Al-Shaddadi offensive (2016)

Al-Shaddadi offensive (2016)
Part of the Syrian Civil War and
the American-led intervention in Syria

Map of the frontline changes from 17 November 2015 – 20 February 2016      Kurdish forces/SDF control      Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant control      Syrian Army control      Ongoing confrontation or unclear situation
Date16–24 February 2016
(1 week and 1 day)
LocationSouthern Al-Hasakah Governorate, Syria

Major SDF victory[1][2]

Syrian Democratic Forces
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Commanders and leaders
Simko Çelê[12]
(YPG commander of Shaddadi operations)
(YPJ commander)
Alwan al-Shammari[14]
(Al-Sanadid Forces commander)
Adnan al-Ahmad[14]
(Northern Sun Battalion commander-in-chief)
(Liwaa at-Tahreer commander-in-chief)
Abu Ali al-Anbari
(Deputy, Syria)
Adam al-Chechani [15]
(Top ISIL commander in Al-Hasakah Province)
Abu Abeer al-Iraqi [15]
(Deputy Emir of Al-Shaddadi)
Abu Aicha al-Jazrawi [15]
(Head of Sharia Court in Al-Shaddadi)
Rima al-Jarish [15]
(Propaganda Chief in northeastern Syria)
Units involved

Syrian Democratic Forces

International Freedom Battalion[13]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Military of ISIL

SDF: 6,000 fighters[17]
United States US: Unknown[18]
2,000+ fighters[19][20]
Casualties and losses
26 fighters killed, 13+ injured[6][21][22][23] 455+ militants killed[3][24][25]
40 civilians killed by CJTF–OIR airstrikes[26][27][28]
30,000+ people displaced and flee to ISIL territory[29]

The al-Shaddadi offensive (2016), also known as Operation Wrath of Khabur,[30][31] was an offensive launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the Syrian Civil War, in February 2016. The main goal of this offensive was to capture the strategic city of Al-Shaddadi and the remainder of the southern al-Hasakah Governorate, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[30][32] During the offensive, the US-led Coalition conducted 86+ airstrikes in Al-Shaddadi and the nearby areas, in support of the SDF advances.[33]


On 31 October 2015, the SDF launched an offensive to capture the town of al-Hawl and the surrounding countryside from ISIL. On 13 November, the SDF captured al-Hawl and the al-Hawl Refugee Camp, along with the areas to the east and south of the town, and on 16 November, the SDF captured a pocket of ISIL territory to the northwest of al-Hawl. On 22 November, the SDF captured the town of Kama'il, the Regiment 121 base, and the surrounding area. By 30 November, the SDF had captured the South Hasakah Dam and the village of Qana, coming within 25 kilometres (15.53 mi) of Al-Shaddadi from both the north and the northeast. During the al-Hawl offensive, the SDF captured 1,400 square kilometers (870 square miles) of land,[34] including 240+ towns and villages.[35] By 23 December, the SDF had captured the town of Al-Arishah. On the same day, the SDF repelled a pro-Assad militia attack on their positions in the town.[36]

The offensive

On 16 February 2016, the SDF launched an offensive to capture the strategic city of al-Shaddadi and the surrounding countryside,[30] with a force of about 6,000 fighters.[17] SDF forces attacked mainly from 2 axes, from the Abdul al-Aziz Mountains and from the al-Hawl area, advancing towards Shaddadi from the northwest and the northeast.[37] On 18 February, the SDF captured at least 8 villages and two areas,[26] including the villages of Mashtal and Mishwar, to the southwest of Al-Hawl.[38] On the same day, the SDF also captured the Jabisah Oil Field and the Kabibah Oil Field,[4][39][40] both to the northeast of Al-Shaddadi. By this time, SDF forces had captured 48 villages and hamlets since the start of the offensive.[41] At least 49 ISIL militants were killed, and another dozen were wounded in the clashes.[26][38] 38 civilians were killed by US-led Coalition airstrikes.[26]

On 19 February 2016, the SDF cut off the al-Shaddadi–al-Baaj road,[42] capturing multiple villages in the process, including: Dilan, Simalka, Ballouna, Dabshi, Meshal, Mashwar, Khirba, Givara, Umm Tanak, Umm Bouja, and Misherfa.[43] On the same day, the SDF reached the northeastern entrance of Al-Shaddadi, and they also advanced within 3 kilometers of Al-Shaddadi's northwestern outskirts,[44] capturing the town of Sabaa.[7] SDF forces also captured another 47 villages around Al-Shaddadi, and fully besieged the city.[45] This also trapped many ISIL fighters in a pocket of villages between Al-Arishah and Al-Shaddadi.[45][46]

Later on 19 February, the city of al-Shaddadi was captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces,[5][6][37][47][48] A US-led Coalition airstrike also killed several high-ranking ISIL leaders in Al-Shaddadi on 19 February.[15] On the same day, a YPG position to the east of Al-Hasakah was bombed by an unidentified jet, killing 3 YPG fighters and wounding 2 others.[21]

On 20 February, the SDF advanced further south of al-Shaddadi and captured the village of al-Alwa, as well as the town of al-Fadghami.[8] SDF forces also captured 12 farms and villages during this advance.[49] This left Markada as the last town controlled by ISIL in the Al-Hasakah Governorate. On the same day, the SDF celebrated capturing Al-Shaddadi from ISIL.[1]

On 21 February, violent clashes erupted, after ISIL attempted to infiltrate an area in the al-Shaddadi countryside.[50] On the same day, SDF forces advanced further southward, coming within 16 kilometers (10 miles) of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate. A pro-Kurdish source claimed the SDF also reportedly captured the town of Markada, although this was not independently confirmed. At least 64 ISIL militants were killed in the clashes. It was also reported that the SDF found and eliminated 3 groups of ISIL militants that were hiding in Al-Shaddadi city, and that ISIL was sending reinforcements from the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, to prevent further SDF advances.[24][51] Later on the same day, the SDF released an operations statement sheet, declaring that they had liberated 2,400 square kilometers (1,491 square miles) of land from ISIL forces.[10] The SDF began cleanup operations to remove the mines and booby traps left behind by ISIL, and to sweep the countryside for any remaining ISIL militants.[10]

Late on 21 February, ISIL forces launched a counterattack, in an attempt to recapture the city, re-entering Al-Shaddadi's western and southern suburbs, and recapturing the town of Sabaa. However, SDF forces managed to repel the attack and recaptured Sabaa; 11 SDF fighters and 7 ISIL militants were reported killed in the clashes.[22][52][53] Afterwards, SDF fighters began fortifying Al-Shaddadi, to protect against future attacks. The SDF also stated that they would never give up control of the city to ISIL, and that they would work to push ISIL out of the entire Al-Hasakah Province and keep them from returning.[22] Early on 22 February, ISIL launched another counterattack on Al-Shaddadi's southern outskirts, resulting in additional clashes, before they were repelled by the SDF once again.[52] Early on 23 February, SDF forces recaptured the Jabisah Oil Field, following an earlier ISIL counterattack.[54] Clashes also erupted to the south of Al-Shaddadi.[55]

On 23 February, ISIL also released the last 42 Assyrian Christian hostages that they had captured from the Khabur Valley region, during a previous offensive in February 2015.[11] It was also reported that half of Al-Shaddadi had been cleared of the bombs left behind by ISIL.[56] Later on the same day, ISIL's forces in the southern countryside of Al-Shaddadi were reported to have collapsed and retreated back to the Markada District.[20] Early on 24 February, the SOHR reported that 2 more civilians had been killed by US-led Coalition airstrikes near Al-Shaddadi,[28] while clashes continued south of Al-Shaddadi.[57] Additionally, four YPG fighters, one of them a German volunteer, were killed in the Al-Shaddadi countryside during clashes with ISIL.[23] Later on the same day, it was reported that 120 ISIL militants had been found and killed, during a clearing operation in a village south of Al-Shaddadi.[25] Late on 24 February, it was reported that the SDF had ended their offensive operations, after they completely secured and demined the city of Al-Shaddadi, along with the surrounding countryside, including the pocket between Al-Arishah and Al-Shaddadi.[2][9] By the end of the offensive, the SDF had captured 315+ villages and 2,400+ square kilometers (1,491+ square miles) of land from ISIL.[3] It was later revealed that during the offensive, a small number of US commanders had traveled to the frontlines to help advise SDF forces, and to coordinate airstrikes.[18]

Strategic Analysis

The capture of al-Shaddadi left the ISIL capital city of ar-Raqqah as the only major ISIL stronghold near SDF-held territories in northeastern Syria.[1] The capture of al-Shaddadi was considered to be a major victory for the SDF and the US-led Coalition, because Al-Shaddadi was the city from which ISIL had planned all of its attacks on Kurdish-held territories in the Al-Hasakah Province, and because Al-Shaddadi was also the last major hub on the Syrian side of the Mosul-Raqqa route, following the capture of al-Hawl. Although the SDF managed to sever another key supply route between Ar-Raqqah and Mosul,[58] Coalition Spokesman Col. Christopher Garver noted that ISIL could still switch to using multiple other goat trails and desert roads, even though those routes would be much harder to navigate.[1] ISIL's sudden collapse in al-Shaddadi was described as "swift and surprising," and the withdrawal was thought to be due to ISIL's tactical reasoning or an attempt to alarm Turkey with rapid Kurdish advances.[4] In late March 2016, US officials revealed that the Al-Shaddadi offensive had originally been planned as a 6-week-long operation, but instead, ISIL forces there collapsed within days.[59]


On 1 August a motorcycle bomb blew up at an Internet café in Shaddadi, killing at least 4 civilians.[60]

On 26 August, ISIL forces launched a counterattack on the southern Shaddadi countryside after shelling and detonating 2 car bombs at SDF positions, reportedly capturing 3 villages in the area.[61] ISIL conducted another attack on the city's suburbs on 11 September but was repelled by the SDF.[62]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Kurds celebrate capture of key IS stronghold". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Şedadê bi temamî hate paqijkirin". HawarNews. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "بيان القيادة العامة لقوات سوريا الديمقراطية حول حملة غضب الخابور وتحرير الشدادي". SDF media. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 Hassan Hassan. "Sudden retreats don't mean that ISIL is defeated". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  5. 1 2 "SDF liberate the entire town of Shaddadi". ANF News. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 "Syrian Democratic Forces announce liberation of last ISIS bastion in Hasakah". ARA News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  7. 1 2 khaled. "قوات سوريا الديمقراطية تقترب من الشدادي وتسيطر على الـ 47". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  8. 1 2 قناة الميادين. "الميادين - آخر الأخبار". قناة الميادين. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  9. 1 2 "It is now confirmed: YPG has taken Al-Arishah from ISIS: syriancivilwar". Reddit. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  10. 1 2 3 "بيان القيادة العامة لقوات سوريا الديمقراطية بخصوص تحرير منطقة الشدادي - قوات سوريا الديمقراطية". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  11. 1 2 "ISIS releases 42 Christian hostages northeast Syria". ARA News. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  12. 1 2 "International Freedom Battalion also joining the Shaddadi operation". ANF News. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "War on ISIS unites Syrian Kurds, Arabs and Christians". ARA News. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 "ISIS media official, jihadi leaders killed in American strike north Syria". ARA News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  15. Sardar Mlla Drwish (18 March 2016). "Raqqa brigade continues to raise flag of Syrian revolution". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  16. 1 2 David Ignatius (20 February 2016). "Ignatius: A pivotal moment in a tangled war". The Quad-City Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  17. 1 2 "Army's Delta Force begins to target ISIS in Iraq". CNN. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  18. "US-Supplied Syrian Rebels Win Back IS Territory". Voa News. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  19. 1 2 "بيـــــان القيادة العامة لقوات سوريا الديمقراطية - قوات سوريا الديمقراطية". SDF media. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  20. 1 2 "YPG General Command: Our emplacements bombed by an unidentified jet". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  21. 1 2 3 "ISIS militants fight back in Syria's Shaddadi after Kurdish advance - ARA News". ARA News. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  22. 1 2 Edward. "The 3rd German militant in YPG killed Hasakah countryside". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  23. 1 2 "QSD'ê 16 km ji Şeddadê derbaz bû". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  24. 1 2 "Şervanên QSD'ê hawaneke 120 destserkirin". HawarNews. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  25. 1 2 3 4 Edward. "Within 72 hours… US-led International coalition's warplanes kill 38 civilians in the countryside of Al-Hasakah". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  26. Edward. "35 casualties and injuries in bombing by the international coalition's warplanes on Shaddadi". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  27. 1 2 suliman. "شهداء في ضربات جوية على ريف الحسكة وقوات النظام تقصف سهل الغاب". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  28. Syriadirekt: In battle for one corner of Al-Hasakah, 30,000 displaced move south toward Islamic State territory amidst fears of SDF
  29. 1 2 3 "حملة غضب الخابور لتحرير منطقة الشدادي - قوات سوريا الديمقراطية". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  30. "Wrath of Khabur: February 2016". Twitter. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  31. Syrian Democratic Forces to extend anti-ISIS operations
  32. 27 (Feb. 13–19) + 59 (Feb. 20–26) = 86 airstrikes (Feb. 13–26)
  33. "Qasioun News Agency - Sulo :493 fighters of ISIS killed during the military campaign in countryside of Hassaka". Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  34. "U.S.-led coalition bombs ISIS main bastion in Syria's Hasakah - ARA News". ARA News. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  35. "Pro-Assad militias attack positions of western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Hasakah". ARA News. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  36. 1 2 Edward. "The Syrian Democratic Forces takeover Shaddadi city in Al-Hasakah after nearly 3 days of starting the offensive". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  37. 1 2 "Kurdish-Arab alliance expels ISIS jihadis from key villages in Syria's Hasakah - ARA News". ARA News. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  38. "islamic world update". Twitter. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  39. Despite Turkish strikes, Syrian Democratic Forces make new gains against ISIS
  40. "'Xabur'un Öfkesi' büyüyor,QSD Şedade'ye yaklaşıyor". Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  41. "Kurds, allies cut off main ISIS supply route on Syria-Iraq border". ARA News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  42. "Syrian Democratic Forces make new gains against ISIS near Iraqi border". ARA News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  43. Leith Fadel (19 February 2016). "Breaking: SDF at the gates of the last ISIS stronghold in Al-Hasakah". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  44. 1 2 "قوات سوريا الديمقراطية تطبق الخناق على داعش في الشدادي بالكامل - قوات سوريا الديمقراطية". Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  45. "مقتل 12 إرهابيا لداعش داخل المدينة وعمليات التمشيط والتأمين جارية داخل المدينة والقرى المجاورة - قوات سوريا الديمقراطية". Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  46. "Syria: ISIL stronghold of al-Shadadi 'captured by Kurdish-led forces'". euronews. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  47. "سيطرة "قوات سوريا الديمقراطية" على الشدادي آخر معاقل داعش في المحافظة". Al Aan TV. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  48. Leith Fadel (21 February 2016). "Syrian Democratic Forces advance south towards Deir Ezzor border". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  49. Edward. "Violent clash and counter attack by the "Islamic State" in Shaddadi countryside". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  50. "4 ISIS gang members killed in eastern Shaddadi". #FreeKurds - Kurdistan'dan notlar. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  51. 1 2 Leith Fadel (22 February 2016). "ISIS launches counter-offensive at Al-Shadadi in east Syria". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  52. khaled. "مطالبة التحالف الدولي بتحديد هوية طائرة قتلت عناصر من الوحدات الكردية بريف الشدادي في الحسكة، و90 قتلوا وأسروا واستشهدوا خلال معارك السيطرة على مدينة الشدادي وقرى بريفها في الريف الجنوبي لمدينة الحسكة". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  53. "Kurds, allies expel ISIS from key gas facility north Syria". ARA News. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  54. suliman. "ريف الشدادي يشهد معارك عنيفة ومتواصلة وقصف يستهدف مناطق بريف حمص الشمالي". المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  55. "Li Şedadê 33 cenazeyên çeteyan hatin dîtin". Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  56. Edward. "Clashes continue in Shaddadi area and its surroundings and more casualties in the countryside of Al-Hasakah". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  57. "Syrian democratic forces liberate al-Shaddadi". Rudaw. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  58. In Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is in retreat on multiple fronts
  59. "Explosion hit oil-rich Syrian town of Shaddadi, civilian casualties reported". ARA News. 2 August 2016.
  60. "ISIS militants attack Kurdish positions, capture three villages northeast Syria". ARA News. 27 August 2016.
  61. "Syrian Democratic Forces repel ISIS attack near Hasakah". ARA News. 12 September 2016.

External links

Coordinates: 36°03′22″N 40°43′49″E / 36.0561°N 40.7303°E / 36.0561; 40.7303

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/29/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.