For three years, the civilians living in the densely populated coastal province of Latakia had to endure the daily rockets and missiles fired by the Islamist rebels from the cliffs of Salma in the Kurdish Mountains (Jabal Al-Akrad).
However, the civilians of Latakia no longer need to worry about these indiscriminate missiles, thanks in large part to the capture of Salma by the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard and their allies some 48 hours ago.
In the coming days, the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will begin to feel the after effects of the losing Salma (if they haven’t already); this is due to the fact that Salma was a fortress protecting the northern mountains of Jabal Al-Akrad.
In the past, the Syrian Armed Forces tried to repeatedly bypass Salma in order to fight their way to the mountains overlooking the strategic city of Jisr Al-Shughour in the Idlib Governorate; however, they had no such luck.
Any movement in the Kurdish Mountains could be seen by the Islamist rebels that were positioned atop of Salma’s highest point.
It is actually rather remarkable that the Syrian Armed Forces were able to take the town of Salma in that short time frame because it was nearly impenetrable for three years.
In truth, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies were blessed with the Russian Air Force, who proved invaluable during the crucial battles taking place around Salma.
Any advance made by the Syrian Arab Army was almost always attributed to the precision of the Russian airstrikes that pounded the Islamist rebel positions.
With the Russian Air Force still participating in this conflict, the Islamist rebels will not get any relief after the battle of Salma; in fact, the Syrian Armed Forces are already pushing north, capturing several small villages and hilltops, while the Islamists flee from village to village.
Dark times are ahead for the Islamist rebels in northern Latakia; this loss will have an adverse after effect on their presence inside this province in the coming days.
Footage from Salma’s liberation: