For over a month, the Syrian Armed Forces have conducted several small military operations inside the Latakia Governorate in order to prepare for a much larger battle that is expected to take place in the Islamist rebel stronghold of Salma.

The successful capture of Kafr Dulbeh and Katf Al-Ghaddar has positioned the Syrian Arab Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) at the southern entrance of Salma; and while they have carried out a few attacks inside this rebel-controlled city, they have yet to commit the necessary troops  needed to capture this imperative site.

According to a military source in the city of Slunfeh (northeast Latakia), the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard, the National Defense Forces of Qurdaha, Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance) and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) are preparing to launch a massive military operation to capture the strategic city of Salma inside Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains).

Should the Syrian Armed Forces capture Salma from the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda faction) and the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade”, they will have the high ground to retake the strategic city of Jisr Al-Shughour in the Idlib Governorate.

However, this will be no easy task for the Syrian Armed Forces as the enemy combatants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army are deeply entrenched in the Kurdish Mountains.

The difference between this offensive and the last offensive in the rebel stronghold of Salma is the participation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who is currently stationed at the city of Slunfeh in the Kurdish Mountains.

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The IRG’s officers are in charge of this operation and expected to utilize several of their soldiers to assist the Syrian Armed Forces to capture this city.

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

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