]
  • Syrian Army recaptures the mountain, the base,[5] and most of al-Mari'iyah[6] and al-Jafra[7]
Belligerents
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Syria Syrian Arab Republic

Commanders and leaders
Amer Al-Rafdan[8]
(ISIL top commander)
Abu al Faruq [9][10]
(Tunisian ISIL Deir ez-Zor commander)[11]
Van Manco
(Filipino ISIL commander)
Brig. Gen. Issam Zahreddine[12]
(Republican Guard commander)
Mudar Makhlouf[13]
(Military Intelligence militia commander)
Units involved
Military of ISIL

Syrian Armed Forces

Strength
3,000+ fighters[8] (by September) 150 soldiers (reinforcements)[15]
200 tribal fighters[16]
Casualties and losses
250+ killed (by 6 December)[17][18] 43–51 killed (by 6 December)[18][19]

The Deir ez-Zor offensive (December 2014) was a military operation launched by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the Deir ez-Zor air base and the surrounding areas.

Battle[edit]

On 3 December, ISIL launched an offensive in the direction of the Deir Ezzor military airbase. They reportedly managed to capture the al-Masemekeh Building after a suicide bomber detonated a car near it, killing 19 soldiers and NDF fighters, according to the SOHR. In the clashes that followed, 7 ISIL militants were killed, while ISIL seized two tanks, an APC, an artillery piece, and machine guns.[20] The next day, ISIL reportedly advanced further and captured al-Mari'iyah village,[21] and they also captured parts of the al-Jafra village,[22] while the Syrian Army reported that the 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard Killed over 20 ISIL militants, and seized 3 tanks. The same source named 17 ISIL casualties in from fighting in the al-Mari’ayyi area.[23] The SAF conducted ten airstrikes on ISIL positions that day.[24]

On 5 December, ISIL captured al-Jafra village. 37 ISIL militants and 30 soldiers were killed during the takeover. Meanwhile, 15 ISIL fighters were killed by coalition warplanes targeting a convoy in the al-Bokamal countryside.[3] Later that day, the Syrian Army launched a counterattack and recaptured parts of al-Mari'iyah village,[21] and regained control of the perimeter of the Deir-ez Zour airbase from ISIL[25] The Syrian Army claimed that it had killed over 100 ISIL militants since the start of the ISIL offensive,[12] while SOHR gave the number of 45. ISIL also managed to capture some positions and military equipment on the mountain overlooking the city.[26]

During the early morning of 6 December, ISIL took control of the missiles battalion to northeast of the airport. At the same time, ISIL detonated a car-bomb at the main gate of the air base and managed to advance into the base,[4][27] but this attack was eventually repelled due to heavy shelling and bombardment by the Army. ISIS also pulled back from the mountain overlooking Deir ez Zor after it was exposed to heavy aerial bombardment by the SAF, which reportedly used chlorine gas.[5][17] Since the start of the offensive, 51 soldiers[19] and 68 ISIS militants were killed, according to SOHR.[17] Al-Masdar reported that over 200 ISIS fighters have been killed along with 43 Army soldiers since the start of the offensive.[18]

On 7 December, the military stated that ISIS forces had retreated south of the military airport. Later that day, they also reported that there was no more fighting in the vicinity of the airport.[28] ISIS launched a new attack in an attempt to breach the eastern perimeter of the base. A Saudi suicide car-bomber attempted to crash into the eastern gates and clear the way for ISIS fighters. However, the vehicle was destroyed by government soldiers before he reached his target. The fighting of the evening left 23 ISIS fighters dead, according to a military source.[29] A number of soldiers were captured during the attack, according to the SOHR.[30]

On 8 December, a military source reported that ISIS begun to withdraw their forces from al-Jafra. Fighting also continued in al-Mari'iyah. Meanwhile, on the nearby Sakr Island (Hajeewa Sakr), the military reported killing over 70 ISIS militants during the previous three days.[29]

On 9 December, ISIS retreated after their attack on Deir ez-Zor military airport failed, withdrawing to the outskirts of surrounding villages. The Syrian Army launched intensive airstrikes on their strongholds on the outskirts of the villages of al-Jafra, al-Hawija and Marihiyak in order to further secure the airport area and prevent fighters from having a second opportunity at getting close to its walls.[31]

On 11 December, government forces regained control of al-Jafra and the points on the mountain.[7] However, later ISIS advanced around al-Jafra and the outskirts of the Hajeewa Sakr area and took control over areas opposite of al-Jafra, linking ISIS-held territory between the two areas.[32]

At midnight on 12 December, a suicide bomber driving a tank blew himself up at the eastern wall of the air base, damaging Army fortifications. The tank's approach was not noticed due to the dense morning fog. After that, a car-bomber attempted to reach the airport's gate but his vehicle was destroyed 40 meters from his target. The double bombing attack was followed by a ground attack which was repelled.[33][34]

Later, Syrian troops ambushed a group of ISIS fighters in the al-Jbeila.[35] Also, troops recaptured al-Hwaika after ISIS advanced into it the previous day,[36] while according to a military source the Army had secured 70 percent of al-Mari'iyah, with ISIS still holding positions in the south-eastern perimeter of the town.[6]

On 13 December, Syrian troops pushed back another ISIS attack on the military airport.[37] The next day, 200 members of the Shaatat tribe joined to Army at the military air base to fight against ISIS. Meanwhile, fighting continued near the al-Jafra school in an attempt by ISIS to breach the Army defense line.[16][1]

Aftermath[edit]

On 15 December, the Republican Guard, supported by the Syrian Air Force, reportedly captured several blocks in the vicinity of Deir es-Zor.[38]

On 17 December, the Army’s 104th Airborne Brigade, backed up by the NDF and a local tribe, launched a major counter-offensive northeast of the airport, reportedly taking complete control of 1.5km of land adjacent to the base. Also, the 137th Brigade of the Army’s 17th Division captured the area of the Al-Rashidiyyeh Bank.[39] Three days later, a new assault on the air base resulted in the deaths of 20 ISIS militants and eight soldiers, one of whom was a Brigadier General, the commander of the Deir ez-Zor air base. During the fighting ISIS captured a white building on the southeastern edge of the base.[40] Three days later, ISIS captured several other positions near the base and the mountain.[41]

In fighting in the Al-Sina'a city district between 25 and 27 December, at least 30 ISIS militants were killed, according to a military source. Meanwhile, ISIS still controlled about 30% of Sakr Island and was being supplied only by boats.[42]

On 27 January, the Army captured the Rocket Battalion's base and the Al-Waaqa’at Farms, north of the air base.[43][44] They also reportedly recaptured the Observatory Facility in the Abu Bardan area of Sakr Island. This brought 75% of the island under Army control, according to a military source.[44] The fighting left 20 ISIS fighters dead.[45][44] The next day, the military further advanced and fully secured the village of al-Mari'iyah.[46][47] In early February, ISIS forces further retreated from several positions east of the air base.[48]

Mid-March, the Army captured the salt farm to the south of Deir ez-Zor and advanced to the town of Al-Shulah, with more than 35 ISIS fighters being killed.[49][50] Also, at the end of the month, the Army captured the area of the Electrical Facility, near the Al-Taym Oil Fields,[51] and, backed up by a local tribe, the village of Al-Malha, east of the city.[52]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Shaatat tribes joined Syrian army in Deir-ez Zor". Elijah J. Magnier. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "ISIS takes control on al-Jafra village and kills no less than 30 soldiers in regime forces". SOHR. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b "ISIS started attack on Der ez Zor military airport". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Regime forces use Chlorine gas to stop ISIS advances in Der-Ezzor military airport". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b Leith Fadel. "Deir Ezzor: ISIS Sustains Heavy Casualties Attacking Al-Jafra". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b "قوات الأسد تنافس "داعش" بقطع الرؤوس". Al Arabiya. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  8. ^ a b Leith Fadel (2 September 2014). "The Battle for Deir ez-Zor Military Airport is Under Way; Scores of Islamic State Militants Killed". al-Masdar News. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Green lemon on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  10. ^ sohranas. "Islamic State appoints a new Wali for the city of Deir Ezzor". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Romain Caillet on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  12. ^ a b c "Deir Ezzor: Syrian Army Asserts Control Over the Mountains". Al-Masdar. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  13. ^ a b Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (3 September 2016). "Quwat Dir' Al-Amn Al-Askari: A Latakia Military Intelligence Militia". Syria Comment. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Deir Ezzor: ISIS Sustains Heavy Casualties Attacking Al-Jafra". Al Masdar. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  15. ^ "SAA has brought reinforcement of 150 soldiers". Dier ez Zour Free RADIO. Retrieved 14 December 2014.[dead link]
  16. ^ a b Leith Fadel. "200 Tribal Fighters have Reinforced the Deir Ezzor Military Airport". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  17. ^ a b c "قوات النظام تجبر "الدولة الإسلامية" على التراجع في المطار والانسحاب من الجبل، وقيادي ومقاتلان فرنسيان و33 سورياً من بين أكثر من 68 لقوا مصرعهم". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  18. ^ a b c "Deir Ezzor: ISIS Suffers Significant Losses Near the Military Airport". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  19. ^ a b "111 killed in 3 days of violent clashes between regime forces and ISIS in Der-Ezzor". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  20. ^ "19 members from the regime forces and NDF killed in Deir Ezzor". SOHR. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Der-Ezzor province: 4-12-2014". SOHR. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  23. ^ Leith Fadel. "Deir Ezzor: ISIS Launches an Offensive of the Military Airport". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  24. ^ "10 air strikes on Der-Ezzor amid advanced for the IS towards the military airport". SOHR. 4 December 2014. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  25. ^ "counter-offensive army in area of Deir ez Zor airport". Elijah J. Magnier. 5 December 2014.
  26. ^ "The number of IS militants..." SOHR. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  27. ^ "ISIS seizes part of Syria's Deir Ezzor air base: monitor". 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  28. ^ Leith Fadel. "Deir Ezzor: ISIS Withdraws South of the Military Airport". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  29. ^ a b "Deir Ezzor: 3rd ISIS Attack on the Military Airport Foiled by the Syrian Army". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  30. ^ "An IS militant blew himself up the vicinity of the airbase of Deir Ezzor". SOHR. Archived from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Syrian army regains control of Deir ez-Zor airport". Al-Monitor. 9 December 2014.
  32. ^ sohranas. "The regime warplanes attack different areas in the province of Deir Ezzor". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  33. ^ Leith Fadel. "ISIS' Midnight Attack on the Deir Ezzor Airport is Repelled by the SAA". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  34. ^ "Islamic State suicide bomber detonates tank in eastern Syria". Reuters. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  35. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  36. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  37. ^ "Syrian troops pushed back Islamic State". Elijah J. Magnier. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  38. ^ "Deir Ezzor: The Syrian Air Force Devastates ISIS Near the Military Airport". Al Masdar. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  39. ^ "Deir Ezzor: Syrian Army Launches a Counter-Offensive at the Military Airport". Al Masdar. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  40. ^ sohranas. "20 IS militants killed in Deir Ezzor Airbase clashes today". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  41. ^ sohranas. "IS seizes some military points in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor airbase". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  42. ^ Leith Fadel. "Deir Ezzor: The Syrian Army Launches a Counter-Offensive in Al-Sina'a". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  43. ^ sohranas. "The regime forces capture farmlands in the north of Deir Ezzor airbase". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  44. ^ a b c Leith Fadel. "Syrian Army on the move in Deir Ezzor; number of areas captured". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  45. ^ Master. "20 ISIS killed by clashes against regime forces around Der-Ezzor military airport". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  46. ^ Leith Fadel. "Battle Map of Deir Ezzor: Syrian Army Captures Al-Mari'iyyah". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  47. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  48. ^ sohranas. "IS militants retreat from some positions in the east of the airbase of Deir Ezzor". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  49. ^ Leith Fadel. "Deir Ezzor: Syrian Army Captures the Salt Farms". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  50. ^ Leith Fadel. "Deir Ezzor: Syrian Army Quietly Advancing in the South". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  51. ^ Leith Fadel. "Republican Guard Gains More Ground South of Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  52. ^ Leith Fadel. "The Republican Guard Captures Al-Malha in Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 9 May 2015.

Coordinates: 35°20′00″N 40°09′00″E / 35.3333°N 40.1500°E / 35.3333; 40.1500