Syrian rebels capture town near Turkish border
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Twin blasts in Egypt’s Sinai rock troops in coalition
- Migrant impasse heads to Austria as Hungary offersbuses to border
- 45 UAE troops die in Yemen explosion
- Syrian tomb towers latest cultural icons to be wiped out in terrorist rampage
- Egypt, sans parliament for more than 3 years, sets elections
- Migrant crisis forces European Union leaders to set summit
- Fire at Saudi oil company residence kills 11
- Temple in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra bombed by ISIS terrorists
- European Union struggles for answers as migrant influx raises tensions
- Afghan president calls for ‘holy war’ against corruption
- Hungary stands firm, keeps migrants from trains