The Syrian Arab Army’s Special Forces – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Mouqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance) – has made remarkable progress in the Al-Zahiya Mountains after breaking through the Jabhat Al-Nusra defenses in this area near the Turkish border.
Sources close to Al-Masdar News have revealed the SAA’s capture of the western hills overlooking the rebel-stronghold of Al-Rabiya’; thus, allowing for the SAA and their allies to reach the village’s southwestern gates for the first time in three years.
The source also added that the SAA and their allies now control main road leading to Kassab from Al-Rabiya’; this is imperative due to the SAA’s need to close off the province from the large agglomeration of militants that use these border-crossings to enter Syria from Turkey.
In conjunction with their progression towards the Turkish border-crossing, the SAA also targeted the Coastal Brigades and Jabhat Al-Nusra at the villages of Nabi’ Al-Mir, Al-Sooda, ‘Ateerat, and Ghammam in northern Latakia.
For the last four months, militants from the Al-Qaeda linked “Khorasan” group have used the Al-Rabiya’ border-crossing to reinforce their allies entrenched in the mountainous villages of the northern Latakia countryside.
With the Turkish Army’s complicity with these Al-Qaeda and ISIS linked groups, northern Syria has become a Jihadist hotspot over the last three years; this is one of the reasons why the border-crossings into Latakia have become a focal point for the SAA Central Command.