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Syrian Troops Capture Strategic Mountain
International

Syrian Troops Capture Strategic Mountain

Syrian government forces captured a strategic mountain in the country's northwest on Wednesday, inching closer to a rebel-held stronghold in the coastal province of Latakia, state media and a monitoring group said.
State TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen took the Noba Mountain in Latakia early on Wednesday "after destroying the terrorists' positions and fortifications", AP reported.
Government troops have been on the offensive in different parts of the country under the cover of Russian airstrikes, which began on Sept. 30. Capturing the mountains of Latakia would reduce threats to the coast - a key stronghold of President Bashar Assad.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the taking of Noba Mountain opens the way for government forces toward the rebel-stronghold of Salma. The Observatory said government troops were backed by fighters from Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group, which sides with Assad in Syria's civil war.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV quoted one of its reporters, embedded with Syrian troops, as saying that government forces raised the Syrian flag on the mountain overlooking an array of rebel-held areas in Latakia.

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