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Iran Press TV

Syria army retakes key militant bastion in Latakia

Iran Press TV

Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:56AM

Syrian forces, backed by military aircraft, have managed to wrest control over a strategic town in the country's western province of Latakia as they continue to gain ground in battles against foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.

On Saturday, Syrian troopers liberated Rabia town, which lies in the northern part of the province and close to the border with Turkey, from the clutches of terrorists, Arabic-language Syria Now news website reported.

An unspecified number of militants were killed or injured in the process, and a sizable amount of munitions destroyed.

Rabia served as a major stronghold for foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists, and its capture gave Syrian army soldiers the upper hand in their campaign to secure the northern sector of Latakia Province.

Syrian soldiers also established control over Shakeriyah, Beit Awan and Beit Ayoush villages, situated east of Rabia and more than 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the capital, Damascus.

Separately, Syrian forces retook the villages of Eastern al-Halwa, Western al-Halwa as well as Beit Ablaq, and cleared the hilltops surrounding the provincial capital city of Latakia from militants.

Elsewhere in the northwestern province of Aleppo, Syrian army forces recaptured a small town south of the city of al-Bab.

A Syrian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said army forces regained control of a number of areas in the northeastern part of al- Sheikh Meskin town in the southwestern province of Dara'a.

He said more than 30 Takfiri militants were killed or injured during the heavy clashes.

Additionally, Syrian army units shelled militant bases in the city of Aleppo as well as the outskirts of the southwestern city of Suwayda, killing a large number of Takfiri militants.

At least 13 al-Qaeda-linked terrorists were also eliminated as Syrian forces conducted a mop-up operation in the northern Syrian village of al-Lataminah, located 39 kilometers (24 miles) northwest of Hama.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people and left over one million injured.

The UN says 12.2 million people, including more than 5.6 million children, remain in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria. The violence has also displaced 7.6 million people.

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