Recently, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – spearheaded by the Desert Hawks Brigade and Syrian Marines – began large-scale operations to capture the last villages controlled by Islamist rebels in Syria’s coast province of Latakia.
Since October of 2015, government forces have already captured approximately 50 villages with their troops advancing deep inside the province’s northeastern countryside which has been controlled by rebels since 2012.
Currently, SAA troops – backed by the National Defence Forces (NDF), Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and Syrian Resistance – are less than one kilometer from the insurgent stronghold of Kabani (Kbanah) after advancing in the region in the past weeks.
Furthermore, due to government troops in March temporarily halting the offensive in Latakia as aid the liberation of Palmyra, this has enabled rebels to fortify their current frontline.
Nevertheless, a local military source told al-Masdar that SAA commanders hope to reclaim the entire province within the next 30 days thus suggesting a huge offensive is upcoming.
If the SAA can fully expel insurgents from Latakia province, this would in turn create a launching pad to strike deep inside Idlib governorate, starting with an assault on the Islamist stronghold of Jisr ash-Shughur.
UPDATE: A three-day ceasefire is to begin in Latakia as of the 30th of April, 1am Damascus time.