Around noon, combined Islamist rebels from Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar ash-Sham and the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) 1st Coastal Division attacked government positions in northeastern Lattakia and subsequently captured the village of Nakshaba along with the nearby Rasha Hill.
With another Jaish al-Fateh (rebel) offensive ongoing in southern Aleppo, these events seem to spell the end of the Syrian ceasefire which was otherwise agreed in Geneva not long ago.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – backed by the National Defence Forces (NDF) and paramilitary forces of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and Syrian Resistance – are attempting to mobilize their troops as to recapture the lost sites. Thus, clashes are ongoing on the outskirts of Nakshaba and the strategic Rasha Hill.
Nevertheless, rebels have much territory to recapture if they are to reverse the gains made by government soldiers inside the Latakian governorate since the summer of 2015. In early 2016, the Syrian Arab Army captured close to all rebel strongholds in the countryside of Latakia, most remarkably Salma, Rabia and Tartiyah.