It may have taken the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) three years to capture the rebel stronghold of Ghannam in northern Latakia; however, this recent advance could not come at a better time for the pro-government forces inside Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains), as they embark on a front in this coastal province.

On Sunday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard – in coordination with Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha – launched a surprise military operation at the strategic town of Ghannam, targeting the Islamist rebel defenses at the southern axis of Jabal Al-Turkmen.

Following a series of intense firefights at the southern axis of the town, the Syrian Armed Forces were able to impose full control over Ghannam after they overwhelmed the enemy combatants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade”; this forced the aforementioned Islamist factions to withdraw north in order to evade capture by the pro-government forces.

Leading the way in Ghannam was the Russian Air Force’s MI-24 Hind Helicopter Gunships, as they could be seen pounding the Islamist rebel defenses, moments before the Syrian Armed Forces would engage the enemy combatants.

As a result of their success at Ghannam, the Syrian Armed Forces have shifted to a new front in order to continue their large campaign to clear the Latakia Governorate; this new assault is set to take place at the imperative towns of Deir Hanna, Al-Sukariyah, and Jourah Al-Maa’.

The aforementioned towns are located at the western axis of Jabal Al-Turkmen and they possess an imperative geographic location that makes them an imperative military endeavor for the Syrian Armed Forces – they are located along the road to the FSA Headquarters in Al-Rabi’yah.

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If the Syrian Armed Forces are able to recapture Jabal Al-Turkmen, they will be in great positions to attack Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains) from the western flank.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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