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Coordinates: 34°54′55″N 36°44′08″E / 34.91525°N 36.735485°E / 34.91525; 36.735485

May 2012 battle of Rastan
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Artillery positioned north of Rastan, Syria.jpg
Artillery positioned north of Rastan, Syria. Smoke rising from building, 10 June 2012.
Date14 May 2012
LocationRastan, Homs Governorate, Syria
Result FSA victory

Syria-flag 1932-58 1961-63.svg Syrian National Council

Flag of Syria.svg Syrian government

Commanders and leaders
Colonel Qassim Saadeddine[1] Unknown
Casualties and losses
9 killed, including a rebel commander 23 soldiers killed,[2]
15 captured

The May 2012 battle of Rastan, took place on May 14, 2012, during the U.N. brokered cease-fire of the Syrian uprising.


The area near Rastan was scene of the first serious armed confrontations between rebels and the Syrian army through 2011.[2] the Syrian army regained control of the city several times, but it has kept slipping back into rebel hands.[2] Its strategic location along the road which links the capital Damascus to the north of the country[3] and the terrain had helped deserters from disparate units mount raids against Syrian army buses and roadblocks manned by Military Intelligence and pro-government militia.[2]


According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, on May 14, twenty-three Syrian soldiers were killed in the town of Rastan in heavy clashes with rebels, who destroyed three armored personnel carriers. Earlier, opposition sources said a local rebel commander was among scores of people killed in heavy army shelling of Rastan, Reuters reported.[2] One report said nine peopled died in the shelling. An additional two military armored personnel carriers were reportedly captured by the rebels, along with 15 soldiers.[4][5]


In June Syrian troops bombarded Rastan using helicopters and mortars, killing and wounding a large number of rebel fighters, including Ahmed Bahbouh, head of the rebel military office in Rastan.[6][7] United Nations monitors confirmed that Syrian army helicopters fired on towns near Homs, including Rastan. For the first time, the UN also verified repeated allegations by activists that government forces fired from helicopters in the military crackdown on dissent. Kofi Annan said he was "gravely concerned" at this news and a UN spokeswoman said that "artillery and mortar shelling, machine guns and smaller arms" were being used against the towns of Rastan and Talbiseh.[8]

On July 13, a colonel with 40 soldiers and four tanks defected to the Free Syrian Army in Rastan. Rebel fighters also took control of the village of al-Ghantu, southwest of Talbiseh.[9]


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