Syrian Army captures key rebel stronghold

Damascus, Jan 24 (IANS) Syrian forces on Sunday captured the strategic town of Rabiah, a main rebel stronghold in the countryside of the coastal province of Latakia, the media reported.

Rabiah is a stronghold of the jihadist groups. Its recapture is the second hard blow for the rebels, just a week after the army captured the town of Salma, Xinhua reported.

Both Salma and Rabiah were considered the two main rebel bastions north of Latakia, close to Turkey.

The military entered Rabiah from its western outskirt, namely from the town of Rawda, a source said, adding the army was now in the central part of Rabiah.

The military will continue to advance to capture the town of Kinsabah, after which it will reach the western countryside of the province of Idlib, another bastion of the rebels.

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