Siege of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya
The Siege of al-Fu'ah and Kefriya refers to the siege of the towns of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya in the Idlib Governorate during the Syrian Civil War. The siege was initiated with a rebel assault on the capital of the province, resulting in the capture of Idlib.
On 28 March 2015, after four days of fighting, rebels captured Idlib city and managed to besiege the towns of Kafriya and al‐Fu'ah. Thousands of civilians were trapped since. Army of Conquest and its main component al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria) since then imposed a full siege blocking all humanitarian supplies to the towns and several executions were reported to happen in Idleb province for people accused to smuggle goods into Kafriya and al‐Fu'ah
On 2 August, the Army of Conquest announced it would continue its operations against the besieged enclave of Kafriya and al-Fu’ah. On 10 August, the rebels launched an assault on al-Fu'ah, after detonating a car bomb and tunnel bomb, and advanced towards it.
Between 3 September and 5 September, the rebels intensively shelled the enclave and launched a number of attacks on al-Fu'ah and Kafriya from Maarrat Misrin, al-Suwaghiyah and Idlib city. The attacks were repelled, with the Army reportedly destroying three armoured vehicles.
On 18 September, the rebels launched a new attack on the enclave, firing almost 400 shells and rockets, while nine car bombs (including seven suicide bombers) were detonated at government positions. The clashes led to the death of at least 29 rebels and 21 government soldiers, as well as seven civilians. The SOHR reported that the rebels gained some ground. Ajnad al-Sham threatened to shell Fu'ah and Kefriya with over 100 mortars a day.
On 19 September, rebels advanced again in the vicinity of al-Fuah, capturing Tal Al-Khirbat and a number of checkpoints around it. On the other hand, the government troops repelled the rebels attack on the nearby village of Deir Al-Zughb. According to government claims, the rebels lost over 100 fighters, including 31 from foreign countries.
The overall number of suicide bombers with VBIEDs that attacked al-Fou’aa and Kafraya in the battle of 18–19 September was estimated to be 26 VBIEDs. The attackers were: 11 Uyghur Chinese, one Lebanese, 2 Saudis and 11 Syrians.
On 20 September, a second cease-fire in al-Zabadani/Madaya and al-Fou’aa/Kafriya was implemented, where the rebels allowed humanitarian aid to the besieged civilians of al-Fou’aa and Kafriya. A violation of this cease-fire was reported the next day as the rebels resumed shelling the towns.
On 11 January 2016, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Food Programme organized an aid convoy to deliver food, medicine and other aid to Kefriya and Fu'ah, along with Madaya in the south. Despite several humanitarian convoys entering the besieged area, the citizens were still suffering from very difficult survival conditions, basic medical care, vaccines and food are not available and al-Nusra front fighters continue to bombard the towns causing daily casualties among civilians.
On 21 July, two ill civilians from Fuah and Kefraya were evacuated to Latakia by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, in return for two ill civilians also being evacuated from Zabadani to Idlib. Medical and food aid arrived to the towns, in addition to Qalaat al-Madiq.
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