Friday Apr 04, 201407:18 AM GMT
Syrian army chief visits key base in Latakia

The Syrian army’s chief of staff has paid a visit to a key military base near the country’s port city of Latakia, praising the armed forces for their recent achievements in the area.

General Ali Abdullah Ayoub, accompanied by a group of senior military officials, visited the army units stationed in Observatory 45, a strategic hilltop site situated in the northern suburbs of Latakia near the Turkish border, Syria’s SANA reported on Thursday.

During the visit, General Ayoub met with a number of field commanders, who outlined the process of their battle against foreign-backed Takfiri groups operating in the area.

The Syrian army chief further praised the armed forces stationed in the area for their sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

“The successive victories gained by army and national defense forces are a natural outcome of their ideology and unity with the Syrian people who stand by them in one rank against terrorism and enemies of the nation,” stressed General Ayoub.

After a series of losses in several Syrian provinces, foreign-backed militants have shifted their focus onto Latakia, which can give them access to the Mediterranean Sea.

On March 31, Syrian government forces regained full control of the strategic Observatory 45, which had recently fallen into the hands of Takfiri militants. Many terrorists were reportedly killed in the army operation.

On March 29, the Syrian army managed to retake control of the towns of Ras al-Maara and Fleita, near the border with Lebanon. The two towns were the last bastions for the foreign-backed terrorist groups operating in the strategic Qalamoun region.

Syria has been the scene of a deadly crisis since March 2011. President Bashar al-Assad has pledged that his country would strike terror “with an iron fist.”

MKA/HMV

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