Syrian rebels hold-off regime offensive in Latakia province
Fierce fighting is taking place between Syrian regime and rebel forces in Latakia, as pro-Assad forces launch an offensive on the last opposition strongholds in the province.
Twelve Syrian regime fighters were killed in clashes at the Kabana Mountain in northern Latakia province, Zaman Al-Wasl reported on Wednesday.
It follows attempts by the Syrian Fourth Armoured Division, backed by Iranian fighters, to take Jabal Al-Akrad in the Latakia's mountainous northeast, bordering rebel-held Idlib province.
Russian forces have used "advanced military equipment" to launch an assault on Tal Jaafar, according to the news site.
The regime is attempting to force rebel fighters out of their mountain stronghold, which they have held for much of the Syria war.
Russia claims that the opposition are bringing reinforcements from Idlib province to halt the offensive, including Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) fighters.
"[We continue to] see the reduction of escalation in the Idlib region, the terrorists are still rearranging themselves. They have transferred at least 500 gunmen from the province of Idlib to the province of Latakia, most of whom came from foreign countries," the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria claimed, part of Moscow's military.
Moscow entered the war in September 2015 to bolster Bashar Al-Assad after a series of losses.
Since then, the regime have managed to overturn defeats and recapture most areas in Syria from the rebels.
Idlib province and parts of Latakia and Aleppo provinces still remain in opposition and HTS hands.
Latakia province is a stronghold of the Syrian regime and the ancestral homeland of the Assad family.