TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Syrian rebels capture town near Turkish border

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Monday, March 24, 2014, 6:12 p.m.
 

Hard-line Islamic rebels captured a small town in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border as part of their offensive in the rugged coastal region that is a bastion of support for President Bashar Assad, activists said on Monday.

Fighters from an array of armed opposition groups seized the predominantly Armenian Christian town of Kassab on Sunday. The rebels, including militants from the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, also have wrested control of a nearby border crossing to Turkey.

The advances, while minor in terms of territory, provided a boost to a beleaguered rebellion that has suffered a string of battlefield losses in recent weeks. Forces loyal to Assad have captured several towns near Syria's border with Lebanon as part of a government drive to sever rebel supply lines across the porous frontier.

Rebels began their offensive on Friday in Latakia province, which is the ancestral home of the Assad family and a stronghold of his minority Alawite sect, the Shiite offshoot community that is a main pillar of support for his rule. Since then, the fighting has focused on Kassab and the nearby border crossing.

A member of the president's family who is an army commander was buried in Latakia on Monday, a day after he died in the battle for Kassab, the Syrian state news agency SANA said. Hilal Assad was the commander of the pro-government National Defense Forces.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Ukraine rejects Russia’s call for cease-fire, warns of ‘great war’ against Russian aggressor
  2. Afghan power-sharing deal breaks down
  3. Dozens in Boko Haram reportedly killed as Nigeria repels attack
  4. Ex-Libyan PM tasked with forming new government
  5. Detained Americans plead U.S. for assistance
  6. Pressure on European Central Bank grows as economic recovery founders
  7. Pakistani premier may be forced out as protests turn violent
  8. Israeli missiles take down tall building in Gaza
  9. British terror suspects may be stripped of passports
  10. Iraqi forces break militant siege of Shiite Turkmen town
  11. Saudi king warns of terrorist threat to Europe, US
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.