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Al-Baghuz Fawqani

Al-Baghuz Fawqani (Arabic: الباغوز فوقاني‎) is a town in Syria, located in Abu Kamal District, Deir ez-Zor. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Al-Baghuz Fawqani had a population of 10,649 in the 2004 census.[1]

Al-Baghuz Fawqani

الباغوز فوقاني
Town
Al-Baghuz Fawqani is located in Syria
Al-Baghuz Fawqani
Al-Baghuz Fawqani
Location in Syria
Coordinates: 34°27′31″N 40°57′2″E / 34.45861°N 40.95056°E / 34.45861; 40.95056Coordinates: 34°27′31″N 40°57′2″E / 34.45861°N 40.95056°E / 34.45861; 40.95056
Country Syria
GovernorateDeir ez-Zor
DistrictAbu Kamal District
SubdistrictAl-Susah Subdistrict
Population
 (2004)
 • Total10,689
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
City Qrya PcodeC5184

Syrian Civil WarEdit

During the course of the Syrian Civil War, the Baghuz area (including the nearby town Baghuz at-Tahtani) came under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist organization.[2][3] The area was initially administered by ISIL's Euphrates Province, but later transferred to al-Barakah district.[4]

During a multi-year campaign in eastern Syria, the town was captured from ISIL by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on 23 January 2019,[5] leaving ISIL completely besieged in the town of Al-Marashidah, to the north.[6][7] However, on the next day, ISIL launched a series of suicide attacks to break the siege, allowing them to recapture parts of the town (mostly the western parts of the town), with the town's outskirts being targeted by air raids of the international coalition.[8] On 7 February 2019, the SDF captured Al-Marashidah and other nearby areas from ISIL, completely besieging ISIL in the town of Al-Baghuz Fawqani, the final settlement under its control in the Levant.[9][10]

Battle of Baghuz FawqaniEdit

 
Map of the military movements during the final segment of the battle, after 12 February 2019. Syrian government territory is situated west and south of the riverbend.

On 9 February 2019, the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the CJTF-OIR Coalition, launched a final assault to take Baghuz Fawqani and wipe out the last bastion of physical territory held by the Islamic State,[11] opening the attack with a massive bombardment on the Huwayjat Khanafirah neighborhood, with violent clashes continuing throughout the night and into the morning hours.[12][13] The Coalition said it struck a mosque in Baghuz Fawqani on 11 February, as it was being used as a command and control center by the Islamic State.[14]

On 28 February, SDF spokesman Adnan Afrin announced discovery of a mass grave found 10 days ago in the town. It contained dozens of bodies, including of men and women while heads were also found in the grave. The SDF was trying to confirm whether they were Yazidis and Islamic State members. A video of Furat FM showed a mass-grave. The outlet's executive said that most of the bodies were apparently shot in the head. SDF spokeswoman Lilwa Abdulla confirmed they found large number of Yazidi bodies though there was no specific number.[15][16][17][18] However, locals said the corpses were victims of airstrikes.[19]

SDF units engaging ISIL near Al-Baghuz Fawqani, 11 February 2019

The assault to take the town resumed on 1 March, with the remaining ISIL militants and their families besieged and encamped at a tent city along the river.[20] On 19 March, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali announced that the SDF had control of all of Al-Baghuz Fawqani, with the exception for a few pockets along the shores of the Euphrates river, where intermittent clashes were still ongoing with resisting jihadists.[21]

On Saturday, 23 March 2019, SDF forces, backed by the US, retook all of Al-Baghuz Fawqani, ending ISIL's territorial rule over Syria and depriving the group of its final "capital," as well as removing almost all of the territory under their control.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "General Census of Population 2004". Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ AFP (28 October 2018). "ISIS repels US-backed forces from east Syria holdout". Al Arabiya English. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  3. ^ "The experienced special forces arrive in the organization's enclave and the Coalition and SDF continue their preparations for starting a violent military operation on the eastern banks of the Euphrates". SOHR. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Explainer: IS redraws boundaries of its local Syrian 'branches'". BBC Monitoring. British Broadcasting Corporation. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  5. ^ "SDF and the Coalition control the last town of ISIS in Syria and continue to advance to end it completely east of Euphrates after 18 weeks of continuous military operations". The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  6. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini (January 24, 2019). "Down to Its Last 2 Villages in Syria, ISIS Still Fights Back". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 4. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  7. ^ Aboufadel, Leith (24 January 2019). "ISIL's reign over eastern Euphrates nearing its end – map". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  8. ^ "The International Alliance aircrafts [sic] targets the outskirts of the town of Al-Bagouz in the eastern countryside of Deir Al-Azur". syria.liveuamap.com. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Coalition, partners continue squeezing IS militants in Iraq, Syria -- statement". Kuwait News Agency. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  10. ^ Aboufadel, Leith (7 February 2019). "ISIS squeezed into last areas as SDF troops capture 2 villages east of the Euphrates (MAP)". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  11. ^ Hussein, Rikar (9 February 2019). "US-backed Fighters Launch Final Push to Defeat IS in Syria". VOA News. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  12. ^ Gargari [@Gargaristan] (10 February 2019). "Map of the front of Bayt 'Uqaydat and the battle between #SDF and #IS in eastern #DayrAzZawr governorate, Baghuz pocket. 10.02.2019 #Syria #JazirahStorm #Baghuz" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 October 2019 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "'Heavy clashes' in Syria as SDF launches final push against ISIL". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  14. ^ Mroue, Bassem (12 February 2019). "US strikes ISIS-held mosque as Syria battle intensifies". Military Times. Sightline Media Group. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  15. ^ Agence France-Presse (4 March 2019). "Severed heads found in mass grave near Syria IS pocket". Yahoo News. Yahoo. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  16. ^ Sang, Lucia I. Suarez (28 February 2019). The Associated Press (ed.). "Mass grave with dozens of decapitated bodies found in last ISIS enclave: 'They were slaughtered'". Fox News. FOX. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  17. ^ AP (28 February 2019). "US coalition confirms death of Fabien Clain, French militant linked to Paris 2015 attacks". France 24. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  18. ^ Fetah, Viviyan (3 March 2019). "Last civilians flee Syria's Baghouz as ISIS make final stand". Rudaw Media Network. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  19. ^ "US-backed force says it has taken positions in Daesh Syria camp". Middle East Monitor. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  20. ^ Associated Press (1 March 2019). "The Latest: US-backed Syrian forces to resume assault on IS". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2 March 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  21. ^ Seldin, Jeff (19 March 2016). "US-Backed Force Says It's in Control of IS Syria Encampment". VOA News. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  22. ^ Issa, Philip; Rosa, Andrea; Alleruzzo, Maya (23 March 2019). "US-allied Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 1 April 2019.