On Sunday morning in the northern countryside of the Latakia Governorate, the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) established full control over the village of Nuwarah near the Turkish border after a violent battle with the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard and the National Defense Forces.

According to the battlefield correspondent Eyad Al-Hussein, the Syrian Armed Forces have completely withdrawn from Nuwarah and its surrounding hills.

The village of Nuwarah is strategically situated near the Turkish border-crossing into the Latakia Governorate; its imperative location on Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains) makes it a priority for the Islamist rebels.

Meanwhile, east of the Turkmen Mountains, the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard forces – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces, Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – are advancing north of Jabal Al-To’uma and Jabal Al-Rousiya towards the rebel stronghold of Kinsibba after a series of violent clashes this morning.

Kinsibba is currently the primary objective for the Syrian Armed Forces, despite the recent surge of Islamist rebel activity in the Turkmen Mountains; if captured, the government forces will be within striking distance of Jisr Al-Shughour.

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