Syrian opposition fighters seize new areas in Idlib, progress towards regime-held coastal region

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Syrian rebel fighters in Idlib. File photo

ARA News

Aleppo, Syria – On Saturday, rebels of the Fatih Army (an extended umbrella for Syrian rebels) gained control of several villages in the countryside of Idlib, northern Syria, military sources said.

Rebels of Fatih Army have earlier taken over Ariha city in Idlib province, advancing towards the Sahl al-Ghab area in the regime-held coastal region, western Syria. 

Al-Fatih Army announced in an official statement its control of the villages Ainata, Tabayiq, Sanqara, an-Nahl, Basenqool and Mahambal and the destruction of a number of regime-manned tanks in Idlib province on Saturday.

The rebels were able to kill dozens of soldiers from the pro-Assad army, according to the statement.

Assad army also withdrew from the town of Mahambal under heavy blows by the rebels.

Activist Abu Anas al-Faruq reported that the rebels’ control over these villages in the countryside of Idlib will open the way towards the Sahl al-Ghab, the most strategic point separating opposition areas from those of the regime.

“Rebels will head towards these villages around Sahl al-Ghab and will be able then to easily target Assad fortifications in the coastal region” al-Faruq told ARA News. 

Speaking to ARA News, Abu Adham al-Ansari, member of al-Nusra Front (Syria’s branch of al-Qaeda), said that their fighters are currently locked in fierce battles with the pro-regime forces on the outskirts of Farika town, where the regime’s soldiers are stationed after withdrawal from Mahambal.

On Friday, al-Fatih fighters took control of Basenqool and Mueen checkpoints as well as the highway of Ariha-Latakia, down to al-Qiyasat camp following clashes with pro-Assad forces.

Mohammed Jaafar, a fighter in al-Fatih Army ranks, told ARA News that they were able to destroy seven tanks and seize five others in al-Qiyasat camp along with capturing 30 pro-Assad soldiers and killing dozens others.

Meanwhile, a military source in the regime’s army reported that their forces withdrew from several villages in Idlib for re-positioning in new and more strategic locations for military operations in the region.

 

Reporting by: Taim Khalil and Adel Hassan

Source: ARA News

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