Battle of Murak

Battle of Murak
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Date1 February – 23 October 2014
(8 months, 3 weeks and 1 day)
LocationMurak, Syria

Syrian Army victory

  • Rebels capture and hold Murak for nine months and cut supply lines to government forces in Khan Shaykhun and the Wadi al-Daif and al-Hamidiyah Army bases
  • Syrian Army recaptures Soran in February 2014 and Murak in October 2014

Islamic Front[1]
Al-Nusra Front[1]
Syria Free Syrian Army[2]

Sham Legion[3]

Syria Syrian Arab Republic

Commanders and leaders
Mondher Saras (Sham Legion leader)
Syria Lt. Col. Ahmad Al-Sa’oud (13th Division leader)
Syria Colonel Suheil Al Hassan
(Final Assault only)
Units involved

13th Division[5]

Knights of Justice Brigade[6]
11th Tank Division[7]

The Battle of Murak was a battle in the Hama Governorate during the Syrian Civil War, between the rebels and the Syrian Government. The clashes were concentrated around and in the eastern side of the town of Murak (or Morek), as the Syrian Army tried to regain the town after it was lost to the rebels on 1 February 2014.

Capture of Murak

On 1 February, rebels reportedly took the al-Harsh checkpoint, north of Murak, and the al-Jeser checkpoint, between Helfaya and Taybat al-Imam. They also captured the al-Aboud military checkpoint, thus fully taking control of Murak and cutting the supply line to the Wadi al-Daif and al-Hamidiyah military bases near Maarrat al-Nu'man, and isolating Army checkpoints in Khan Shaykhun. By doing this, the rebels managed to link up with other rebel groups in the eastern and western countryside of Hama.[1][2]

Army counter-attack

On 3 February, violent clashes took place between the rebels and an Army convoy heading to Murak near the bridge of Soran. According to the SOHR, at least 20 Army soldiers were killed in the fighting.[8] Two days later, violent clashes were taking place at the tank battalion north of Mork, Soran, and on the highway south of Soran. The Army managed to capture Soran.[9] On 11 February, at least 10 pro-government fighters were killed after a suicide car-bomb struck the Al-Aboud checkpoint, south of Mork.[10] On 15 February, the rebels destroyed the Madajin checkpoint near Morek (not to be confused with ones with the same name near Khan Shaykhun and Taybat al-Imam, respectively[11]).[12][13][14] On 17 February, it was reported that the Army stormed Mork, but was pushed back by the rebels. The Army entered the perimeter of Mork again later that day.[15] On 28 February, the Army managed to advance towards Mork, amid heavy fighting and mutual bombardments.[16]

Stalemate and Army advance into eastern Murak

On 4 March, violent clashes took place on the international highway south of Murak, while the west side of Murak was struck by air strikes.[17] By 24 March, the rebels had repeatedly fought off attempts by the Army to break through their lines at Murak.[18]

On 4 April, six rebels were killed by clashes around the town[19] and the government forces reportedly captured parts of Murak on 14 April.[20] Between 18 and 22 April, the SOHR reported that rebels managed to disable three Army tanks near Murak and on its perimeter.[21][22] On 24 April, it was reported that at least 6 soldiers and pro-government fighters were killed and wounded by a rebel ambush on the perimeter of Murak.[23]

On 1 May, rebels managed to capture an Army checkpoint to the south of Murak,[24] while the Army regained control over the eastern district of Mork five days later.[25]

July–August Army assault

On 16 July, the Army renewed its offensive and bombed the town over 20 times in an attempt to storm the rebel-held part of Murak to break the siege of Wadi al-Daif base. The attack resulted in the death of 15 rebels.[26] The SOHR stated that, at this point, the rebels were on the verge of losing the strategic location.[27] At least 11 rebels were killed that day,[28] while at least one soldier and three Hezbollah fighters were killed. The Army conducted at least 10 air strikes the following day.[4]

On 18 July, it was reported that the Army launched 12 air strikes, while it also dropped 6 barrel bombs on Murak.[29] According to the SOHR, the Army captured the tank battalion base north of Murak, but rebels managed to recapture the military site and the '6th point' later that day. At least seven rebels (including a rebel commander) and many pro-government fighters were killed and captured in the fighting.[30] The rebels also allegedly destroyed a tank and recaptured the Kassaret Al Fostoq area, in the east of Murak.[31]

On 20 July, at least seven rebel fighters were killed in an ambush by the Army around Soran.[32] Afterwards, the fighting for Murak returned to a stalemate, with local skirmishes in and around the town.

Rebels regain lost ground

However, the rebels managed to advance in the southern side of Mork on the 29th, according to the SOHR,[33] and eventually recaptured the southwestern part of the town during the night of 12–13 August. It was also reported that the Army began retreating to the outskirts of Mork.[34] However, fighting continued in the town the next day.[35] On 25 August, rebels advanced in the northern countryside of Mork.[36]

October Army assault and capture of Murak

On 14 October, rebels advanced in the area between the so-called 'Eight point' and Kassarah checkpoint and destroyed three Army vehicles, while it was unclear who controlled the 'Tanks battalion' base north of Murak at that time.[37][38] On 17 October, it was confirmed the base had been captured by the Army[39] and later in the day it made more advances on the outskirts of the town,[40] as well as inside it,[41] as both sides sent reinforcements to the area.[39] Al-Masdar news reported the Army had captured the Murak–Khan Sheikhoun Road, north of Murak. Although, the SOHR reported continued fighting on the road the next day.[42]

On 23 October, the Syrian Army, backed by allied militias, took back total control of Murak, nine months after it was seized by rebel forces.[43] According to Al-Masdar, over 200 Islamic Front militants, 27 Syrian Army troops and 32 NDF fighters were killed in the final week of the battle. Rebel fighters retreated from the town southwest to Tal Itmeen hill where they were confronted by more government forces and in the late afternoon the Army secured the hill.[7]


On 5 November 2015, rebels seized control of Murak, following clashes with pro-government forces.[44]


  1. 1 2 3 Advances for rebel and Islamic fighters in Hama Archived February 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. 1 2 Syria rebels control strategic area near Hama
  3. "The Sham Legion: Syria's Moderate Islamists". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Violent clashes and air strikes in rural Damascus and Hama". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  5. "Exclusive interview with Ahmad Al-Sa'oud, head of Division 13, one of the 9 factions given access to TOW missiles.". تحرير سوري. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  6. "The Moderate Rebels: A Complete and Growing List of Vetted Groups". Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Hama Battle Map Update: Syrian Army Captures Tal Itmeen". Al-Masdar News. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  8. violent clashes and losses in regime side in Hama
  9. violent clashes continue in Hama
  10. More than 60 regular forces and NDF killed in the past 3 days
  11. Battles of N-Hamah Province
  12. Shaam News, 15 févr. 2014
  13. Shaam News, 15 févr. 2014
  14. Shaam News, 15 févr. 2014
  15. "Syria Rebels Seize Checkpoints in Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama". Naharnet. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  16. Violent clashes continue in Hama
  17. Violent clashes and raids in Hama and Hasakah provinces
  18. "Syria rebels on northern offensive after losses". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  19. "استشهاد11 مقاتل من الكتائب الاسلامية باشتباكات مع القوات النظامية". Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  20. "Assad says war has reached turning point in favor of regime". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  21. "Continuing clashes in Daraa and Hama". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  22. "The destruction of two tanks of the security forces in Mork". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  23. "6 members of the regular forces killed in an ambush on the perimeter of Mork". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  24. "جبهة النصرة تسيطر على حاجز لحايا جنوب مورك". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  25. "8 martyrs in Hama". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  26. "Assad forces try to seize key central Syrian town". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  27. "Fighting rages on as Assad declares victory in Damascus ceremony". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  28. "23 martyrs in Hama and Idlib". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  29. "More air raids on Hama and Aleppo". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  30. "Hama province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  31. "Hama province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  32. "Hama province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  33. "Hama province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  34. "Hama province:13-08-2014". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  35. "Hama Province:14-08-2014". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  36. "Hama Province: 25-09-2014". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  37. "جرحى بينهم اطفال في سقوط قذائف على مدينة حمص واشتباكات في مورك". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  38. "Hama Province: 14-10-2014". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  39. 1 2 "Hama Province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  40. "Violent clashes in the vicinity of the citadel of Aleppo in the countryside of Hama Mork". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  41. "Hama Province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  42. "Hama Province". Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  43. "Army retakes key Syrian town from rebels: monitor". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
  44. NALINE MALLA; SYLVIA WESTALL (5 November 2015). "Syrian rebels seize town in west in blow to government". REUTERS. Retrieved 5 November 2015.

Battles of the Syrian civil war

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