Second Battle of Maarat al-Nu'man

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Second Battle of Maarat al-Nu'man
Part of the Syrian Civil War and Inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War
Al-Nusra Front members in Maarrat al-Numan.jpg
Al-Nusra Front members and a Free Syrian Army commander in Maarrat al-Nu'man
Date 13 March 2016
Location Maarat al-Numaan and Khan Shaykhun, Idlib province, Syria
Result

Al-Nusra Front and Jund al-Asqa Victory

Belligerents
Syria Free Syrian Army Al-Nusra Front
Jund al-Aqsa
Commanders and leaders
Lt. Col. Ahmad Al-Sa’oud[2]
(13th Division leader)
Capt. Ali al-Salloum[3]
(Brigade commander)
Abu Mohammad al-Julani[2]
(Jabhat al-Nusra Emir)
Units involved

Insignia of the 13th Division.svg 13th Division

  • al-Bukhari Brigade[3]
Unknown
Strength
Entire Division: around 1,000 fighters Unknown
Casualties and losses
7 killed,[1] 40 captured[2] 4 killed[1]

On 13 March 2016, jihadists fighters from al-Nusra Front and Jund al-Aqsa launched an overnight attack against the 13th Division headquarters in the town of Maarrat al-Nu'man. According to social media activists in support of the Syrian opposition, Jabhat al-Nusra attacked Division 13 after local protestors and demonstrators used the flag of Free Syrian Army, rather than the black flag of jihad.[4][5][6]

The Division headquarters was overrun after a fierce battle that left 7 of its combatants dead and 40 others kidnapped.[3] Two storage facilities that were allegedly filled with the U.S. manufactured anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles were surrendered to the attackers, which the Division denies. The Division 13’s depots in Maarat al-Numan and three nearby towns were overrun; Hesh, Khan Shaykhun and Tal Aas. An unspecified number of armored vehicles and a tank were captured.[2][3][7]

By the end of the battle, the 13th Division abandoned all its posts in Maarat al-Nu'man and fled to Turkey.[8] However, civilians opposed to the takeover took to the streets and stormed Nusra's HQ in the city, freeing some prisoners.[9]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 11 Fighters killed in clash between the Division 13 and Al-Nusra in the countryside of Idlib and al-Nusra storm Maarrat al-Nu’man and Khan Shaykhun
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "MIDEAST - Al-Qaeda in Syria clashes with rebels, seizes weapons". Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Division 13 evacuate most of its headquarters in the southern countryside of Idlib and clashes between them against Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa in Maarrat al-Nu'man area and tension prevails in the area". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Fadel, Leith. "Rebel infighting results in Nusra capturing U.S. manufactured missiles". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Al-Qaida seizes weapons, bases from US-backed Syrian rebels". 680 NEWS. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Fadel, Leith. "Nusra captures Division 13 headquarters in Ma'arat Al-Nu'man". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Al-Qaida seizes weapons and bases from US-backed Free Syrian Army". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "FSA exits strategic city in Syria's Idlib after warring with Nusra". en.abna24.com. 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Syria: Maarat al-Numan civilians protest against al-Qaeda's Nusra Front after attack on US-backed rebel group". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2016-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>