The Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) and their allies from the Khorasan Group (Al-Qaeda affiliate) have stormed the predominately Armenian village of Kessab on the border of Turkey in Syria, attempting to regain control of the areas they lost to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) earlier this year. The SAA – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Mouqawama Souriyya (Syrian Resistance) – were able to repel the attacks, despite facing a significant amount of armed militants attempting to infiltrate.
The main attack by the Al-Nusra Front and the Khorasan Group was on Hamra Hill, located just north of the strategic Observatory 45 that is adjacent to the village of Kessab. Initially, the Al-Nusra Front was able to advance towards Observatory 45; however, they were subsequently forced to withdraw after the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) and SAA Special Forces arrived at the scene.
Other areas in the Kessab vicinity that were under attack by the Al-Qaeda affiliates were Hills 713 and 724, Jabal Al-Nissr, and the village of ‘Ateera. All of these attacks were unable to yield the militants any success; meanwhile, they paid dividends to the SAA and their allies due to the number of armed militants that were killed trying to break-through their frontline defenses and into the historical village.