Around 6 p.m Damascus time, joint rebel forces captured the northern part (50%) of Jabal Qamou’ along with the nearby village of al-Bayyada and its adjacent tower which lies upon a hilltop in the northeastern countryside of Latakia.
According to al-Masdar intel, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) retreated from the area under heavy shelling shortly prior to the first rebel fighters entering al-Bayyada village.
Today’s rebel offensive in Latakia was carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra, the Turkistan Islamic Party, Ahrar ash-Sham and the Free Syrian Army’s 1st Coastal Division who were able to infiltrate SAA positions and force a government retreat from the area.
While many SAA units and pro-government paramilitary groups are stationed here, the strongest fighting force is the Syrian Navy Marines who were deployed to the region after aiding the capture of Palmyra city two weeks ago.
A military source in the area has notified al-Masdar that government reinforcements are currently pouring into the outskirts of al-Bayyada village, as local SAA commanders intend to recapture the site as quickly as possible.
Below, an image has emerged showing the Desert Hawks en route to the region overnight:
Qalat Mountain holds huge strategic importance as it not only overlooks Turkey, but also all rebel-held villages in the governorate. On the other hand, if Islamist rebels are able to fully recapture the mountain, their scouts and reconnaissance units will be able to spy on military positions inside the government-held countryside of Latakia.