Around noon today, a top secret special operation had the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) penetrate deep behind the rebel frontline in Latakia province and capture the village of Ayn Isa.
The latter village is located here:
The mission was conducted by a government task force composed of soldiers from the SAA’s special forces, the Syrian Marines and the National Defence Forces (NDF).
Subsequently, the village was shelled during the afternoon by rebel fighters of Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) 1st and 2nd Coastal Divisions.
The shelling – which can be viewed below – seems to verify Ain Isa’s capture by the SAA.
During the evening, the 2nd Coastal Division claimed rebel forces had retaken the village; however, this cannot be independently verified by al-Masdar News.
The alleged recapture was also reported by Orient TV, a Syrian pro-opposition channel:
Nevertheless, the now contested village of Ayn Isa testifies that insurgents must strengthen their defensive positions in the mountainous countryside of Latakia if they are to keep control of this vital border region which effectively serves as a buffer zone for Idlib.