Aleppo-Latakia Highway Secured by Syrian Army Advancement
The Army regained control of al-Marouniyat, Marj Khokhah, Kensabba, Broma as well as Ghouneimyeh, Bait Rimo and Bait Sukkar, and subsequently secured the road of Aleppo-Latakia highway for approximately six kilometres, Syrian state news agency reported.
International efforts are continuing in order to hold the upcoming Syria talks that are expected to start on Monday (January 25). However, there is uncertainty around the date due to a dispute over who will be part of the opposition delegation, Reuters reported.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry said on Saturday (January 23) he was confident Syria peace talks would proceed following talks with Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) states in Saudi Arabia.
Peace efforts face huge underlying challenges, including disagreements over President Bashar al-Assad’s future and worsening relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Tensions between the two regional rivals escalated this month after the Saudi execution of a prominenet Shi’ite Muslim cleric sheikh Nimr Al Nimr. It triggered angry protest and an attack by Iranian protesters on the Saudi Consulate in Mashhad leading the kingdom to cut diplomatic ties.