BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 A.M.) – The Russian Air Force has intensified their strikes over the strategic town of Kabani in northeastern Latakia this week, as they attempt to weaken the jihadist resolve in this part of the governorate.

Led by their warplanes from the Hmeimim Airbase near the coastal city of Jableh, the Russian Air Force began this week’s attack by unleashing four dozen strikes on Monday, with the vast majority of them targeting the bases and tunnels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Turkestan Islamic Party near Kabani.

According to an army source in northern Latakia, the Russian airstrikes have become more frequent in this region of governorate due to the Syrian military’s need to penetrate the defenses of the jihadist rebels around the southern axis of Kabani.

Over the past three months, the Syrian Arab Army has struggled to reach Kabani’s southern axis, despite repeatedly advancing past the Zuwayqat Mountains south of this mountaintop town.

The reason the capture of Kabani has been a high priority for the Syrian Army’s command is due to its proximity to Jisr Al-Shughour, a large city in southwestern Idlib, and its strategic location which overlooks the northern half of the Al-Ghaab Plain region.

Without Kabani, the Syrian Arab Army will struggle to advance north in the Al-Ghaab Plain because the jihadist rebels would have fire control over the region due to the mountains.

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