Operation Rainbow (Syrian Civil War)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Operation Rainbow
Part of the Battle of Aleppo and the Syrian Civil War
Date7 December 2014  – 20 March 2015
(3 months, 1 week and 6 days)
Location
Result

Indecisive; Limited Army gains

  • Syrian Army attack on Ratian and Hardatain repelled[7][8]
  • Rebel attack on Handarat repelled
Territorial
changes
  • Syrian Army captures and holds the al-Mallah and al-Manasher al-Breij areas for a few months before they are recaptured by the rebels
  • Syrian Army captures Bashkuy and half of Dwer al-Zaytoun
  • Belligerents

    Levant Front[1]

    Syria Free Syrian Army[2]
    Al-Nusra Front

    Syria Syrian Arab Republic

    Ba'ath Brigades[5]
    Emblem of Liwa Al-Quds.svg Liwa Al-Quds[5]

    Hezbollah[6]
    Commanders and leaders
    Abdel-Aziz Salameh
    (Levant Front leader)[1]
    Unknown
    Units involved
    Syria Jaysh Mohammad Brigade[2]
    Syria Authenticity and Development Front
    Hazzm Movement[9]
    (until 1 March 2015)[10]

    Syrian Army:

    Casualties and losses
    540+ killed 270+ killed

    Operation Rainbow was an operation launched by the Syrian Army, supported by Hezbollah and other allied militias, during the Syrian Civil War, following a successful operation which led to the military encircling Aleppo from the east side and reaching the city's northern approach. The aim of the operation, as the previous one, was to encircle Aleppo and cut rebel supply lines into the city, thus besieging rebel-held areas.[11][12]

    The operation[edit]

    Battle for the north-eastern approach[edit]

    On 7 December, the Army captured the Breij area, on the northeastern outskirts of the city,[13] and advanced towards the al-Owayji area to the west and the al-Enzarat area to the south.[14] The next day, the Army moved around Handarat and captured the al-Hajal and al-Majbal districts overlooking Hanano, Haydariya and Duwayr al-Jandul.[15] After this, government forces entered the Baya’adeen district, taking up positions in its southern part.[16]

    On 11 December, government forces recaptured territory in the Stone Quarries in the southern part of Breij they lost the previous week. The military further advanced past the Stone Quarries and pushed south towards the Hanano district. The fighting over the previous seven days left more than 60 rebels dead, according to a military source.[17] The next day, the Army captured the Wood Factory near the Jandoul roundabout, and established positions near the Saraya Night Club.[18] By the end of the day, the military reportedly had fire control over both the Ba'edin and Jandoul roundabouts on the Castello Road.[19]

    On 14 December, the Army advanced into[20] and captured the al-Mallah area, with further attempts by the military to capture the area west of al-Mallah and thus finally cut the Castello Road.[21] Two hours later, according to a pro-government source, the Army captured the neighboring Mara’ashli Farms.[22] Government forces also advanced and captured the southern and western parts of the Handarat city district,[23] closing in on Handarat hill which overlooks the Castello Road. 34 rebels and nine soldiers were killed during the day.[24][25] The advances brought government forces within a few hundred meters of surrounding Aleppo.[26] More fighting the next day left 14 rebels dead,[27] as the Army captured a hill overlooking the rebel supply line.[28]

    On 17 December, 16 soldiers were killed in fighting in the al-Mallah area where the rebels captured eight buildings, while the Army recaptured Aghob hill and the al-Fawaz area of Breij.[29] Al-Arabiya reported government forces were close to capturing Handarat hill and completing the siege,[30] while the pro-government Al-Masdar News agency reported the troops had already captured all of the remaining hills along the Castello Road and were focusing on the main roundabout.[31] At the end of the day, the military made another advance in the Handarat area[32] and by 19 December had captured all[33] or a part of the Handarat district.[34]

    On 22 December, the rebels recaptured the industrial plants in the northern part of the Handarat district, however they lost it again one week later after an assault by Army and Hezbollah troops.[35] By 1 January 2015, the military had captured 16 plants in the Al-Shahel area of the Handarat district.[36]

    Rebel counter-attack[edit]

    On 5 January, the rebels recaptured the Majbal (Sawmills) area of al-Brej after fighting that killed or wounded no less than 20 soldiers. They also captured the southern entrance of the stone quarries known as al-Misat, forcing government troops to retreat to the north.[37][38] Later, it was reported the rebels managed to seize the al-Manasher al-Breij area and were trying to advance and take control over al-Brej Hill with which they could seize the military supply road from the Aleppo Central Prison to the Handarat and al-Mallah areas.[39] The next day, the rebels reportedly took control over the al-Akhdar Mosque, a mill and the al-Tawattor al-Aali area of al-Brej.[40]

    On 8 January, the Army and pro-government militias conducted a counter-attack against areas seized by the rebels in previous days.[41]

    On 22 January, the rebels reportedly advanced in al-Mallah and Sifat areas[42] and two days later took control over some positions on al-Brej Hill.[43] They also managed to advance in the al-Brej area.[44]

    On 3 February, the rebels captured al-Misat hill at the north-eastern entrance to the city.[45] However, the next day government forces recaptured the area after opposition fighters were forced to retreat due to heavy artillery fire.[46][47]

    Army assault on the northern villages[edit]

    On 16 February, a large military armored convoy arrived in Aleppo, as reinforcements from Hama, to complete the siege of the city.[48] The next morning, government forces launched an offensive from Sifat. The battle started after hundreds of government fighters infiltrated the three villages of Bashkuwi, Ratian and Hardatain before dawn and encircled rebel positions in them. At 06:00 hours, the fighting started and in less than half an hour the Army and NDF captured Hardatain, while resistance continued in the other two villages. Still, around noon, both Bashkuwi and Ratian had also been captured[49] and the Army blocked the main rebel supply route leading into Aleppo city.[50][51] During the attack, according to the SOHR, 36 civilians and 13 rebels were massacred by the Army and Hezbollah.[52] The Army then advanced from Ratian towards Bayanoon and was fighting on the road between the two villages.[53] At the same time, the military launched a push in two areas of Aleppo city itself[49] and advanced, capturing many buildings in the Zahraa district.[53] Fighting also reached the village of Ma'arasta, west of Hardatain,[54][55] and the Army captured the village of Dwer al-Zaytoun.[7][56] At this point, the rebels launched a counter-attack to recapture the ground they lost[57] and Hardatain was contested once again,[56][58] while clashes continued near Ratian.[49] The initial advance brought government troops to within four kilometers of the government-held towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa,[59] which had been besieged by rebel forces for almost two years.[60] In the evening, a group of 80 soldiers managed to reach the two towns.[61][62][63] The offensive aimed to completely surround Aleppo within a week.[50]

    Early on 18 February, the rebels recaptured Ratian,[7][64] or at least most of it,[65][66] while fighting continued around Bashkuwi[67] and Hardatain.[8] Later, a military source reported the Army captured Kafr Tunah, east of Dwer al-Zaytoun.[68] The next day, the rebels recaptured most of Hardatain. However, clashes in the village continued[69] and government fighters were resupplied by helicopters.[70] Fighting was also still ongoing near Ratian and Bashkuwi[61][71] and in Dwer al-Zaytoun.[72]

    On 20 February, according to SOHR, the rebels captured the Al-Mallah area,[73] while clashes persisted around Bashkuwi, Ratian and Hardatain.[74] According to Al Mayadeen, the Army still controlled most of the area, with rebels capturing only two out of 48 farms at Al-Mallah.[75] Later, SOHR reported more fighting at Al-Mallah,[76] while in the evening the rebels fully secured Hardatain.[77] On 21 February, correspondent Elijah J. Magnier confirmed that all villages but Bashkuy were recaptured by the rebels, with preparations being made by the Army to inject more troops into the battle.[78] At the same time, the Army activated the front south of Aleppo city by transferring troops from the province of Hama. The Army captured Al-Qalba’at village in the Khanesser area and a number of buildings at the Al-Zaytuni Chicken Farms near Mount Azzan.[79]

    The four-day battle in the northern countryside of Aleppo left 152 soldiers[80] and 131 rebels dead,[81] while 67 soldiers[82] and 40 rebels were captured.[69]

    Rebel assault on Handarat[edit]

    On 9 March, opposition forces launched an assault on Handarat, north of Aleppo, after reportedly noticing confusion in the ranks of government troops following the February fighting.[12] It was initially reported opposition forces captured Handarat, north of Aleppo.[83] However, later it was reported by opposition sources the rebels managed to capture only 40–50% of the village, while the Army remained in control of the northern portion of Handarat.[84][85] A military source stated they still controlled 80% of Handarat.[86]

    On 18 March, after almost 10 days of fighting,[87] the military fully expelled the rebels from Handarat[88] and re-established control of the village.[89] They then reportedly pushed back into the eastern part of al-Mallah farms.[90] According to a military source, 76 government fighters and 304 rebels were killed during the previous two weeks of fighting at Handarat and Bashkuy.[91] The next day, government forces also recaptured al-Madafa hill and a farm around Handarat,[92] as well as the Halabi Farms and Nuqat al-Isamat, west of Handarat.[93][94]

    On 20 March, the military reportedly captured the Al-Ghannam Farms, west of the Halabi Farms.[95]

    On 23 March, fighting erupted around Dwer al-Zaytoun and Bashkuy after a Turkish suicide car-bomber from the al-Nusra front detonated himself in the area. The rebels reportedly advanced near Dwer al-Zaytoun.[96][97]

    By the end of March, the government offensive was considered to had fizzled out.[98]

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    1. ^ a b "'Shamiah Front' unites leading Aleppo opposition groups". The Daily Star. 27 December 2014.
    2. ^ a b "ISIS and al-Nusra reportedly lose their final presence in Reef Ras al-A'in: al-Hasaka". Pukmedia.com. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
    3. ^ a b Par: rédaction 3/10/13 - 15h25  Source: Belga (2013-10-03). "L'armée reprend une localité clé pour Alep". 7SUR7.be. Retrieved 18 November 2013.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
    4. ^ Syria air force strikes rebels near Damascus, Aleppo: NGO Al Ahram (AFP), 22 October 2013
    5. ^ a b "Pro-regime Sunni fighters in Aleppo defy sectarian narrative". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
    6. ^ "Syria rebels recapture army base near Aleppo airport". Reuters. South African Broadcasting Corporation. 2013-11-09. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
    7. ^ a b c "Syrian Rebels Regain Ground Lost Near Aleppo". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    8. ^ a b sohranas. "15 members of the regime forces arrested , and the intensive clashes still break out in Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    9. ^ "Hazem Movement joins al- Jabha al- Shameyyah". SOHR. 30 January 2015.
    10. ^ "U.S.-backed Syria rebel group dissolves itself after losses". Reuters Media. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
    11. ^ Dominique Soguel (9 December 2014). "Can UN envoy sell cease-fire to Syria rebels? Not so fast. (+video)". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
    12. ^ a b al-Khatieb, Mohammed (13 March 2015). "Rebels advance in Aleppo". Al Monitor. Archived from the original on 2015-07-14. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
    13. ^ Al Jazeera And AFP. "Reports: Syrian rebels make gains in Deraa". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    14. ^ 24 fighters of the Islamic battalions and 20 members of the regime forces killed in Aleppo today
    15. ^ "Syria army advance around Handarat". Elijah J. Magnier. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
    16. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: Syrian Army Enters Another Rebel-Held District". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    17. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: Over 60 Islamic Front Militants Killed at Al-Bureijj". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    18. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: The Syrian Army Advances to the Strategic Al-Jandoul Roundabout". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    19. ^ "Peto Lucem on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    20. ^ sohranas. "10 fighters at least killed in Handarat clashes, and the regime forces advance towards al- Mallah area". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    21. ^ Master. "Regime forces advances in Aleppo and kills no less than 21 fighters". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    22. ^ Leith Fadel. "Updated Battle Map of Aleppo: Syrian Army Captures Al-Malaah". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    23. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    24. ^ "BBC News - Syria conflict: Assad forces move on Aleppo supply hill". BBC News. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    25. ^ Master. "34 fighters killed by clashes against regime forces north of Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
    26. ^ "Assad strangles Aleppo as fresh refugee crisis looms". The Times. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    27. ^ Anas. "استشهاد ومصرع 14 مقاتلاً من الفصائل المقاتلة والإسلامية وجبهة النصرة في منطقة الملاح شمال حلب". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    28. ^ "Joshua Landis on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    29. ^ Master. "16 soldiers in regime forces killed during clashes in al-Mallah farmlands". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    30. ^ "Will Aleppo freeze or fall?". Retrieved 16 February 2015.
    31. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: Final Rebel Supply Route on the Verge of Obstruction". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    32. ^ "Aleppo Province: The helicopters dropped... - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - Facebook". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    33. ^ "Edward Dark on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    34. ^ sohranas. "The regime forces advance in Handarat area". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    35. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: The Syrian Army Retakes the Industrial Plants in Handarat". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    36. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: The Syrian Army Takes Control of 16 Industrial Plants in Handarat". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    37. ^ Master. "20 soldiers in regime forces killed during clashes in al-Brej area". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    38. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: The Battle for Al-Bureijj Intensifies". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    39. ^ sohranas. "Al- Jabha al- Islameyyi and Jaysho al- Muhajereen wal al- Anasar seize Manasher al- Brej area". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    40. ^ sohranas. "The Islamic battalions advance and seize new positions in al- Brej and Misat areas". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    41. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: Syrian Army Counters the Rebel Offensive in the Northeast". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    42. ^ Master. "Clashes and Bombardment on areas north of Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    43. ^ sohranas. "6 citizens killed in al- Bab, and members on both the Islamic battalions and regime forces die in Aleppo clashes". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    44. ^ Master. "Violent clashes around Aleppo and its countryside". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
    45. ^ sohranas. "The rebel and Islamic battalions seize al- Misat Hill in the north of Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
    46. ^ Master. "Regime forces advanced in al-Maysat area in Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
    47. ^ Leith Fadel. "Islamic Front attacks the Syrian Army in northeast Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
    48. ^ Leith Fadel. "Breaking: Large armored convoy arrived in Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
    49. ^ a b c "A Blow to Ankara: Syrian Army Makes Advances in Aleppo Offensive". Al Akhbar. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    50. ^ a b "Syrian army makes rapid advance north of Aleppo - monitor". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    51. ^ "BBC News - Syria conflict: Army 'blocks key road from rebel-held Aleppo'". BBC News. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    52. ^ Master. "Regime forces commit a new massacre in Retian town". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    53. ^ a b Master. "40 killed and wounded by shells on Aleppo city, Violent clashes killed 20 Islamic fighters". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    54. ^ "Timeline Photos - لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا - Facebook". Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    55. ^ "Syrian Rebellion Obs on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    56. ^ a b sohranas. "The government troops still advance in the countryside of Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    57. ^ "Regime surprise attack threatens to cut supply lines into Aleppo". Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    58. ^ "Syria regime forces launch new Aleppo offensive". Mail Online. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    59. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    60. ^ ABC News. "Syria Troops Capture Villages Near Aleppo in Surprise Attack". ABC News. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
    61. ^ a b Master. "After the death of 90 in its side, regime forces fail in its battle on Aleppo northern countryside". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
    62. ^ "Over 150 dead in Aleppo battles after army offensive". The Daily Star. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    63. ^ Leith Fadel. "Breaking: Syrian Army reaches Al-Zahra in northern Aleppo". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    64. ^ "Syria Direct: News Update 2-19-15". Retrieved 19 February 2015.
    65. ^ Leith Fadel. "Update from Aleppo: Al-Nusra counters at Ratyan and Al-Mallah". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    66. ^ "Edward Dark on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    67. ^ Master. "Clashes continue around Bashkwi town north of Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    68. ^ Leith Fadel. "No sleep in Aleppo tonight; the battle intensifies inside the city". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
    69. ^ a b "Rebel counter-attack, storms halt Aleppo offensive". Retrieved 19 February 2015.
    70. ^ "Clashes continue in Aleppo and Dar'a countrysides". SOHR. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
    71. ^ ABC News. "Rebels Capture 32 Syrian Troops and Allied Gunmen in Aleppo". ABC News. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
    72. ^ "archicivilians on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    73. ^ "Syria Army Fails to Cut Aleppo Rebel Supply Route". Naharnet. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    74. ^ Master. "Rebel and Islamic fighters take a full control on al-Mallah and kill 23 soldiers from regime forces". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    75. ^ Leith Fadel. "For Whom the Bell Tolls; Battle for Aleppo Intensifies". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    76. ^ sohranas. "The clashes still ongoing in the north of Aleppo and the Islamic factions capture 8 members of the regime forces". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    77. ^ sohranas. "The Islamic factions retake the village of Herdetnin and the regime soldiers escape to Bashkoy". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    78. ^ "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    79. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: NDF advances in the south; more reinforcements arrive". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    80. ^ Master. "More than 150 soldiers in regime forces killed in a "Failed- operation " in Aleppo". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    81. ^ 101 killed (17–18 February),[1] 17 killed (19 February),[2] 13 killed (20 February),[3] total of 131 reported killed
    82. ^ Leith Fadel. "Northern Aleppo: Prisoner Exchange in the Works". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
    83. ^ "Rebel groups seize land north of Aleppo". The Daily Star. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2015. A coalition of Syrian rebel and jihadi groups Monday seized the strategic Handarat area north of Aleppo
    84. ^ "Syria Direct: News Update 3-9-15". syriadirect.org. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
    85. ^ "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
    86. ^ "Al-Masdar". Aleppo: Jabhat Al-Nusra Forestalled at southern Handarat. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
    87. ^ Master. "Regime forces take control on Hendarat village". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
    88. ^ "Syrian troops fully recapture strategic town". GlobalPost. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
    89. ^ "Syrian army takes control of strategic village north of Aleppo". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
    90. ^ Leith Fadel. "Aleppo: ISIS Attack on Kuweires Airbase Foiled; Death Toll Over 80 Militants". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
    91. ^ "Battle Map of Aleppo: Syrian Army Captures Handarat Village". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
    92. ^ Master. "Regime forces advance around Hendarat area". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
    93. ^ Leith Fadel. "Battle Map of Aleppo: Syrian Army Captures Tal Madafa and Halabi Farms Near Handarat". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
    94. ^ "Tripoli مقدم الشام on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
    95. ^ "Aleppo: Syrian Army and Liwaa Al-Quds Capture Al-Ghannam Farms; Khanasser Highway Reopens". almasdarnews.com. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
    96. ^ Aleppo: Jabhat Al-Nusra Suicide Bombing Leads to Fierce Clashes in the North
    97. ^ جبهة النصرة تفجر عربة مفخخة واشتباكات عنيفة في دوير الزيتون ومحيط باشكوي شمال حلب
    98. ^ Syria rebels take strategic town of Idlib