On August 9, the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces took control of the Qala Mountain in northern Latakia. After recent gains, including the libreation of the strategic town of Kinsibba, the pro-government forces are now in ~3km from the Syrian-Turkish border. Military sources say the Syrian army’s artillery and the Syrian Arab Air Force inflicted significant damage to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (former Jabhat Al Nusra) and its allies. Now, jihadists are massively retreating from the area. Thus, the pro-government forces have a chance to develop the success at this sector of the frontline. It’s obvious that the retreating jihadists will be redeployed in the battle for Aleppo.
If the information from these sources are confirmed, it will indicate that Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and its allies are facing a critical pressure and their reserve forces are running out. The jihadists had spent lots resources to seize Kinsibba and nearby areas in northern Latakia. Now, they are forced to leave the area.
Furthermore, there are reports that some Saudi military advisers are encircled in eastern Aleppo. This is one of the arguments for desperate attacks by jihadists to lift the siege. Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and allies spent a major part of its arms and equipment to capture the Ramouseh Artillery Base and a part of the 1070 Apartment Project. However, they were not able to develop the success. The Syrian government forces’ superiority in artillery and air power player a crucial role in this.
The initial militant striking force in southwestern Aleppo was estimated as about 5000 fighters. Now, they have only a half of this number. The jihadists need to regroup forces, but this leads to withrawal from other sectors of the frontline as northern Latakia. Considering Jabhat Fateh al-Sham has some 20,000 fighters, the group is not able to operate successfully in various hot points at the frontline.