Moments ago in the Latakia Governorate’s northeastern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the Syrian Resistance – imposed full control over the strategic village of Tartiyah after a violent battle with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The village of Tartiyah is strategically situated to the east of the rebel stronghold of Salma, which is considered to be their most important site in the Kurdish Mountains (Jabal Al-Akrad) of the Latakia Governorate.
If the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army lose the imperative town of Salma in Jabal Al-Akrad to the Syrian Armed Forces in northeast Latakia, they will have officially lost the high ground in the province, leaving them in a tense state across the Turkish border that remains under their control.
More importantly, if the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies seize the integral town of Salma, they will have an easy path to the rebel stronghold of Jisr Al-Shughour in the Idlib Governorate’s western countryside.
Despite the optimism, Salma is still a fortress; it would need several soldiers and a heavy bombardment to break the rebel defenses there.