13:30 GMT +323 March 2017
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    Syrian Army with support of Russian military aviation takes control over village of Gmam, Latakia Province

    With Russian Support, Syrian Army Advancing Toward Turkish Border

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    The Syrian regular army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) militia have taken advantage of a recent large-scale campaign of airstrikes by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces against terrorist hideouts in the northwestern province of Latakia, taking control of the Zahia Heights, just 2 km from the Turkish border, Fars News Agency reports.

    Syrian sources in the region told the news agency that Army units have captured the Zahia Heights, a strategically important mountainous area near the town of Rabia, while making "major advances" in other parts of the province, over the past three days, assisted by last week's intensified campaign of airstrikes by the Russian air contingent operating in the country.

    The combined efforts of the Syrian Army and the NDF have resulted in the destruction of several bands of militants, together with their commanders, while damaging command and control centers and destroying the terrorists' military hardware. 

    The territories in the north of Latakia are predominantly controlled by the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, also known as Al-Qaeda's Syrian branch.

    Militants from Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army, which is also believed to be operating in the area, are reported to have withdrawn from the al-Zahi Mountains and the town of Burj al-Zahi, with over two dozen militants killed.

    Meanwhile, Syrian Air Force planes have intensified their own campaign of air attacks in militant strongholds in the province, hitting positions in Dweir al-Akrad, al-Sheikh Yousef, Jabal al-Katf and Jabal Abu Hiddo, killing dozens of militants.

    Syrian sources also told Fars that Syrian troops have killed Zakaria Abdullah, a prominent al-Nusra commander based in the province.

    Elsewhere in northern Syria, in the nearby Idlib governate, troops from the SAA and the NDF are advancing toward the town of Jisr al-Shughur, located about 12 km from the Turkish border. The city is said to be controlled by a loose alliance of Islamist insurgents including Al-Nusra and the Ahrar al-Sham jihadist group.

    Russian air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria
    © Sputnik/
    Russian air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria

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    Tags:
    ground campaign, military operation, operation, Syrian National Defense Forces, Syrian Arab Army, Russian Aerospace Forces, Idlib, Syria, Latakia
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    • Vladislav Sotirovic
      Just not to forget that the Jihadist terrorist are operating as well in Bosnia and Kosovo. They also deserved to be bombed and finally destroyed. If Russia can do that in Middle East what is the problem just to continue the same airbombing campaign at the Balkans
    • avatar
      karlof1in reply toVladislav Sotirovic(Show commentHide comment)
      Vladislav Sotirovic, Russia doesn't behave like the Outlaw US Empire going about violating international law bombing wherever and whoever it chooses. The new UNSC Resolution is broad enough to use as a precedent to eliminate other pockets of terrorists and destroy their sources of funding.
    • avatar
      karlof1
      Really must get the Turks out of the game by sealing the border. I know it's a slog in the mountains. But without ammo and manpower replacements, Daesh and kin won't be able to survive much longer.
    • Hermes
      I think NATO will soon make use of the corridor into Syria provided by the residue of their terrorist psycho irregular forces and send ground troops to stop the advance of the Syrian army and provide cover for the terrorists.
      If they can not get them back into Syria they will flood Europe and I don't think that was part of the original plan.
    • Vladislav Sotirovicin reply tokarlof1(Show commentHide comment)
      karlof1, That is, unfortunately, what the US/NATO and Israel just want to hear. BTW, a war on terrorism and human rights protection (like of the Serbs in Kosovo) is a part of any international law on human and minority rights including and the UN Charter
    • avatar
      Alexey Yarmolenko
      There is a fully approved and nato trained Islamist militia active in Ukraine too. Many of these mercenarys have served in the syrian war as members of Al Nusra as well. The tactics of Islamists, Facists and South american drug gangs all work together to attack socialist, secular or pro russian/chinese countries all over the world.
      Wahabism, Facism, Greed and "NGOs" classic anglo values.
      We in the Secular, Moderate Islamic and Orthodox world must resist Anglo Imperialism on ALL continents , this is the only way we will win.
    • avatar
      jasin reply tokarlof1(Show commentHide comment)
      karlof1, I agree. I think Russia will find a legal way. But I think Russia has put its foot down about this craziness. They let it go for a long time before finally having enough of it.

      They weren't really in a position to do something about it. Shoigu hasn't been around that long and it was no small feat to recover from the West's looting of Russia in the 1990s.
    • qvasko 15in reply toVladislav Sotirovic(Show commentHide comment)
      Vladislav Sotirovic, Sta to pricate?
    • Vladislav Sotirovicin reply toqvasko 15(Show commentHide comment)
      Vasko Kelic, Па то што пише то и причам. У чему је проблем?
    • qvasko 15in reply toVladislav Sotirovic(Show commentHide comment)
      Vladislav Sotirovic, Kojim to pismom se sluzite?
    • Vladislav Sotirovicin reply toqvasko 15(Show commentHide comment)
      Vasko Kelic, Сигурно не смрдљивим усташко-римокатоличким.
    • avatar
      барбаin reply toqvasko 15(Show commentHide comment)
      Vasko Kelic, Каже човек да би све терористе у Босни и на КиМ требало послати Богу па нека он даље види шта ће са њима. Потпуно се слажем са Сотиром.
    • qvasko 15in reply toбарба(Show commentHide comment)
      барба, Ali to ne samo da je nerealno implicira neki novi rat na Balkanu sto je meni potpuno glupavo, msm covek govori o nekom bombardovanju gluposti ko da nam nije dosta toga ljudi
    • avatar
      Glamoureus
      No more cheap ISIS oil for Turkey.

      Also, this geopolitical war about building pipeline from Quatar to Turkey and Europe, in order to block Russia from Europe market, seems like a failure now on.

      Putin offered Erdogan turkstream Only as a substitute for Quatar and Erdogan played high game, delaying the project to 2019.

      I think the Turkish Dictator Erdogan should reconsider his hand, EU is scared of Jihaddist hence having Turkey as EU member, especially after Paris.

      Second, why should Erdogan care if gas if from Quatar or Russia? Only because Of US-NATO or Islamic radicalization reasons.

      If Erdogan is a bright man he will realize that his chance is gone creting a Great Ottoman Empire. And now the Turkish dictator lost hand both to EU and Russia.
    • avatar
      Glamoureus
      I have also to say, if Quatar ornother radical Islamic state ever entered european market, how would that streamline with European values? And NATO? Should Quatar be controlled with Us base and be a part of NATO?

      I cannot see Such mix of Europe and Islam, one has to go. The same reason why Turkey is not a member, nor bosnia nor Albania.
    • in reply toVladislav Sotirovic(Show commentHide comment)
      Vladislav Sotirovic, It's possible if the leaders of these countries make the first move like Assad! It would be legetimate in that case.
    • choticastile
      IS and its Turkey supporters aware of the SAA advancing, is possibly why they brought down the Russian fighter today?
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