Over the last 2 months in the Latakia Governorate’s northeastern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard has done a complete 180 after a series of defeats at the hands of Jaysh Al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) in the Idlib Governorate and the Al-Ghaab Plains of the Hama Governorate.

Perhaps their most important gains have come in an area that was considered relatively untouchable for the last three years: the Syrian Armed Forces have powered through the Islamist rebel defenses in the well-defended Kurdish Mountains (Jabal Al-Akrad), advancing 8 km north of the strategic mountaintop at Jubb Al-Ahmar, which is situated along the border of the Idlib Governorate.

Recently, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance) – have imposed control over several hilltop villages in Jabal Al-Akrad after a series of intense firefights with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), the Free Syrian Army’s “Liwaa Suqour Al-Ghaab”, and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.

As a result of these large gains in northeastern Latakia, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies have now captured over 60 square kilometers of territory from the Islamist rebels, including a big chunk of the Idlib Governorate’s border that collapsed during the Jaysh Al-Fateh offensive in the Al-Ghaab Plains.

The Syrian Armed Forces are not finished with this massive offensive in northern Latakia; instead, they still plan to push north towards the Turkish border, where they hope to cutoff one of the Islamist rebels main supply lines.

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

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