The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Tuesday that the Syrian regime forces, pro-regime militias alongside the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters supported by heavy Russian air strikes have attacked and entered the town of Salma, the main stronghold of rebels in the coastal northwestern province of Latakia.
Salma town is the main bastion of rebels in the stronghold of the Bashar al Assad regime in the coastal heartland . It has been held by opposition forces since July 2012.
The director of the Britain-based observatory, Rami Abdul Rahman, said the Syrian regime forces entered the town following intense fighting with rebel groups including Ahrar al Sham and the Al Qaeda affiliated al Nusra Front.
The attack on Salma started on Monday, where the Russian warplanes had launched over 120 air strikes and its outskirts in support of the Syrian regime, the SOHR reported.
If the regime forces took control over Salma entirely they "would be able to reach rebel-held territory in Jabal Akrad,” Abdul Rahman said.
The northern and northeastern areas of Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman are the main positions for the opposition and rebels in the northwest of the country, where regime forces have been fighting intensely recently for months to recapture those areas.
On September 30, Russia, the long-term ally of the Syrian regime launched an air campaign in support of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.
The campaign has been mostly targeting the opposition assemblies and strongholds despite Russian claims that the aim of the campaign is to fight DAESH.