Rebels strike biggest blow against
'Rami Dalati, a member of the armed opposition group the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Military Command Higher Council, toldAsharq Al-Awsat the rebels, comprised of the Jaysh Al-Fatah, a coalition of Jihadist groups, had successfully captured a number of strategic checkpoints used by the Syrian army on the Latakia–Aleppo highway.
This had now left a total of 25,000 government troops “essentially trapped” inside Aleppo, he said, adding that “this counts as the biggest military loss for the government in Syria since the beginnings of the conflict in 2011.”
Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict via a series of correspondents on the ground, said that Jaysh Al-Fatah had captured Syrian government troop positions around the city of Idlib, which lies roughly halfway between Latakia and Aleppo.
Al-Nusra posted on its Twitter account that it had successfully captured the positions, posting pictures of its fighters and those of others in the Jaysh Al-Fatah in the locations, with others of Syrian government troops fleeing their posts.
The official pro-government Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted a military source saying that Syrian troops had indeed withdrawn from the positions around Idlib, but only to redeploy in areas more “appropriate for fulfilling their military objectives.” '