By now, many of the early battles of the Syrian civil war are a distant memory at best for most observers. They are nonetheless worth revisiting to examine how the insurgency developed and tried to conduct military operations in the early stages. One interesting case has recently been written about by the Telegram channel "Archive of the Battles and Martyrs of the Syrian Sahel" (which also penned the interesting account of the "A'isha Umm al-Mu'mineen" battle in Latakia in 2013). The battle covered here is one in which insurgents attempted to take over al-Nabi Yunis Summit in October 2012. The idea was that gaining control of this summit would grant the insurgents a strategic vantage point that would allow them to take control of other areas. Not all the insurgents in the Sahel (coastal) area agreed on waging this battle however, and argued instead for a battle to take the coastal town of Kassab. As a result, some foreign fighter groups did not participate in this battle for al-Nabi Yunis Summit.
This battle ended in disaster for the insurgents after less than a day, as the insurgents were forced to withdraw, and one group of those participating appears to have been wiped out and taken prisoner by the Syrian army. The failure of the battle is attributed to poor coordination and inadequate preparation.
At this early stage, it is interesting to observe (as Aron Lund also did in examining the account of the A'isha Umm al-Mu'mineen battle) the micro-militia dynamics at play here. The battle had around 300 fighters distributed over at least 15 factions, amounting to an average of 20 fighters per faction. Today of course, there are far fewer factions than in 2012, but it is fair to say that the early insurgency in Syria presented a rather chaotic picture.
Below is the account translated by me in full.
[Click here to continue reading, freely available]: