On Thursday morning in the Latakia Governorate’s northern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and Muqawama Souri – launched a massive military operation at Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains) in order to capture several sites along the strategic Aleppo-Latakia Highway.
The assault began at 9:30 A.M. (Damascus Time) when the 103rd Brigade stormed the Islamist rebel defenses at Tal Ziwayk, killing several enemy combatants from the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Costal Brigade” and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, while also destroying 6 armored vehicles that were mounted with anti-aircraft machine guns.
Following the capture of Tal Ziwayk, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies conducted a powerful assault on Point 482 and Point 1112, seizing these two hilltops from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the FSA’s 1st Coastal Brigade after a series of intense firefights that ended with the aforementioned Islamist groups retreating north towards the Turkish border.
However, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies did not stop there, they shifted gears to concentrate on the northern hilltops of Jabal Nabi Younis (Prophet Jonah Mountains); this resulted in their advance to the hilltop village of Ghanimah, where they were confronted by Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the FSA’s “Liwaa Suqour Al-Ghaab.”
This massive military operation began two days after the Islamist rebels attempted to retake the town of Deir Hanna after it was captured by the Syrian Arab Army during their advance from Ghmmam.
The purpose of this offensive is to eventually seize the Syrian-Turkish border, which is predominately controlled by the Islamist rebels.