Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Polanski Pulls Out of the Césars

Read more

THE DEBATE

Next stop, Westminster: Supreme Court orders Brexit parliament vote (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Next stop, Westminster: Supreme Court orders Brexit parliament vote (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Iranian women push boundaries through sport

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Crowds, Lies & Alternative Facts

Read more

ENCORE!

Backstage at the Haute Couture show of designer Julien Fournié

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

President Trump pulls US out of TPP trade deal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Donald Trump is rolling back the clock on diversity in the cabinet'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Did France's left inflate turnout figures in round one of the primary?

Read more

Middle East france 24

Syrian army seizes key rebel-held town in Latakia

© Oussef Karwashan, AFP | Syrian soldiers patrol the town of Salma, in the northwestern province of Latakia, which they recaptured two weeks ago

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-01-24

Syrian regime forces on Sunday overran the last major rebel-held town in the coastal province of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, state television and a monitoring group reported.

Citing a military source, state television said Syria's "armed forces, in coordination with the popular defence [militia], seized control of the town of Rabiya."

The northwestern town had been held by the opposition since 2012 and was controlled by a range of rebel groups including some made up of Syrian Turkmen, as well as the Al-Nusra Front, an al Qaeda affiliate.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria, Rabiya fell on Sunday after a steady regime advance that left the town surrounded.

"In the past 48 hours, regime forces surrounded the town from three sides – the south, west, and north – by capturing 20 villages," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Abdel Rahman said senior Russian military officials were overseeing the battle for Rabiya, and that Russian air strikes "played an essential role" in the fight.

With the capture of Rabiya, government troops are closing in on rebel supply routes through the Turkish border to the north, he added.

Rabiya's fall comes two weeks after government troops seized the strategic town of Salma, a bastion of President Assad’s minority Alawite sect, which had been held by rebels since 2012.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2016-01-24

  • SYRIA

    Syrian opposition balks at talks, reiterates demands

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    UN demands aid access to besieged towns in Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    UN chief warns Syria that starving civilians is a war crime

    Read more

COMMENT(S)