The situation in northeastern Latakia has turned into complete disaster for the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) steadily advances through the remaining mountaintops and villages in this coastal province.
For the Islamist rebels, reality has just sunk in and their greatest fear is coming to form as the government forces close-in on the final villages that border the Idlib Governorate and Turkey.
While the Turkish border offers the Islamist rebels an outlet to strike Latakia, the Syrian Arab Army and their allies cannot necessarily cross the border and combat their fighters.
However, the Idlib Governorate’s border with the Latakia Governorate is another story; it can be readily attacked by the government forces from the high ground in Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains).
To give you a quick synopsis: the Syrian Arab Army and their allies are now overlooking the Idlib Governorate from the highest points in Syria.
Only a small pocket of resistance remains under rebel control and it is not likely to hold very long as the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade (commandos) of the Republican Guard and their allies continue to press the enemy positions along the Aleppo-Latakia Highway (M-4 Highway).
Adding to the plight of the rebels in Idlib, they are on the verge of being flanked from both sides of the province, thanks in large part to the Syrian Army/Hezbollah advance inside southern Aleppo in the months of November and December.
At this point, the rebels either need a large amount of reinforcements from another battlefront or direct intervention from the Turkish Army in order to halt the Syrian Army’s imminent advance into the Idlib Governorate.