The conquering of Taftanaz airport ~ the role of Jabhat an-Nusra

On several previous occasions I have been writing on Jabhat an-Nusra and their role in the war in Syria. In the conquering of Taftanaz airport a few days ago they had a crucial role, proven by this statement and included video.

Jabhat an-Nusra – Statement number 196

The battle of Taftanaz Airport’s liberation

We thank Allah the Most Strong and the Subduer, peace and blessing upon his Prophet Muhammad, his relatives and his companions:

Following the order of the God, the Highest, saying: (You shall fight them, for Allah will punish them at your hands, humiliate them, grant you victory over them, and heal the hearts of the believers.) [Sura at-Tawba, verse 14]

Your brothers, the Mujahidin, have been able, relying on Allah, to liberate Taftanaz Military Airport within a series of “operations of specific raids”; introducing the end [of al-Assad’s army].

The beginning of the operation – first and second day of the battle:

Jabhat an-Nusra, Battalions of Ahrar as-Sham and Gama’at at-Tali’a declared the start of the Taftanaz Military Airport battle on Wednesday 20th Safar 1434 – 2nd January 2013 – starting the battle using heavy weapons (tanks, cannons, mortars and heavy guns). Thanks to Allah we have been able to kill officers (a lieutenant-colonel) at the beginning of the battle, according to the words of some defected, as well as the killing of some soldiers and Shabiha. [We] destroyed a T72 tank, some targets at the building have been hit and many heavy weapons destroyed. Thanks to Allah, three warplanes have been destroyed (two of them were of the type 125 and the third was a 117).

The brothers have been able to prevent warplanes to embark or land at Taftanaz Airport.

Many renegade officers and their weapons have been secured. Shootings and clashes went on within these two days.

Third and fourth day:

The blockade of Taftanaz Airport has started by the Mujahidin (Jabhat an-Nusra, Ahrar as-Sham and Gama’at at-Tali’a) at the same time with the deployment of heavy weapons and bombardments. Jabhat an-Nusra has attacked the airport with six rockets, causing the destruction of some buildings. The Mujahidin were able to destroy a 23 mm machine gun with 57 mm artillery (this machine gun impeded the Mujahidin from attacking the airport).

During these two days many soldiers defected, whom have been secured thanks to Allah. A MIG 23 also defected and left to Turkey.

The fifth, sixth and seventh day:

The blockade of the airport has continued, it has been fired upon with heavy weapons, whilst our brothers bombarded it with home-made rockets. They targeted the military school inside the airport using a T-72 tank shell.

The Mujahidin launched katyusha rockets, attacking the airport gate, whilst the airport infrastructure has been attacked with P-9 mortars.

The seventh day, 08-01-2013, a helicopter was taken down with a 23 mm machine gun which was near the airport’s wall, thanks to Allah’s will, praise Allah, Lord of both worlds.

Crucial moments – eighth and ninth day:

In the morning of 09-01-2013, the attack started at 5.55 am from the south-west part, north-west and south-east part and as for the north part, the Mujahidin attacked it with three tanks and a BMP vehicle. This attack was covered by heavy fire from a 23 mm machine gun and a 57 mm Dushka machine gun. As the Mujahidin were able to take control over six look-out points, they took control over four 23 mm machine guns. They [also] killed some of the renegades, including first lieutenant Majd Nu’maan and lieutenant colonel pilot Ahmad Mahmoud. Also they took out the snipers who were localized at the water tank. A tank was burnt as well. After getting rid of the main obstacles, we swept the whole area and due to that, eighteen shabiha have been arrested (we have applied Allah’s will upon them as they have thrown a grenade which caused the martyrdom of some [of our] brothers). Among the arrested were two lieutenants, one of them being Christian.

As for the eastern part (where the main gate and the control tower are) it was attacked by a group of 80 Mujahidin, three tanks and a BMP vehicle. The attack started by killing [some] renegades localized around the main gate; among them the Christian officer Hussein Kizawi, responsible for controlling the main gate. Also 14 members of the first brigade and some Shabiha from the surrounding villages near the airport [were killed in the attack].

The Mujahidin, during this attack, conquered a BMP vehicle that was used during battle and some soldier’s weapons.

These battles led to the liberation of 85% of the airport.

Then the officers withdrew and took shelter at the Military School in the airport.

Thanks to Allah, the airport has been liberated on 10-01-2013 and the flag of Allah has been raised at the entrance of the gate. Praise and blessings to Allah.

During the interrogation of the arrested, they confirmed us that there were 350 soldiers, including officers, pilots, sergeants and draftees. 50 Shabiha were in the surrounding area, 30 warplanes have been completely burnt.

Some photos of the operation:

Source: via @azelin

thanks to @alasil for help with the translation

A few days ago this video, describing the attack in full detail was published:

One comment on “The conquering of Taftanaz airport ~ the role of Jabhat an-Nusra

  1. Helen >Very good report “the conquering of Taftanaz ”
    The Worry thing Jabhat an-Nusra say the following:-
    “eighteen shabiha have been arrested (we have applied Allah’s will upon them as they have thrown a grenade which caused the martyrdom of some [of our] brothers). Among the arrested were two lieutenants, one of them being Christian.”.

    Think this is a much a War Crime as throwing a grenade in defence, or Rank, or Religion cannot be reason for executing POW.

    Jabhat an-Nusra while I praise them for assisting the FREE Syrians – beware Jabhat an-Nusra = Wolf in Sheep Clothing

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