3/26/2014

  • Rebels captured the village of Samra, located on the Mediterranean on the Turkish-Syrian border in the Latakia province.

– This is their first foothold on the Mediterranean and has allowed rebels to bring in aid, weapons, and men through the border crossing with Turkey.

–This is part of an offensive launched on the 21st in Latakia province, which is the ancestral homeland of Assad’s family.

–The offensive is being led by groups from the Islamic Front, Jahbat al-Nusra, and the Lebanese, Chechen, and Libyan group Jundu Sham.

–Video of an airstrike on Salma, another town captured by rebels in the offensive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7uzaIKF2T0#t=17


 

  • Rebels also captured Tower 45 near Kessab in Latakia, a hill that overlooks large swaths of the surrounding area.

SANA has not acknowledged the loss of either Kessab, which was captured on the 24th, or Tower 45.


 

  • The Arab League summit concluded with Syria’s seat remaining empty. The Syrian National Council was not granted the seat, but was allowed to participate in ministerial meetings on a case-by-case basis.

–The decision was reportedly made due to a letter sent to the Arab League from the opposition grouping within Syria, the National Coordinating Commission, which stated that the National Council is not a complete representation of the opposition.


 

  • Ahmad Jarba, the head of the Syrian National Council, has called for the opposition to be supplied with antiaircraft missiles, saying that no political breakthrough will be possible until there is military progress on the ground.

  • The mosque of Ammar bin Yassir and Oweis al-Qarni, a former Shi’ite pilgrimage site that was captured by Sunni rebels last year, was bombed by the ISIL.

  • Kinda Airlines, a private airline company, announced that it plans to start commercial flights from Syria in May out of the Damascus International Airport and Latakia.

  • A US official said that an unreleased UN report that was delivered to the UN Security Council on Sunday places most of the blame for the lack of access that humanitarian workers have to the neediest Syrian civilians on Assad.

–Currently 175,000 people remain besieged by government forces, 45,000 people are trapped by rebels, and 9.3 million people overall in Syria need humanitarian assistance.

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