Jaysh al-Fatah led forces take Latakia town of Kinsabba

T-55s captured in Kinsabba. Source. 

On 27 June, rebel forces in Latakia launched an offensive on both the Jabal al-Akrad and Jabal Turkman fronts. The assault was led by a number of Jaysh al-Fatah member groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham, but also included locally active FSA outfits, such as the 1st Coastal Division, Jaysh al-Izzah, Jaysh al-Tahrir, Jaysh al-Nasr and others. Rebel sources claimed that atleast twenty five different factions were involved, ranging from secularists to foreign jihadists. Loyalist forces in the area include the SAA, the Desert Hawks, the SSNP Eagles of the Whirlwind militia, as well as local NDF militias. The fighting in Latakia largely takes place along the M4 highway, which connects the city of Latakia, on the coast, to Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib.

The situation as of 3 July. Source.

On 30 June, Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and other rebel groups reached Kinsabba, the largest town in this northern part of Jabal al-Akrad. Loyalist forces retreated from the town, leaving significant amounts of equipment behind, including several tanks and BMPs. Kinsabba had been taken by the government in February 2016, during the most intense period of Russian Air Force bombardment during the war. Rebel forces also seized the handful of towns circling Kinsabba, such as Hamrat, Shilif, and Wadi Basur. To the west of the M4 highway, the offensive claimed several mountaintops, including Jabal Qamou, Jabal Qal'ah, and Jabal Abu Ali, as well as the towns of Ayn al-Ashara, Beit Janawru, Ayn al-Bayda. Much further west into the Jabal Turkmen region, rebels captured the town of Saraf.

Since the beginning of July, the new frontlines have largely solidified. The town of Saraf in Jabal Turkman has traded hands and is now reportedly under loyalist control. A loyalist counter-offensive was launched on 8 July, and succeeding in retaking Shilif, to the southeast of Kinsabba.

A list of equipment captured in Kinsabba. Source. 

A translated Jabhat al-Nusra statement on the offensive. Translation source here.


Collection of videos from the offensive

Loyalist NDF militia video

Ahrar al-Sham, Jabal Akrad, 28 June.

Jabhat al-Nusra video on the 'liberation' of Kinsabba.

1st Coastal Division tour of Kinsabba.

Ahrar al-Sham footage from battle for Kinsabba.

Jaysh al-Fatah shelling loyalist forces in Kinsabba.

1st Coastal footage of cluster bombs being dropped.

Faylaq al-Sham TOW hit

Jaysh al-Nasr

Turkistan Islamic Party