Syrian army recaptures Kassab

Published June 15th, 2014 - 10:55 GMT

The Syrian army has recaptured the strategic town of Kassab near the country’s border with Turkey in the northwestern province of Latakia.

The Syrian soldiers killed a large number of militants in Latakia and reestablished security there. The town of Kassab has been under siege by militants for more than two months.

The ethnic Armenian-inhabited town is strategically important due to its vicinity to Syria’s only border crossing with Turkey.

In Homs countryside, western Syria, army units also recaptured the village of Um-Sharshouh.

On Saturday, militants, mostly from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, fled Kassab after Syrian army tanks took position in the nearby villages signaling an impending attack.

The militants are said to have pulled back to their strongholds in the rural mountainous region of Jabal al-Akrad.

Over the past months, Syrian army has achieved major victories in its battle against militant groups across the Arab country, particularly in the western region of Qalamoun near the Lebanese border.

On June 5, Syrian troops regained control of the town of al-Thawra in Kiswah District near the capital, Damascus, killing a large number of militants. Sources said that army forces also destroyed militant hideouts in the nearby town of Zakia.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence for more than three years. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions of others displaced due to the turmoil fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

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