2019 South East Idlib Offensive

The 2019 South East Idlib Offensive was a military operation launched by the Syrian government against opposition factions in the Idlib Governorate and surrounding areas. The offensive began on 24 November 2019 after the Syrian military reportedly captured several villages in the southeastern part of the largely opposition held Idlib governorate, the government's opening advance was accompanied by Russian air support and later the villages were recaptured by opposition factions.[3][4] Since the start of the offensive 92,000 civilians have been displaced due to the fighting in Idlib and Hama.[5]

2019 South East Idlib Offensive
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Date24 November 2019 – 6 December 2019[1]
(1 week 5 days)
Location
Result

Indecisive

  • Syrian Army captures 3 villages[2]
  • Syrian Opposition captures 1 village[2]
Belligerents
 Syria
 Russia
 Iran
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
National Front for Liberation
Ansar al-Tawhid
Ajnad al-Kavkaz
Units involved

 Syria

 Russia

Unknown
Strength
Unknown Unknown

The ground phase of the operation stopped since 6 December 2019 although airstrikes against opposition held areas continue.[2]

Background

Months prior to the offensive earlier in the year, the Syrian government launched an offensive managing to capture parts of the Hama Governorate and southern parts of the Idlib Governorate underneath opposition control after months of fighting lasting from April to August 2019.

Timeline

On 24 November 2019, Syrian government forces supported by Russian airstrikes entered the villages of Um al-Khalakhil, Dahret al-Zarzour, al-Sayeer and al-Musheirfeh. Syrian state media reported that several rebel fighters were killed during the operation, and that Jabhat al-Nusra was expelled from the specific villages of Dahret a-Zarzour and al-Musheirfeh.

On 25 November 2019, following the Syrian governments advance and reversal of the previous day, a second military advance was attempted by government forces targeting the village of al-Farjah which Syrian state media reported as being under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.[6]

On 26 November 2019, Opposition media reported that the rebel "Fatah Mubieen Operations Room" repelled another attempted government advance on the Sahel village in Idlib's southeastern countryside.[7]

On 27 November 2019, the National Front for Liberation published a video of its special forces unit ambushing the Russian military, while the Russian army was attempting to infiltrate the Injaz village. The National Front for Liberation claimed to have killed and wounded several Russian soldiers in the ambush and published combat footage of the ambush.[8]

On 28 November 2019, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham announced to have repelled a joint Iranian-Syrian advance in Kabani in the northeastern part of the Latakia Governorate. Russian warplanes were also reportedly seen during the advance, and after hours of clashes Iranian and Syrian forces withdrew from the area.[9]

On 30 November 2019, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other opposition groups captured several villages near the Abu al-Duhur Military Airbase.[10]

On 1 December 2019, Ansar al-Tawhid released photos of the group firing improvised artillery at government forces in the southeastern Idlib countryside.[11] On the same day the National Front for Liberation and HTS captured additional villages from government forces along with Ajnad al-Kavkaz and Ansar al-Tawhid. During the rebel advance the Syrian military claimed to have destroyed two SVBIEDs near the town of Kefraya in southeastern Idlib.[12]

On 4 December 2019, 5 Syrian soldiers were killed in clashes with rebel groups in the southeastern Idlib countryside including an officer.[13]

On 9 December 2019, the Syrian military bombarded rebel held areas in the southern Idlib countryside as well as portions of the western Aleppo countryside and portions of Aleppo city's outskirts underneath rebel control.[14]

Reactions

National

  •  United Arab Emirates - The UAE's embassy in Damascus held an event on the country's 48th National Day on 2 December 2019, during the event an Emirati official speaking at the event praised the Syrian government's actions and claimed that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad was acting wisely.[15]

References

  1. "SAA control military base east of Umm Al-Tinah Idlib Governorate". Map of Syrian Civil War - Syria news and incidents today - syria.liveuamap.com.
  2. "Day of news on live map - December, 06 2019". Map of Syrian Civil War - Syria news and incidents today - syria.liveuamap.com.
  3. "Syrian Army Regains Control over More Areas in Idlib's Southeast (+Video) - World news". Tasnim News Agency.
  4. "فصائل المعارضة تستعيد السيطرة على قرية المشيرفة جنوب شرق إدلب". November 20, 2019.
  5. "Russian, Syrian Regime Forces Step Up Attacks on Rebel Stronghold Idlib". Voice of America.
  6. "Teroristi se razbežali, raspao se front, Asadove snage nezaustavljivo jure na Marat al Numan! (MAPA)". alo.
  7. "شبكة بلدي الإعلامية |". baladi-news.com.
  8. https://web.archive.org/watch?v=agpIHPvUg54&feature=youtu.be
  9. الشامية, محرر الدرر (November 29, 2019). ""تحرير الشام" تحبط هجومين لقوات الأسد وميليشيات إيران على محور الكبينة باللاذقية خلال 24 ساعة". الدرر الشامية.
  10. Desk, News (November 30, 2019). "Jihadist rebels score big advance in southeast Idlib after launching new offensive".
  11. "Wayback Machine". web.archive.org. December 1, 2019.
  12. "Syrian army rejects terrorist offensive southeast of Idleb". plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=49511&SEO=syrian-army-rejects-terrorist-offensive-southeast-of-idleb.
  13. "As clashes continue in Idlib fronts .. 5 members of the regime forces killed including an officer • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". December 4, 2019.
  14. Desk, News (December 9, 2019). "Syrian Army launches heavy attack across southern Idlib".
  15. "UAE official praises Assad as his forces kill civilians in Idlib". Middle East Eye.
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