Syrian army secures crossing near Turkish border
For months, it was not possible to use this road in Lattakia northern countryside because of the presence of foreign-backed militants. Kassab, a stronghold for extremists in the area, has been fully secured and is now under the control of the Syrian army and national defense forces. In addition to that, al-Nab’ein and the coastal village of al-Samra were fully cleared of militants.
Army engineers combed the town and defused a large amount of explosives and mortars. Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, extremists from the so called Ansar al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham were among the main armed groups that infiltrated under Turkish military cover in March 2014 and established an Islamic court. Kasab became their stronghold in Lattakia countryside. Many militants were killed, but the majority escaped as the Syrian army was advancing. They withdrew to the Turkish side of the borders and the Syrian towns of Salma and Rabiya. This is the crossing point between Syria and Turkey, from which armed men infiltrated in the first time. It is now closed but the army is on alert in case of any news attacks. Securing Kassab was a victory like no other for the Syrian army, as it was a heavy blow not only to militants but also to the Turkish government which was involved to a great extent in this battle by downing a Syrian warplane and using various kinds of weapons to facilitate the extremists’ infiltration. Mohamad Ali, Presstv, from the border crossing between Syria and Turkey.