DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) troops killed and injured around a dozen insurgents in an mountanious region of northeastern Latakia on Friday amid clashes with various Islamist factions near the provincial border with Idlib.
Clashes were observed in and around Nawarah, Ayn Al-Hour and Al-Zuwyqat while the SAA’s marines and National Defence Forces (NDF) shot down a surveillance drone over the latter village. The primary jihadist belligerents operational in this area are Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), Ahrar Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) 1st Coastal Division.
Last week, rebel forces transferred hundreds of fighters from the Latakia frontier to northern Hama in a bid to repel the SAA’s counter-offensive in central Syria.
Effectively, due to a thinly defended rebel frontline in Latakia, the SAA may likely resume its operations in the coastal province in a bid to fully secure the governorate and launch a coming Jisr Al-Shighur offensive towards rebel heartland of Idlib.