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article imageSyrian rebels make advances into government stronghold

By Sami Zaatari     Aug 5, 2013 in World
Syrian rebels made advances in the province of Latakia, a known stronghold of Bashar al-Assad's regime. Rebels mainly belonging to the Free Syrian Army had managed to capture four villages before Syrian troops regained one of them.
Latakia has been a stronghold of Bashar al-Assad with it's mainly Alawite population.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 20 rebels and 32 pro-regime fighters were killed in the heavy fighting.
The fighting between both sides took place in the northern mountainous region of Latakia, with rebels saying the aim of the operation was to seize government controlled villages in order to prevent the army from shelling nearby villages under rebel control.
Syria's main political opposition body, the Syrian National Council, lauded the offensive carried out by rebel fighters.
In other fighting, an army air base in the northern province of Aleppo fell to rebel hands, the Menagh airbase has been the target of Syrian rebels for several months now. Rebels had besieged the base with Syrian warplanes often bombing rebel positions in order to defend the airbase.
The recent combined gains of the Syrian rebels has been a rare success after suffering several battlefield defeats over the past few weeks which has seen the Assad regime tighten it's grip on the capital Damascus, as well as strengthening it's position in the centre of the country, most notably Homs province.
More about Syria, Free Syrian Army, Latakia, Bashar alAssad
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