Syrian troops capture strategic mountain in province of Latakia

BEIRUT -- 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.

See Full Article

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."

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 sided 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.

Meanwhile, in the central Syrian city of Homs, a convoy of 18 trucks carrying food, medical supplies and construction material began entering the rebel-held neighbourhood of Waer, according to Pawel Krzysiek, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Krzysiek said the convoy is organized by the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

An ICRC statement released later Wednesday said it may take several days to deliver all the aid. It said the trucks are bringing in food supplies for 40,000 people and hygiene kits for 60,000 people. In addition, medical items sufficient for 1,000 dialysis sessions for patients with severe kidney problems will also be part of the aid delivered.

"Hopefully, this is just the start," said Alexandre Equey, the deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Syria. "We need to have regular access here and also to other areas, in order to help the people during these extremely difficult times."

Earlier this month, a deal in Waer saw a few hundred insurgents pull out of the district in return for a cease-fire and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The United Nations presided over implementation of the deal, which allowed those leaving Waer safe passage to the north.

A few thousand rebels had been holed up in Waer, which Syrian government forces had blockaded for nearly three years, only sporadically allowing in food.

Hundreds other fighters are expected to leave Waer in the coming weeks and once the evacuation of the rebels is completed, the city of Homs will fully return to government control.

Also on Wednesday, the German military said it has flown its first mission in support of the U.S.-led coalition effort against the militant Islamic State group in Syria.

The Bundeswehr said a German tanker aircraft had refuelled two fighter jets in-air as they flew missions against the extremist group, the dpa news agency reported. A German frigate has also been providing protection to the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, and German Tornado reconnaissance jets are expected to begin flying surveillance missions in January.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged the support after France asked for help in the wake of the recent deadly terror attacks in Paris, which were claimed by the Islamic State.

Up to 1,200 troops are expected to be involved in the German mission, which the military said is an exclusively non-combat support deployment.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Woman who ran over pregnant sister twice, killing her, gets life in prison

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A Little Grand Rapids woman who ran over her pregnant sister two times with a truck, killing her, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years. A jury convicted Pandora Owens last spring of second-degree murder in the June 2013 killing of 22-year-old Madison McKay. Source
  • Parents of girl charged in 'Slender Man' stabbing speak out

    World News CTV News
    MILWAUKEE - The parents of one of two Wisconsin girls who were 12 when they allegedly stabbed another girl 19 times to impress the fictional internet character "Slender Man" say they were as shocked as anyone by the 2014 attack. Source
  • Former professor sues over explicit photo posted to Twitter

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    HALIFAX — A former Halifax professor who resigned after saying he had a sexual relationship with a student has filed a lawsuit over a nude photo of his genitals that was posted to Twitter. Michael Kydd is seeking $1 million in damages from Twitter, CTV’s owner Bell Media, his former employer Mount Saint Vincent University and the woman with whom he says he had an affair. Source
  • Alberta pipeline vandals cause $500,000 in damage

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The Canadian Press First posted: Monday, January 16, 2017 05:35 PM EST | Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 06:58 PM EST Source
  • RCMP say someone did $500K damage to a pipeline in Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    HYTHE, Alta. -- Mounties are investigating after a pipeline in northwestern Alberta was vandalized, causing more than $500,000 damage. Const. Michelle Mosher says an employee with a construction crew reported the vandalism from the site north of Hythe on Sunday morning. Source
  • Toronto bouncer among dead in Mexico nightclub shooting [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANCUN, Mexico — Two Canadians are among five people killed today in a shooting attack at an electronic music festival in Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen. And the Canadian government says at least two Canadians were among the injured in the same attack. Source
  • Crown tells jury Douglas Garland held a longtime grudge before triple slaying

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It was a years' long grudge against Alvin Liknes over a pump design which led Douglas Garland to plot what ended in a triple-homicide, a prosecutor said Monday. Crown lawyer Vicki Faulkner told a Calgary jury Garland stewed over the fact Liknes patented the pump -- "a pump that never made anybody famous. Source
  • Supremacist group distributes racist pamphlets for U.S.holiday

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Police in Abbotsford, B.C., aren’t sure if they’re dealing with a growing white supremacist problem or if a few “small-minded” people are behind the distribution of a pamphlet disparaging a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Source
  • Supremacist group distributes racist pamphlets for U.S. King Jr. holiday

    Canada News CTV News
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Police in Abbotsford, B.C., aren't sure if they're dealing with a growing white supremacist problem or if a few "small-minded" people are behind the distribution of a pamphlet disparaging a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Source
  • Supremacist group distributes racist pamphlets in B.C. for U.S. King Jr. holiday

    Canada News CTV News
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- Police in Abbotsford, B.C., aren't sure if they're dealing with a growing white supremacist problem or if a few "small-minded" people are behind the distribution of a pamphlet disparaging a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Source