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), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), the Russian Air Force, and Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance) - liberated the strategic town of Salma after a short battle this morning with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
The loss of Salma for the Islamist rebels will prove devastating in the coming weeks, as the town overlooks much of the Latakia Governorate and the western countryside of the Idlib Governorate, where Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) has enjoyed unrivaled control.
The next step for the Syrian Armed Forces will be to take the rebel stronghold of Al-Rabiyah in the Turkmen Mountains (Jabal Al-Turkmen); if captured, the Islamist rebels will likely retreat from the entire province, as they will no longer possess any high ground.
The military operation in Salma did not take a toll on the Syrian Armed Forces, as a local source reported that 6 soldiers were killed this morning, with another 8 reportedly wounded after intense fighting with the Islamist rebels inside the town.
Sources were unable to confirm the death toll for the Islamist rebels at this time.
Video Footage of Syrian Army Operation in Salma