While the government army recaptured the town, the military contention is still going on around its surrounding areas.
Located in the northern part of Latakia Province, Rabia used to be a vacation resort. According to senior military officers of the Syrian government forces, under the opposition’s occupation, Rabia fell into a hub for the smuggling of illegal militants.
“Rabia is very close to the Syria-Turkey border, only 4 kilometers to it. This has made it very easy for the smuggling of goods, arms and militants into Syria. Rabia is like a beating heart that transmits supplies to the surrounding areas,” said Colonel Rafiq Nassour of the Syrian government army.
It was hard for the Syrian government army to take the town back in the past few years. But Russia’s airstrikes and the help of popular forces provided a chance for it to take the initiative to recapture the town.
A soldier of the Syrian government army said that the airstrikes by Russia destroyed the opposition’s strongholds and armored vehicles. The Syria government army took the opportunity to launch a blitz attack and took the town.
“We launched attacks from all directions. When we entered the town early in the morning, we met with fierce counterattacks. We killed dozens of opposition soldiers and captured some others. Our forces had no casualties,” said Bashar Salloum, the solider with the Syrian government army.
Latakia Province is actually the hometown of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The capture of Rabia means the government forces have cleared away gunfire menace from the opposition to the provincial capital Latakia nearby and that the Syrian government has brought 90 percent of the province under its control.
But several villages near the town and the neighboring province Idilib are still occupied by the opposition, which will be the immediate major targets of the government forces, AP reported.