On Monday morning, the Islamist rebels of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – in coordination with the Free Syrian Army’s “Coastal Brigades” and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” – launched a counter-offensive in the Latakia Governorate’s northeastern countryside in order to reverse the Syrian Arab Army’s recent gains near the strategic city of Salma.
However, the Islamist rebels hit some turbulence en route to the imperative town of Doreen, as the Russian Air Force’s MI-24 Hind Helicopter Gunships relentlessly pounded their advancing fighters, killing a large number of enemy combatants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Coastal Brigades, and Jabhat Al-Nusra.
Despite the casualty count, the Islamist rebel forces refused to let-up their attack, striking the defensive positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) at Tal Doreen and Kafr Dalbeh; this attack also resulted in a high death toll for Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the Coastal Brigades, as the SAA and their allies from the National Defense Forces (NDF) repelled all advances.
Social media activists from the Syrian Opposition declared Tal Doreen and the town of Doreen under their control; however, a military source from the nearby town of Slunfeh confirmed that the Syrian Armed Forces were in full-control of these aforementioned sites.
The Syrian Armed Forces have officially entered the strategic city of Salma in northeastern Latakia after a three year absence that allowed for the Islamist rebels to heavily fortify this area in preparation for the coming assault.