Southern Raqqa offensive (June 2017)

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Southern Raqqa offensive (June 2017)
Part of the Syrian Civil War and the Russian military intervention in Syria
Southern Raqqa offensive.svg
Situation in central Syria between 13 and 30 June. The Southern Raqqa offensive is shown at the top of the map
Date13–30 June 2017
(2 weeks and 3 days)
Location
Southwestern Raqqa Governorate and southern Aleppo Governorate Syria
Result

Major Syrian Army victory[1]

  • Syrian Armed Forces recapture entire road between Resafa and Ithriya from ISIL[2]
  • ISIL forces expelled from Aleppo Governorate[2]
Belligerents

Syrian Arab Republic

Russia

 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Commanders and leaders
Maj. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan
(operations chief commander)
Ali Adra [3]
(Tiger Forces commander)
Unknown
Units involved

Syrian Armed Forces

Emblem of Liwa Al-Quds.svg Liwa al-Quds[4]

Al-Baggara tribe militias[4]

Military of ISIL

  • Wilayat Aleppo (until 30 June 2017)
  • Wilayat Raqqa
Casualties and losses
183–333 killed[5] Unknown

The Southern Raqqa offensive (June 2017) was an operation by the Syrian Army against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the southwestern countryside of the Raqqa Province.

Background[edit]

In early May 2017, Syrian Government forces launched an offensive against ISIL in the eastern countryside of Aleppo,[6] capturing the Jirah Airbase late on 12 May.[7][8]

Following this, by early June, the Syrian Army, led by the Tiger forces, captured the town of Maskanah and its surrounding villages after ISIL fighters withdrew from the area, thus expelling ISIL from its last stronghold in Aleppo governorate.[9] The next day, the Army came reached the boundaries of Ar-Raqqah Governorate.[10]

The offensive[edit]

On 13 June, the Syrian Army made a large advance into the Raqqah governorate, capturing seven villages, and thus reaching the Ithriya-Al-Thawrah road. These advances were made with little resistance from ISIL.[11] Four days later, the Army progressed further eastwards, overtaking 14 sites, thus coming close to ISIL-held Resafa.[12][13][14]

During 18 June, the Syrian Army captured the last two villages on the road to Resafa. Later that day, a F/A-18 Super Hornet launched from USS George H.W. Bush shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22M4, over airstrikes carried out by the SAF against what the Coalition claimed to be the SDF, while Syria said was ISIL in the village of Ja'din. Later, clashes broke out near Resafa between the Syrian Army and the SDF, as the former attempted to rescue the pilot of the downed jet.[15] The next day, Resafa was captured by the Syrian Army.[16][17]

On 22 June, ISIL attempted to cut off the Syrian Army supply line to Resafa near the town of Um Sosah, but the assault was thwarted before it even began.[18] On 30 June, the Syrian Army regained complete control of the Ithriya-Thawrah road, besieging the remaining ISIL held area in Aleppo.[19] Subsequently, ISIL evacuated the pocket and the SAA captured all of the remaining ISIL-held towns, villages, and desert in the Aleppo province.[2]

Aftermath[edit]

On 15 July Tiger Forces captured half a dozen oil fields in Ar-Raqqah province, the next day, Tiger Forces captured Al-Fahd Oil Field and nearby Al-Fahd Oil Station and advanced further to the south of Resafa in Ar-Raqqah Governorate capturing Zamleh Sharqiyah, B’ir Zamleh and al-Khalaa gas fields. Building on these gains, further progress has been made on 17 July with Deilla oil field being restored under government control. A couple more oil fields were captured later in the day alongside the town of Rajm Al-Joz.[20][21][22][23][24] On 22 July, the Syrian Army advanced even further, capturing Sabkhawi from ISIS and moving closer to SDF held northern Syria.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "In pictures: Tiger Forces veterans return to Qamhana after Aleppo, Raqqa operation". 4 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "After it used to control more than half of it… ISIS is out of Aleppo province". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 30 June 2017.
  3. ^ ""Al-Nemer" Suhail Hassan loses three Prominent commanders". Al-Dorar Al-Shamia. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Tomson, Chris (10 May 2017). "Syrian Army, Palestinian militia dislodge ISIS from strategic town in east Aleppo". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  5. ^ Fifteen Months of Death: Pro-Government Casualties of the Syrian Civil War
  6. ^ Tomson, Chris (9 May 2017). "Syrian Army restarts east Aleppo offensive as Russian airstrikes wipe out ISIS militants". Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  7. ^ Fadel, Leith (12 May 2017). "Breaking: Syrian Army liberates strategic airbase in east Aleppo".
  8. ^ "Syria army seizes airbase from ISIS: Monitor".
  9. ^ Fadel, Leith (3 June 2017). "Breaking: Syrian Army liberates Maskanah, ISIL expelled from Aleppo". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  10. ^ Fadel, Leith (4 June 2017). "Syrian Army advances on Raqqa border after Maskanah's capture". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Syrian Army Takes Control Of Rusafah Junction At Ithriyah-Tabqah Road After Liberating Over Dozen Villages". 13 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Breaking: Syrian Army liberates 14 sites in western Raqqa". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 17 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Syrian Army keeps rolling in west Raqqa as ISIL falls apart: map". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  14. ^ "الأسد يحرز تقدماً واسعاً غرب الرقة ، و داعش يدافع بالمفخخات".
  15. ^ "US coalition downs Syrian army plane in Raqqa". BBC. 19 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Syrian government forces liberate Rusafa town in southwest Raqqa". 19 June 2017.
  17. ^ "After the International Coalition downs a warplane over it, the regime forces take control of Al-Resafa city".
  18. ^ "ISIL suffers devastating defeat in desperate offensive to cutoff Syrian Army supply line". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Russia-backed Syrian army expels ISIS from Eastern Aleppo - ARA News". ARA News. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  20. ^ "ISIL's oil trade takes big hit as Syrian Army troops advance in southern Raqqa". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Breaking: Syrian Army liberates new oil field in southern Raqqa". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 16 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Tiger Forces liberate key gas fields from ISIS along Raqqa-Homs border region: videos". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Tiger Forces continue to steamroll ISIS in southern Raqqa, new strategic site liberated". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  24. ^ "BREAKING: ISIS defenses disintegrate in southern Raqqa in the face of Tiger Forces advance". AMN - Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  25. ^ http://isis.liveuamap.com/en/2017/22-july-government-forces-captured-sabkhawi-in-southern-raqqa