The Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard – backed by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the National Defense Forces (NDF), Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance), and Liwaa Assadallah Al-Ghaliboun (Iraqi paramilitary) – have imposed full control over the strategic town of Salma after a short battle with the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains) on Tuesday.
With this victory in Salma, the Syrian Armed Forces have taken control of the highest point in Jabal Al-Akrad, making their march to the Idlib Governorate relatively easy in comparison to their previous attempts to push towards the imperative city of Jisr Al-Shughour.
The town of Salma has been captured by the Syrian Armed Forces, but there is still a lot of fighting left to go; especially, in Jabal Al-Akrad.
In the coming days, the Syrian Armed Forces will focus on three different axes; all of which have two important objectives: seal the Turkish border with the Latakia Governorate and push east towards Idlib.
- The first attack will likely be concentrated on the rebel stronghold of Al-Rabiyah, where the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade” is headquartered. The town is already under attack from afar, but the Syrian Armed Forces have yet to make a major push.
- The second attack will be conducted at two different flanks: a) the Syrian Armed Forces will capture the small village of Al-Kawm and b) they will push north towards the town of Kinsibba. Kinsibba is similar to Salma in the sense that they’re both located atop of hills and heavily fortified by the Islamists; its capture will open the route to the final border-crossing in the Latakia Governorate.
- The final attack will come at the far eastern point, where the Syrian Armed Forces will attempt to recapture the strategic town of Al-Sirmaniyah in order to push north towards Jisr Al-Shughour.