As-Suwayda offensive (June 2018)
The As-Suwayda offensive (June 2018) began on 7 June in the rural parts of the Suwayda Governorate in southeastern Syria, after an evacuation deal was made between ISIL and the Syrian government concluding an anti-ISIL offensive in southern Damascus.
The offensive was launched on 7 June, after several days of preparatory artillery shelling, The Syrian military launched several airstrikes on ISIL positions in the Northeastern part of the Suwayda Governorate and advanced 12 kilometers on the first day towards the village of Khirbet al-Umbashi, capturing four areas. Government forces continued to advance over the following two days and by 9 June, they were within 15 kilometers of the ISIL stronghold of Al-Kara’a. By 13 June, after government forces failed to capture the whole ISIL pocket, the intensity of the fighting decreased.
On 16 June, the Army clashed with ISIL in Al-Habiriyah in the northeastern part of the province, while they also shelled the village along with Khirbet al-Umbashi and Al-Tamthuna. The Syrian air force also targeted ISIL positions in Al-Kara’a. The next day, the military began sending more forces to the area in preparation for the second phase of their offensive.
On 18 June, pro-government forces were able to capture Bir al-Awra and Tell Arar in northeastern Al-Suwayda, as well as make some gains near Tell Asfar and Khirbet al-Umbashi. As they advanced, ISIL was able to conduct an ambush, killing two Hezbollah fighters. The following day, government troops once again advanced and captured Khirbet al-Umbashi, with eight soldiers being killed in the area during the day.
On 21 June, the Syrian military captured Khirbet Hawi Husayn in the northeast from ISIL, while ISIL killed a Syrian Brigadier General in clashes in the region. The next day, according to Islamic State’s Amaq Agency, ISIL ambushed Syrian forces near Tell Ghanem killing 20 government soldiers as well as a commander from the Syrian military, in the process they also managed to destroy two tanks and another vehicle. While the Syrian military reportedly captured the villages of Tell Mughir and Abu Jabal.
On 14 July, ISIL launched an offensive against pro-government forces in the northeastern part of the governorate attacking a dam and a military outpost, though making no territorial gains they inflicted several casualties on pro-government forces.
On 25 July, ISIL conducted an Inghimasi attack in the Governorate killing more than 250. The attack began with attacks on government positions around the city and checkpoints, after running out of ammunition the fighters detonated their explosive belts, ISIL attempted to carry out two other attacks but the Syrian airforce struck ISIL fighters before they had the opportunity to detonate their explosive belts.
On 1 August, ISIL conducted a raid at the Khalkhalah airbase. Amaq news agency claimed that militants destroyed 2 warplanes and 6 drones. However, according to military sources, security force foiled the attack.
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- قتال متواصل بعنف مع تنظيم “الدولة الإسلامية” على بعد نحو 50 كيلومتراً من منطقة تواجد التحالف الدولي في التنف
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- Syrian War Daily – 22nd of June 2018
- Syrian War Daily – 25th of June 2018