Siege of Al-Fu'ah-Kafriya (2015)

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Siege of Al-Fu'ah-Kafriya
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Idlib in Syria (+Golan hatched).svg
Map of Syria with Idlib highlighted
Date 28 March 2015 – present
(4 years and 2 months)
Location Idlib Governorate, Syria (For a war map of the current situation around Al-Fu'ah-Kafarya, see here.)
Result

Ongoing

  • Rebels capture Al-Suwaghiyah and Tal Al-Khirbat[5][6]
  • Two ceasefires[7]
Belligerents

Army of Conquest[1]

Free Syrian Army[5]

Syria Syrian Arab Republic

Hezbollah
Commanders and leaders
Abu Saleh al-Uzbeki[8]
(Katibat Al-Tawheed Wal Jihad' leader)
Sheikh Abu Al-Hassan Al-Tounisi 
(al-Nusra leader)[9]
Unknown
Units involved
101st Division[5] Local militia
Strength
3,000–4,000[10] 4,000[11]
Casualties and losses
650+ killed (gov. claim)[10]
74 killed (September assault)[12]
40+ killed (September assault)[13]
7+ civilians killed[13]

The Siege of Al-Fu'ah-Kafriya refers to a siege in the Idlib Governorate, during the Syrian Civil War. The siege was initiated with a rebel assault on the capital of the province, resulting in the capture of Idlib.

The siege

On 28 March 2015, after four days of fighting, rebels captured Idlib city and managed to besiege the towns of Kafriya and Al‐Fu'ah.[14] Thousands of civilians were trapped since.[15] The army of conquest and its main component Al-Nusra Front Alqaeda branch in Syria since then imposed a full siege blocking all humanitarian supplies to the towns and several executions were reported to happen in Idleb province for people accused to smuggle goods into Kafriya and Al‐Fu'ah [16]

On 2 August, the Army of Conquest announced it would continue its operations against the besieged enclave of Kafriya and Al-Fu’ah.[17] On 10 August, the rebels launched an assault on Al-Fu'ah, after detonating a VBIED and tunnel bomb, and advanced towards it.[18]

On 31 August, rebels launched a powerful attack on the Shiite enclave and captured Al-Suwaghiyah, forcing the government fighters to retreat to Tal Khirbat.[5]

It was promised by Ajnad Al-Sham that Kafriya and al-Fu'ah would be shelled with over 100 mortars every day.[19][20]

Between 3 September and 5 September, Syrian rebels intensively shelled the enclave and launched a number of attacks on Al-Fu'ah (and Kafriya) from Maarrat Misrin, Al-Suwaghiyah and Idlib City. The attacks were repelled, with the Army reportedly destroying three armored vehicles.[21]

On 18 September, rebels launched a new attack on the enclave, firing almost 400 shells and rockets, while nine VBIED's (including seven suicide bombers) were detonated at government positions. The clashes led to the death of at least 29 rebels and 21 government fighters, as well as seven civilians.[15] The SOHR reported that the rebels gained ground.[22][23]

On 19 September, rebels advanced again in the vicinity of al-Fuah,[24] capturing Tal Al-Khirbat and a number of checkpoints around it.[6] On the other hand, the government troops repelled the rebels attack on the nearby village of Deir Al-Zughb.[25] According to government claims, the rebels lost over 100 fighters, including 31 from foreign countries.[6]

The over all number of suicide bombers with VBIEDs that attacked Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya in the battle of September 19-19 was estimated to be 26 VBIEDs, the attackers were 11 Uyghur Chinese, one Lebanese, 2 Saudis and 11 Syrians [26]

On 20 September, a second cease-fire in Al-Zabadani/Madaya and Al-Fou’aa/Kafriya was implemented, where the rebels allowed humanitarian aid to the besieged civilians of Al-Fou’aa and Kafriya.[7] A violation of this cease-fire was reported the next day.[27]

On 11 January 2016 the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme organized an aid convoy to deliver food, medicine and other aid to Kafriya and Al‐Fu'ah.[28] Despite several humanitarian convoys entered the besieged area, the citizens are still suffering from very difficult survival conditions, basic medical care, vaccines and food are not available and Alqaeda fighters continue to bombard the towns causing daily casualties among civilians.[29]

References

  1. "Al Qaeda and allies form coalition to battle Syrian regime in Idlib". Long War Journal. 24 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Joscelyn, Thomas (18 September 2015). "Al Nusrah Front, allies strike 2 Shiite towns in Idlib province". Long War Journal.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Taliban-Aligned Uzbek Suicide Bomber Attacks Shi'ite Village In Syria". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Caleb Weiss". Twitter. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Leith Fadel. "Jaysh Al-Fateh Launches Their Largest Assault on Kafraya and Al-Fou'aa". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Islamist Rebels Suffer Heavy Casualties in Al-Fou'aa and Kafraya: Dozens of Foreigners Killed". Leith Fadel. Retrieved 20 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Leith Fadel. "Breaking: Ceasefire Brokered in Al-Zabadani/Madaya and Al-Fou'aa/Kafraya". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Elijah J. Magnier". Twitter. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Leith Fadel. "Syrian Armed Forces Kill the Former Bin Laden Aide Turned Syrian Rebel in Idlib". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Over 650 Islamist Rebels Killed During the Battle for Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa
  11. Syria army, rebels reach deal on Zabadani, Idlib villages: source
  12. "Temporary truce begins in four Syrian towns". Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Ceasefire agreed for 3 Syria battlegrounds". Business Insider. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Peto Lucem on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Rebels pound Shiite villages: Observatory". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. http://www.syriahr.com/2016/02/24/158019
  17. Master. "Al- Fateh Army announces the continuation of its operations against Kefrayya and al- Fu'ah". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 5 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Master. "Violent attack launched by Jabhat al- Nusra the rebel and Islamist factions on the town of Al-Fu'ah, and the clashes renew in Sahl al- Ghab". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 10 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Ibn Nabih". Twitter. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Ibn Nabih". Twitter. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Leith Fadel. "Jaysh Al-Fateh's Attempt to Enter Al-Fou'aa and Kafraya Proves Unsuccessful". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Master. "64 people killed in the violent attack on the two towns of al- Fu'ah and Kefrayya". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. edward. "المروحي يقصف ريف إدلب الجنوبي واستمرار المعارك في محيط الفوعة وقصف جوي على جبال اللاذقية". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Edward. "Continued clashes in the vicinity of Kafriya and al-Fou'aa and airstrikes on the southern countryside of Idlib". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Clashes on the Deir Al-Zughb & Sewaghiyah fronts". Hassan Ridha. Retrieved 19 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. http://assafir.com/Article/464166/MostRead
  27. Edward. "One died in the countryside of Idlib and shelling on Wadi Barada and breach of the cease-fire in Kafrayya, al-Fou'aa and Madaya". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Kareem Shaheen (11 January 2016). "Trucks from aid convoy enter besieged Syrian town of Madaya". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. http://www.globalresearch.ca/united-nations-tacitly-supportive-of-syria-opposition-terrorists-humanitarian-aid-withheld-deliberate-malpractice-in-kafarya-and-foua/5509229