Pro-Assad forces strive to regain control over strategic areas in Latakia



ARA News

Aleppo, Syria– The Syrian coastal city of Latakia saw increasing violence in the last few days, as the regime forces (backed by Hizbollah militants) and Syria rebels clashed on Saturday for control over the so-called Observation Post 45 in the countryside of Latakia. 

Two weeks ago, battalions of the armed opposition (including Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra and Sham al-Islam) gained control over the strategic location of the Observation Post 45 −which was a main stronghold for the pro-Assad army and its allied militias from which rebels-held areas were being shelled.

Mohammed al-Shofi, a media activist based in Latakia city, told ARA News that fierce clashes have occurred between both sides over the last two days after pro-regime forces controlled a tower of the telecommunication company of Syriatel near the Observation Post 45. Fighters of the opposition regained control over the tower on Saturday evening. 

“The clashes expanded to the nearby forests after the regime forces and Hezbollah militias positioned in the buildings around the Observation Post, and the opposition forces took the Syriatel tower as a center for its operations,” said al-Shofi.  

Seven fighters of the opposition forces were reported dead, while dozens others were injured during the clashes and were taken to field hospitals in the area of Turkmen Mount. On the other hand, a number of regime soldiers and members of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters were killed during the operations, local sources reported, without specifying the specific number of losses among the pro-regime forces.

Notably, Hezbollah militia is fully engaged in Syria war as the Lebanese Shiite fighters of the militia insisted to support their allied regime of President Bashar al-Assad. 

The recent developments in Latakia −where Alawites constitute a majority− coincided with artillery shelling and rockets fired by the regime forces on the area of conflict, while the Turkmen Mount −where  a number of rebel groups are positioned− was exposed to bombardment by the Syrian air force on Saturday.


Reporting by: Haya al-Abdullah

Source: ARA News


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