On Wednesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard continued its triumphant march across the vast mountains of northeastern Latakia, capturing more villages and hilltops in Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains) and Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains) as they eye the imperative Turkish border-crossing that is used by the Islamist rebels to enter Syria.
The Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigadeand their allies began their assault at the large hilltop of Tal Harisha after advancing from the Tal Sheikh Mohammad front in Jabal Al-Turkmen; this battle was short-lived, however, as the pro-government forces seized this site following a brief firefight with the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade”.
Later in the day, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade intensified their military operations in Jabal Al-Turkmen, seizing the strategic hilltop of Tal Syriatel that overlooks the mountaintop village of ‘Ateera near the rebel stronghold of Al-Rabi’yah.
Moments after capturing Tal Syriatel, the Syrian Armed Forces stormed the integral mountaintop village ‘Ateera, where they were confronted by a large Jabhat Al-Nusra contingent; however, the aforementioned Islamist group was unable to maintain defensive positions and thus, conceded the village to the pro-government forces after only a 90 minute firefight.
For the Islamist rebels, the Syrian Arab Army’s capture of ‘Ateera spells bad news for them, as their long-standing stronghold of Rabi’yah is now susceptible to an assault by the pro-government forces that are entrenched in the Zahiyah Mountains.