Syrian regime forces push into town on Turkish border

Rebel forces had taken Kasab, a majority Armenian Christian village, in March, the first time they were able to capture a settlement on the Mediterranean coast.

Syrian regime forces push into town on Turkish border

World Bulletin / News Desk

Syrian regime forces have pushed into Kasab, a village on the border with Turkey, a monitoring group and state media said.

The withdrawal of most rebel forces from the village - including some linked to al Qaeda - is another blow to an opposition that has been undermined by recent gains by Assad's forces and by infighting.

A number of fighters stayed behind in Kasab after the departure of most of the rebels, who included fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said late on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, Syrian state television said government forces had "restored stability and security" to Kasab and engineering teams were removing mines and explosives planted by "terrorist gangs," the government's customary term for rebels.

The Observatory said clashes in the area continued from around midnight on Saturday night, but did not give casualty figures.

Syrian regime forces were assisted by the Lebanese Shi'ite militia Hezbollah as well as fighters of Syrian and foreign nationality, the Observatory said.

Rebel forces had taken Kasab, a majority Armenian Christian village, in March, the first time they were able to capture a settlement on the Mediterranean coast. One of Assad's cousins, a militia commander, was killed in fighting in the area.

Last Mod: 15 Haziran 2014, 11:55
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