Last week, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard began a large-scale offensive inside the Latakia Governorate’s northern countryside in order to advance their positions from the strategic town of Ghammam to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) stronghold of Al-Rubi’ah in Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains).
While conducting a number of military operations in the province, the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command moved the 103rd Brigade to northeastern Latakia; however, this did not last long due to the counter-offensive launched by the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” to recapture Ghammam from the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP).
With reinforcements from the SAA’s 103rd Brigade returning to the Ghammam front, the NDF and SSNP contingents received a significant boost in manpower and ground capabilities, paving the way for their successful military operations in the southern rim of Jabal Al-Turkmen.
On Monday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces overwhelmed the Islamist rebels from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade”, seizing the Ghammam Water Pump Facility, Tal Al-Yakdash, and Tal Beit ‘Ayyash en route to their advance into the village of Deir Hanna.
Following a series of fierce firefights with the Islamist rebels at Deir Hanna, the Syrian Armed Forces reportedly imposed full control over the aforementioned village, killing over 20 enemy combatants and destroying 3 armored vehicles in the process.
In addition to the capture of Deir Hanna, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade and their allies seized the villages of Beit ‘Ayyash and Al-Daghamshaliyah before their advance to the town of Ziwayk in Jabal Al-Turkmen.