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For the 2012 and 2013 Hama offensive, see 2012 Hama offensive, 2013 Hama offensive. For clashes of the 2011, See Siege of Hama (2011)
2014 Hama offensive
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Hama in Syria (+Golan hatched).svg
Map of Syria with Hama highlighted
Date26 July[6] – 19 September 2014
(1 month, 3 weeks and 3 days)
LocationHama Governorate, Syria

Syrian Army victory

  • Rebels initially capture Khitab and its military base, Halfaya and up to 15 villages
  • Rebels expel government troops from southwestern Mork[7]
  • Rebel attack on Mhardeh repelled[8]
  • The Army recaptures Khitab and its military base, Halfaya and all other territory previously lost,[9] in addition to eight other villages

Islamic Front[1]
Al-Nusra Front[2]
Syrian Revolutionary Command Council[3]
File:Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance Logo.png Muhajirin wa-Ansar Alliance[4]

Syria Free Syrian Army

Syria Syrian Arab Republic

Supported by:

Commanders and leaders
Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani
(Nusra leader)[10]
Abou Hammam as-Suri
(Nusra general military commander)[10]
Abdullah al-Muhsini
(senior Nusra commander)
Yusef al-Hassan[11]
Colonel Soheil Al-Hassan
(overall commander)[12]
Abu Fahd (WIA)[13]
(NDF commander of Mhardeh)
Units involved
Jund al-Aqsa[4]
Omar Brigade[4]
Al Majed Brigade[4]
Al Fatehin Brigade[4]
Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union[3]
Brigade 66[14]
Spec Ops "Tigers" unit[15]
Local NDF militia[16]
1,500 (Al-Nusra Front)[17] Unknown
Casualties and losses
150+ killed (Al-Nusra Front only; government claim)[18] Unknown

The 2014 Hama offensive, codenamed 'Hazwat Badr al-Sham al-Kubra',[1] was a military operation launched by Syrian rebels during the Syrian Civil War in the northern parts of Hama Governorate, in an attempt to reach the Hama Military Airport and the provincial capital of the province. It was also launched in an attempt to cut the supply line to Aleppo, especially after the rebels seized the village of Rajhan.[2]

The Army launched a counter-offensive on 26 August, resulting in the recapture of all territory lost to the rebels since 26 July.

Rebel offensive

On 26 July, the rebels in Hama province captured the town of Khitab, Rahbeh village, Khitab arms depots and army base.[19] The next day, clashes continued between pro-government forces and rebels in the western sides of Qamhana town[20] and in the villages of al-Sher and al-Majdal in the western countryside of Hama near Maharda.[21] On 28 July, rebels killed six soldiers and captured the "Btesh" checkpoint in Tarabih,[22] located nine kilometers north of Hama military airport. During their advance, the rebels began striking the airport with Grad missiles. Meanwhile, new Army reinforcements arrived in the area.[2] As the rebels advanced, they were able to cut off the road linking Hama city to a string of government-controlled Christian and Alawite villages in the west of the province.[11]

On 29 July, government forces recaptured Salba and Tall Mallah on the Hama–Suqaylabiyah road.[23]

On 9 August, a pro-government source claimed that the Army thwarted a rebel attack on a garrison in Mhardeh.[24] On 13 August, according to the pro-opposition SOHR, rebels recaptured the southwestern part of the town of Mork, while the Army began retreating to the outskirts of the town.[7] However, fighting continued in the town the next day.[25]

At the same time, rebels captured the Tall al-Sheyha and the village of Arzeh, killing at least 12 soldiers,[26][27] and placing themselves within 3–4 km of Hama Military Airport.[28] According to the SOHR, the rebels lost six fighters that day.[29] They lost another five fighters (including a battalion commander) the next day. On 16 August, rebels captured the al-Madajin checkpoint, while they were forced to retreat from al-Shayha village and Tall al-Sheyha due to heavy bombardments on the region. The rebels managed to recapture the hill later that day, destroying a tank in the progress. All five crew members were reportedly killed.[30]

On 18 August, a Syrian fighter jet was shot down by rebels near the Hama airport. The pilot was reportedly killed in the act.[31] Rebels tried to enter the village of Qbayyat during the night, resulting in heavy clashes with pro-government fighters and soldiers.[14]

Army counter-attack

The next day, Syrian forces regained control over the village of Um Hurayzah in the eastern countryside of Hama, while they also managed to advance towards Arze village.[14] Seven rebels were killed during the day.[32] On 20 August, the Army made new gains near the city of Halfaya, while two rebel commanders were killed during the day.[33]

Rebels capture Halfaya

On 22 August, a rebel brigade commander was killed near the village of al-Shiha, while the Al-Nusra Front sent reinforcements (consisting of two convoys) from Aleppo to the south of Halfaya city.[34] The next day, new reinforcements from Al-Nusra Front arrived near Mhardeh city and in the Halfaya area in preparations for the start of the battle for Mhardeh.[35]

On 23 August, a rebel attack on the Mhardeh power station was repelled.[13] The next day, rebel forces, primarily composed of Al-Nusra fighters, captured the city of Halfaya.[36] On 25 August, government troops recaptured the "Btesh" checkpoint but had to abandon it once again due to heavy rebel shelling.[13]

New Army counter-attack

At this point, no less than 1,500 fighters from the Al-Nusra Front grouped in Halfaya and around Mhardeh,[17] with the assault force personally lead by the group's leader Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani. According to a source within Nusra, the Free Syrian Army rejected the idea of storming the Christian majority city of Mhardeh and hence the large number of reinforcements brought from Aleppo. Before the assault, al-Jawlani gave a speech to his fighters to boost morale.[10] At the same time, military special forces reinforcements, known as the “Tiger Forces”, arrived from Aleppo province, along with their commander, Col. Soheil Al-Hassan.[15]

On 26 August, the rebel attack on Mhardeh was launched and fighting raged for the numerous checkpoints defending the city.[10] The same day, Army units captured rebel positions near the village of Shar'aya,[17] as well as the village itself.[37]

On 27 August, rebels captured a number of soldiers near Arzeh,[38] while fighting in the village itself was renewed later in the day.[39]

On 28 August, the Army captured Tall al-Sheyha hill and advanced in Bateesh, Arzeh and Khitab. The rebels used the hill to bombard the airport in previous days.[37][40] Later in the day, the "Btesh" checkpoint was once again reported to be government-held but coming under rebel fire.[41] By this point, the rebel attack on Mhardeh was seen as to have failed following the military counterattack during which government troops recaptured checkpoints along the road leading to Halfaya.[8]

Two days later, the pro-government Al-Masdar news site reported the NDF forces, supported by the reinforcements, repelled a rebel infiltration attempt near the Mhardeh power plant.[42]

On 7 September, the Army recaptured Arzeh,[43] while 17 rebels (including a commander) were killed in fighting along the frontline.[44] Al-Masdar News also claimed the Army recaptured Deir Hamra, near the airport.[45] The next day, rebels captured the Seher Hill checkpoint, while Army units advanced in the Sen Seher - Zor al Qse’eyyi area[46] and the village of Zor Bel Hsein.[47]

On 9 September, the Army recaptured Khitab, Zor Bel Hsein, Zor al Masaleq, Zor al Jdid and Kherbet al Hjame,[48][49] and the Rahbat Khitab military base,[50] while according to Al-Masdar news, Army and NDF units also seized the villages of Al-Samama and Qamaha and two neighborhoods in Halfaya.[51] An al-Nusra Front commander was killed near Halfaya during the day's fighting.[52] With government troops regaining control of these villages and the rebels pushed back, Hama military airport was no longer threatened.[53]

The next day, Syrian forces and Iranian recaptured the southern part of Halfaya city,[5] the "Btesh" checkpoint and the farmlands of Btesh.[54] On 11 September, the military made further advances in Halfaya[55] leaving a large part of the area under government control.[56] In the evening, the Army secured Halfaya.[57][58][59]

On 13 September, government troops captured a further three towns in Hama province, including Taibet al-Imam, Lweibdah and Zour Abo Zaid, and inflicted “gross losses” among opposition fighters,[60] just two days after they fully recaptured Halfaya.[61] In addition, on 15 September, the Army seized captured Zalaqiyat, and the next day, seized Jadidah,[62] Jalma, Tall Melh, Kafr Hawad and Tremseh.[63][64][65] Thus, government forces reached the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Al-Lataminah.[62]

On 17 September, the rebels recaptured Tall Melh, Zalaqiyat[66] Tremseh[67] and Jalma after they infiltrated the villages. During the fighting, 28 soldiers were killed. The military also reportedly managed to seize the southwest entrance of Al-Lataminah.[68] Over the next two days, government troops regained control of Tall Melh,[69] Tremseh and Jalma[67] after killing at least 29 rebel fighters. They than proceeded to fortify Tall Melh, Jadidah and Abu Zaher against any further infiltration.[68]

On 19 September, the Army also captured the villages of Abu Redeh and Hasraya.[70][71] The day before, a rebel media activist declared the rebel offensive that started in late July to be over.[72]


On 30 September, the Army captured the villages of al-Buwaydah and al-Masasnah.[73][74][75] According to a military source, over 25 Al-Nusra militants were killed in the fighting, including an aide of Abu Mohammad Al-Jolani.[76]

On 6 october, the Syrian army captured Al-Jabin, as well as two other towns.[77][78][79][80]

Strategic analysis

The rebel offensive forced government forces to step up their troop presence in the area, which would limit the Army's capabilities in other areas, such as Aleppo, according to a rebel commander. The aim of the rebel offensive was to capture the military airport and stop the Air force from manufacturing barrel bombs, which were being manufactured at the base and used for many months to strike opposition-controlled areas across Syria.[2]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Charles Lister: 14-08-2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Syria rebels advance towards key airport in Hama | News, Middle East". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Syria Update: June 25 - August 7, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Hama province: 29 July 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hama Province: The number of people who...
  6. "Hama Province: The fighters of Al Aqsa... - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hama Province:13-08-2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jabhat al-Nusra advances on Quneitra, gains border crossing
  9. Syrian army regains control of Halfaya town
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 After Tabaqa airport, what is IS' next target?
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Syria Rebels Advance on Key Airport in Hama Province". NDTV. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  12. Large confrontation between Jawlani and Suhail
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 In their words: Syrian regime forces on battle in Mhardeh
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Forces of the regime regained control over Um Hurayzah
  15. 15.0 15.1 Tiger Forces Arrive in Hama to Combat Jabhat Al-Nusra
  16. Islamic State not attacking Hama Christians, activists says
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Hama Province: 26-08-2014
  18. Updated Map of West Hama: What’s Next for the Syrian Army
  19. Jul 28, 2014 06:45am. "Jihadists make fresh gains in Syria: NGO - Newspaper". Dawn.Com. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  20. "Hama province: clashes continue between... - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Facebook. 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  21. "Hama province: a man and a woman killed... - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  22. Progress of Nusra front and rebels in Hama
  23. [1]
  24. "Syrian Arab army eliminates over 35 terrorists plus several foreign ringleaders outside Idlib and Lattakia"
  25. Hama Province:14-08-2014
  26. Hama Province:15-08-2014
  27. Battle of Northern Hama 15 August 2014
  28. Charles Lister: 14-08-2014
  29. Hama Province:15-08-2014
  30. High number of martyrs in Homs and Hama
  31. Pilot killed in Hama
  32. Hama Province: 20-08-2014
  33. Hama Province: 20-08-2014
  34. جبهة النصرة ترسل ارتالا عسكرية لقتال النظام بريف حماه
  35. جبهة النصرة تبدء معركة السيطرة على مدينة محردة
  36. The Christian Village of Mhardeh is Under Siege by Jabhat Al-Nusra
  37. 37.0 37.1 [2]
  38. Hama Province: The aircrafts attacked areas...
  39. Hama Province
  40. Syrian Arab Army Captures Strategic Areas in Hama
  41. Hama Province
  42. Jabhat Al-Nusra is Losing Ground in West Hama
  43. Hama province: 7-9-2014
  44. قصف واشتباكات عنيفة بريف حماه واستشهاد 17مقاتلا بينهم قائد عسكري
  45. Al-Nusra Front Repelled in Mhardeh; Suffers Heavy Casualties in Hama
  46. Hama Province: 8-9-2014
  47. Hama Province: 8-9-2014
  48. قوات النظام تتقدم في ريف حماه وتتراجع في ريف القنيطرة
  49. خبرنگار العالم: ارتش سوریه شهر خطاب در شمال حماه را کاملا تحت کنترل خود در آورد
  51. Syrian Arab Army Liberates Three Villages Hama
  52. Emir in Nusra Front killed near Halfaya Hama
  53. Syria troops push back rebels threatening air base
  54. Hama Province: 10-09-2014
  55. Hama province
  56. Syrian regime air raids kill 28: Monitor
  57. Syrian troops capture key central town after days of fighting
  58. Strategic Village of Halfaya Liberated by the Tiger Forces in West Hama
  59. Syrian troops capture key central town
  60. Syrian Troops Pound Central Village Amid Offensive
  61. Radical rebels advance in Syria's southern province of Qunaitera
  62. 62.0 62.1 Syrian troops advance in countryside of Hama province
  63. تقدم لقوات النظام بريف حماه
  64. Updated Battle Map of West Hama: Syrian Army Liberates 3 Villages in Hama
  65. Hama 2014-09-16
  66. Hama province
  67. 67.0 67.1 Hama province
  68. 68.0 68.1 Fierce Clashes in West Hama Result in Heavy Losses; 2 Nusra Emirs Killed
  69. غارات جوية وبراميل متفجرة وشهداء بريفي حماة ودمشق
  70. Hama Province
  71. قوت النظام تسيطر على قرية بريف حماه و5 غارات على بلدة اللطامنة
  73. "تقدم للمعارضة بريف دمشق وقتلى بالبراميل المتفجرة بحلب". Al Jazeera. 2014-09-30. 
  74. "تقدم للمعارضة بريف دمشق وقتلى بالبراميل المتفجرة بحلب". 2014-09-30. 
  75. Hama Province: 30-09-1014
  76. Syrian Forces Capture Another Village in West Hama; Ajnad Al-Shaam Suffers Heavy Casualties

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