On Saturday morning in the Latakia Governorate’s northern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Qurdaha, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and Muqawama Souri (Syrian Resistance) – continued their rapid advance in Jabal Al-Turkmen (Turkmen Mountains), Jabal Nabi Younis (Prophet Jonah Mountains), and Jabal Al-Akrad (Kurdish Mountains), despite the multiple mortar shells and rockets fired by the Turkish Army near the Latakia-Turkey border.
The Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard and their allies began their assault on Saturday by capturing the strategic hilltop of Point 1112 near the rebel stronghold of Al-Sirmaniyah, resulting in their subsequent advance north towards the large city of Jisr Al-Shughour in the Idib Governorate’s western countryside.
Following the capture of Point 1112, the Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade captured two other hilltops in northern Syria, seizing Point 803 and Tal Maran in Jabal Al-Turkmen from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and the Free Syrian Army’s “1st Coastal Brigade”.
According to a military source, Point 803 is in the Al-Zahiyah Mountains that overlook the Syrian-Turkish border; this site was used by the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army to smuggle oil and stolen antiquities into Turkey via this border-crossing.
As a result of their advance at the Al-Zahiyah Mountains, the Turkish Army responded by firing a number of mortar shells and rockets towards the Syrian Arab Army’s positions in Jabal Al-Turkmen, marking the second time in two years that the Turkish Army has participated in the battle for Latakia (first time in Kassab).