Military Wiki
Battle of Shadadeh
Part of the Syrian civil war
Date12–14 February 2013
(2 days)
LocationShadadeh, Syria
Result Al-Nusra Front victory
Al-Nusra Front

Syria Syrian Government

Commanders and leaders
Abu Mohammad al-Golani (brigade commander)
Unknown top provincial al-Nusra commander
Units involved
50% of al-Nusra Front

Independent Infantry Brigade

  • 110th Regiment
2,000 fighters 250 soldiers
Casualties and losses
40 killed[1][2] 100 killed[2]
dozens of petroleum workers killed

The Battle of Shadadeh was a three day-long battle fought between government forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad and Islamist Al-Nusra Front fighters in the city of Shadadeh, located near the Iraqi border. It was the only battle solely fought between the Syrian Army and al-Nusra Front. More than 2,000 al-Nusra fighters participated in the battle. Today Shadadeh is used as al-Nusra Front's official headquarters.


On 12 February, as part of a large rebel offensive against Shadadeh, two suicide bombers from Al-Nusra Front detonated car bombs around the city, the explosions targeted the military and state security branches of the city. Around 14 soldiers were killed as a result of the explosions. Later that day, 1 al-Nusra fighter was killed in clashes with government forces.[3]

On 13 February, violent clashes were reported to have taken place in Shadadeh between rebels and government forces. Over the past 48 hours, al-Nusra fighters managed to take large parts of the city, at least 60%. During one of the Islamist assaults, tens of petroleum workers were killed when al-Nusra fighters attacked residential areas of the city, including an oil refinery. The clashes had left 16 al-Nusra fighters and a number of soldiers dead by this point. There were reports of military reinforcements and army tanks arriving, via al-Hasakah city. There were no signs of any Free Syrian Army or other rebel presence reported in the city.[4]

On 14 February, Islamists claimed to have taken over Shadadeh after three days of fighting government forces. Violent clashes were said to have continued to take place with government checkpoints on the outskirts of the city. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated that the final death toll was 40 al-Nusra fighters, five of them non-Syrian (Kuwaiti and Iraqi), and no less than 100 members of the regular army and security services killed.[2]

On the night of 15 February, government forces killed a key commander of the al-Nusra Front when they attacked his safehouse in Shadadeh, losing seven of their own men in the process.[5]

On 17 February, footage was sent to the SOHR of the aftermath of the execution of five people by the al-Nusra Front in Shadadeh.[6]


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