Syrian opposition advances in Latakia, retakes strategic citadel

HATAY, Turkey
Published 08.08.2016 15:22

Syrian opposition forces have captured the Shalaf Citadel in Jabal al-Akrad region in northwestern Syria after fierce fighting with regime troops, according to local sources.

The sources told Anadolu Agency on Monday that the citadel in Latakia's northern countryside had fallen to regime forces following a ground offensive on Sunday.

"Opposition forces launched a counter attack and managed to regain control of the citadel" near the strategic town of Kinsabba, the sources added on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

The sources reported casualties on both sides, but declined to give further details.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.

The Syrian Center for Policy Research puts the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.

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