04:28 GMT +318 December 2017
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    Syrian army personnel fire a machine gun in Latakia province, about 12 miles from the border with Turkey, Syria (File)

    Syrian Army Frees Key Areas Close to Turkish Border

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    The Syrian Armed Forces, assisted by Russian warplanes, have been on a roll in northern Latakia, taking two strategic highways under control, destroying scores of terrorists and forcing militants out of key border areas with Turkey, the Fars news agency reported, citing an unnamed Syrian officer.

    The Qastal Ma'af road and Lattakia-Kassab highway, which were not operational for at least two years, have now been reopened.

    "The recapture of Turkmen mountain (Jabal al-Turkmen) by the Syrian forces played a significant role in reopening the [Lattakia-Kassab] highway," the media outlet quoted the source as saying.

    The Qastal Ma'af road connects the provincial capital of Latakia and Kassab, a checkpoint on the border with Turkey. The town of the same name, located some 7 miles to the south of the border, is predominantly populated by the Turkmen.

    Militants are reported to have fled to the town of Rabia following the government offensive. Damascus-led forces are planning to focus their efforts on liberating the town.

    The Syrian Arab Army also pushed terrorists out of Height 713 and al-Koz mountain after Russian warplanes launched airstrikes against militant targets in the area.

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    counterterrorism, Russian aerial campaign, Syrian Arab Army, Turkey, Syria
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