Al-Dumayr offensive (April 2016)

Al-Dumayr offensive (April 2016)
Part of the Rif Dimashq Governorate campaign of the Syrian civil war
Date4–16 April 2016
(1 week and 4 days)
LocationAl-Dumayr, Rif Dimashq Governorate, Syria
Result Syrian Army victory
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Syria Syrian government

Commanders and leaders
Abu Jihad al-Shami Unknown
Casualties and losses
35 killed[1] 20 killed[1]
18 civilians killed by airstrikes[2]
250–300 cement plant workers kidnapped by ISIL[3] (170 released, 4 executed)[4]

The al-Dumayr offensive was a military offensive launched in April 2016 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near the town of al-Dumayr, east of Damascus, Syria. The attack is notable for the abduction of hundreds of cement plant workers by ISIL.[3]

The offensive

On 4 April, ISIL attacked areas around the city of al-Dumayr, northeast of Damascus, resulting in 250–300 cement plant workers being abducted from a factory by ISIL.[5] ISIL reportedly massacred 175 of them afterwards, while 75 escaped.[6] Druze employees were murdered while non-minority Muslims were released.[7][8]

On 6 April, ISIL launched an attack on the Dumayr Airbase, outside the town, sending five car bombs and killing 12 Syrian soldiers.[9] The attack was repelled by the Syrian Army and the National Defence Forces.[10] Due to a partial ceasefire, the Syrian Armed Forces reportedly allowed some Jaysh al-Islam militants from Ghouta to cross into al-Dumayr in order to fight ISIL. The Syrian Air Force also hit ISIL targets in the front with the rebels.[11]

As of 7 April, ISIL had captured five government positions, including two checkpoints, but overall had not managed to gain significant ground. Heavy fighting continued near the airport and the Tishreen power plant, but the jihadists had not been able to enter ether facility.[1] On 9 April, a new ISIL attack on the airport and power plant was reportedly repelled,[12] after which the airport was declared secured.[13]

On 11 April, a Syrian Air Force plane was shot down by ISIL near the airbase.[14] Two days later, yet another attack on the airbase was repelled, although Army checkpoints outside the base had sustained heavy damage.[15]

On 14 April, the Army launched a counter-attack, quickly recapturing several hilltops,[16] and by the following day, they had retaken control of the Khan Abu Shamat base and the Badia cement plant.[17][18] On 16 April, the military continued to advance and recaptured the Battalion 559 base, Al-Sini Factory, Al-Safa Station and the triangle Baghdad-Palmyra-Jordan checkpoint, ending the ISIL offensive.[19][20]


  1. 1 2 3 "250 Syrians missing after IS attack east of Damascus". Breitbart. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  2. Sam Dagher (7 April 2016). "Islamic State Kidnaps More Than 300 Syrian Workers". WSJ. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Syria civil war: ISIL kidnaps '300 factory workers'". Al Jazeera English. 8 April 2016.
  4. "Islamic State begins releasing kidnapped workers: Syrian Observatory". Reuters. 8 April 2016.
  5. "Syria conflict: IS 'abducts hundreds of factory workers'". BBC. 7 April 2016.
  6. "ISIS massacres 175 cement plant workers captured near Damascus – reports". RT. 8 April 2016.
  7. Associated Press (9 April 2016). "Most Cement Workers Abducted by Islamic State in Syria Freed". WSJ. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  8. "Islamic State frees most of 300 abducted cement workers, kills 4". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  9. "Islamic State attacks Syrian forces near Damascus". Reuters. 6 April 2016.
  10. "Syrian Army thwarts the ISIS offensive at the Dumayr Airport". Al-Masdar News. 6 April 2016.
  11. "Syrian Army, rebels work together against ISIS in east Damascus". Al-Masdar News. 7 April 2016.
  12. Leith Fadel (9 April 2016). "Syrian Army pushes back the Islamic State at the Tishreen Power Plant". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  13. h.said. "Field commander at al-Dmeir Airport: Airport completely secure". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  14. "The Latest: Activists: IS militants down Syrian warplane - US News". US News & World Report. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  15. Leith Fadel (13 April 2016). "ISIS attempts to advance on the Dumayr Airbase in east Damascus". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  16. Leith Fadel (15 April 2016). "Syrian Army strikes back against ISIS in east Damascus: several hilltops liberated". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  17. Chris Tomson (15 April 2016). "Syrian Army drives back ISIS in eastern Damascus & recaptures Badia Cement Factory". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  18. Chris Tomson (16 April 2016). "Battle for east Damascus underway as Syrian Army & rebels gang up on ISIS - Map update". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  19. Leith Fadel (16 April 2016). "ISIS offensive at Dumayr ends in disaster as the Syrian Army reclaims the area". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  20. edward. "دخول 52 شاحنة تحمل مساعدات إنسانية إلى بلدات بغوطة دمشق الشرقية". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
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