Hours after the launch of a joint offensive of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Jabal al-Akrad in northern Latakia, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was able to repell the militant offensive in its initial phase and jihadist rebels suffered massive losses in manpower and equipment.
According to Al-Masdar News, the SAA destroyed a tank, 3 BMPs, and two 23mm gun armed vehicles around Al-Zuwayqat near Kabani. Sources confirmed that at least 40 fighters from al-Qaeda-linked HTS and the Turkistani Islamist Party were killed or injured in the failed attack.
In the operation in northern Latakia, HTS mainly relies on foreign jihadists who are predominantly Uyghurs, Chechnyans, and Turkistanis. The US-sponsored FSA’s First Coastal Division supported the HTS-led offensive with TOW missile launches.
The Russian Air Force provided government forces on the ground with an intense air support. Airstrikes were delivered on militant positions across the strategic region that lies between the Al-Nabi Yunis mountain and Kabani.
The Syrian Marines, National Defense Forces (NDF), the Sea Infantry along with Russian advisors and some Iranian Fatimiyoun forces hold the frontlline in the northeastern countryside of Latakia.