Syrian rebels launch major offensive on headquarters of pro-Assad troops in coastal Latakia

ARA News 

LATAKIA – Syrian rebel fighters of the Army of Conquest launched on Thursday a major offensive on headquarters of the pro-Assad forces in the coastal province of Latakia, western Syria, military sources reported.

Rebel fighters have bombed pro-Assad army’s positions in the vicinity of Mount Al-Turkman in the countryside of Latakia, using heavy artillery and mortar shells.

At least 15 pro-Assad soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded in the attack.

“Subsequent to the operation, the rebels of the Army of Conquest seized control of the Tel Qroujah town near Mount Al-Turkman,” Ahmed Nemat, a spokesman for the Army of Conquest, told ARA News in Latakia.

“Our campaign has caused heavy losses in the ranks of the pro-Assad militias on Thursday,” he said. “After entering Tel Qroujah town, our rebels have collected dead bodies of more than 15 fighters, some of them were from the regime’s army and others from Hezbollah militia (recognized from their uniforms). Dozens of other pro-Assad forces were wounded before withdrawing from the town and its suburbs.”

In the meantime, an officer in the ranks of the regime’s army told ARA News that the retreat of their troops from Tel Qroujah town was “a tactical withdrawal”.

“Our forces have withdrawn from Tel Qroujah to avoid further losses, but we stress that Mount Al-Turkman will be entirely regained from the fist of terrorists (in reference to the rebel groups) in the coming days,” he told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In the meantime, Russian warplanes conducted on Thursday evening several airstrikes on rebels’ positions near Mount Al-Turkman in Latakia countryside in a bid to impede the progress of the Army of Conquest fighters, who have been fighting against forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for nearly one year in the coastal region.

The Army of Conquest, aka Jaish al-Fatah, is a joint operations chamber that includes several factions of Syrian rebels. Since its establishment in early 2015, the alliance has been engaged in fierce battles against pro-Assad troops in northwestern Syria.   

Reporting by: Mir Yaqoub

Source: ARA News

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