On Tuesday afternoon inside the Latakia Governorate’s northeastern countryside, the Russian Air Force began their powerful aerial campaign over the strategic village of Kinsibba in the Kurdish Mountains (Jabal Al-Akrad), striking several of Jabhat Al-Nusra’s (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) defensive positions near the road that leads to large city of Jisr Al-Shughour in western Idlib.
According to a military source in the town of Slunfeh, the Russian Air Force carried out 20+ airstrikes over the village of Kinsibba, while the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard and the Desert Hawks Brigade (Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra) strengthened their front-line positions around the Kurdish Mountains in preparation for this massive assault that will likely come in the following weeks.
Kinsibba is strategically located at the northern slopes of the Kurdish Mountains; it overlooks much of the remaining territory under the Islamists control in northeastern Latakia and western Idlib.
If captured, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies will have a clear path to the rebel stronghold of Jisr Al-Shughour, as much of Jabal Al-Akrad overlooks this city from the west.
Kinsibba was once a flourishing village in the Kurdish Mountains that was known for its orchards and beautiful hilltops; its populous was mainly Antiochian Orthodox Christians until they fled the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Kinsibba, Al-Ghassaniyah, Halouz, and Slunfeh were among the most densely populated Christian villages in both the Latakia and Idlib governorates – almost all of these civilians fled to Slunfeh, which is the only one of those four villages under the Syrian Arab Army’s control.